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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chilean-Peruvian maritime dispute

In May 2005, Peru suspended free-trade negotiations and diplomatic goodwill measures with Chile. It also refused to support Chile to take the lead of the Organization of American States. [1] [1]. On January 26th, 2007, Peru’s government issued a protest against Chile’s controversial demarcation of the coastal frontier the two countries share. Peruvian President Alan García recalled his ambassador to Chile, Hugo Otero, to Lima to consult about the controversy over the maritime boundary the two countries share, a maritime border dispute that dates to the War of the Pacific. According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, the Chilean legislatures have endorsed a plan regarding the Arica and Parinacota region which does not comply with the current, established territorial demarcation. Moreover, they allege that the proposed Chilean law includes an assertion of sovereignty over 19,000 sq. meters of land in Peru's Department of Tacna. According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, Chile has defined a new region "without respecting the Concordia demarcation." The Peruvian government maintains that the dispute over the Chilean plan that has been submitted to the Chilean Constitutional Court is part of an on-going maritime dispute whereby Chile has tried to use the demarcation process to extend its maritime frontier. Over the past 50 years, Peru has maintained claims over roughly 40,000 square kilometers of ocean territory. For its part, the Chilean government has asserted that the region in dispute is not a coastal site named Concordia, but instead refers to boundary stone No. 1, which is located to the northeast and 200 meters inland. [2]
Given that the proposed Chilean law does not recognize the borderline established by both nations in the 1929 agreement, Peru lodged diplomatic protests with Chile. In the complex territorial dispute, Chile is attempting to modify the border near the Pacific Ocean to fit in the geographical parallel, rather than continuing the national borderline to the sea, which Lima asserts will cut off at least 19,000 square meters of the Peruvian territory. [3] Nevertheless, a possible border dispute was averted when the Chilean Constitutional Court ruled on January 26th, 2007 unconstitutional legislation that Peru said could be seen as a move by Chile to encroach on its maritime territorial sovereignty. While agreeing with the court's ruling, the Chilean government reiterated its stance that the maritime borders between the two nations were not in question and have been formally recognized by the international community. [2]
It has been reported that following the Chilean judicial ruling in Lima’s favor, the likelihood that Peru takes its border dispute with Chile to an international court has been increased by the government and national media. Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Garcia has expressed that his country may turn to the international court at The Hague but has said that the necessary documents for that action are not ready. .[4] On January 28, 2007 Peru’s leading newspaper El Comercio reported that the President of the Cabinet of Ministers (Consejo de Ministros del Perú), Jorge del Castillo, expressed his grave concern over the pending maritime dispute with Chile. [5]
Following continued “saber rattling” by both countries over the brewing maritime dispute, calls for peace have been uttered. The Organization of American States’ President Jose Miguel Insulza publicly recognized on February 13th, 2007 the need for Chile and Peru to reconcile their territorial dispute differences through diplomacy. [6] [3]

^ “Peru-Chile border row escalates” BBC News 4, November 2005
^ Peru protests against Chile's new definition of territory Xinhua People’s Daily online. (accessed January 27 2007)
^ “Peru-Chile Sea Dispute May Go to The Hague” Lima, Jan 27, 2007 Prensa Latina (accessed Jan 28 2007)
^ “OAS Tells Chile and Peru to Talk” Prensa Latina, February 3, 2007
Additional news reporting: Peru-Chile border row escalates (BBC 4 Nov 2005) Hackers fuel Peru-Chile rivalry (BBC 15 Dec 2005) Chile: Fishing boats detained in Peruvian waters (Mercopress 9 Feb 2007) Peruvians Don't Trust Chile (Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research 7 Feb 2007) Chile’s Foreign Ministry rejects Peru border definition proposal (Mercopress, 1 Feb 2007)

See also
Atacama border dispute
List of Chilean-Peruvian controversies
This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)
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