Bolivia Unable to Have Recourse at The Hague for Maritime Dispute

By Dialogo
January 03, 2013

Bolivia is unable to go to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to
resolve its claim against Chile for a sovereign sea outlet, since both countries
signed a treaty in 1904 resolving the dispute, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera

“Bolivia is unable to have recourse at the International Court of Justice,”
Piñera said on December 30, quoted by Chilean daily El Mercurio. “We have a
lawfully signed agreement with Bolivia,” the Chilean head of state added.

The Peace Treaty of 1904, which put an end to a war between Bolivia and Chile
at the end of the XIX century, defined the cession of the only Bolivian territory
with a sea outlet on the Pacific coast, which was finally annexed to the Chilean

Since then, Bolivia has been claiming a sovereign sea outlet, which has been
repeatedly rejected by Chile; therefore, Bolivian President Evo Morales, announced
in 2011 that he would file an international lawsuit against the Chilean nation,
possibly in the ICJ, without specifying an exact date.

Piñera, who defends the validity of the treaty, stated that Bolivia is able
to resort to the instruments stipulated by the treaty of 1904, allowing the
“verification of compliance,” but “not to declare it invalid.”

The head of state also mentioned that Peru filed a lawsuit regarding maritime
borders against Chile at The Hague in 2008, “based on the 1948 Treaty of Bogota,
aimed at a peaceful resolution, but Bolivia would not be able to do the same due to
the existence of the Treaty of 1904.

“This cannot be done retrospectively with a treaty that has been
previously signed, as in the case of Bolivia, so this country cannot use the same
method” as Peru, Piñera explained.

Bolivia sent a commission to the ICJ to attend the hearings of the legal
dispute between Chile and Peru that might conclude with the Court’s ruling by mid

On December 27, Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García, accused Chile of being
the “neighborhood bully” for not resolving the maritime dispute with Bolivia, and
confirmed that his country will go to an international court.

The Chilean politicians, their Armed Forces and their Army know what this means, they are not as ignorant as the Colombians who in the last 100 years have lost almost half of the territory, counting what they just gave away to Nicaragua. Forget about that.