Chile Asks For More Time To De-Mine Bolivian Border

By Dialogo
July 30, 2009

Chile has asked to extend by two years a deadline for the removal of landmines it planted on its border with Bolivia in the 1970s, according to Bolivia's defense minister cited in the media. The clearing of the thousands of devices would be complete in 2014 instead of 2012 under the proposed "moratorium," Defense Minister Walker San Miguel was quoted as saying by the daily La Razon. He did not say whether Bolivia would accept the request. Chile began the process of clearing the landmines in 2005 under the terms of a Mine Ban Treaty it signed in 1997. Chile sowed the mines during a period of tension with Bolivia, which had sought and failed in the 1970s to regain access to the Pacific Ocean. Bolivia, a poor landlocked nation, lost sea access during an 1879-1904 war with Chile.