Minister Declares Chile Will Not Cede Territory to Bolivia

By Dialogo
December 19, 2012

Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Moreno, denied that his country is planning to grant part of its sovereign territory to Bolivia, and dismissed that the Bolivian state had a different vision over the Treaty of 1904, by means of which he ceded its maritime coasts to Chile after a war conflict.

“Bolivia says that Chile should grant them a sovereign portion of Chile. I do not think that way; the President (Sebastián Piñera) does not think that way, nor do the vast majority of Chileans,” Moreno said, according to local radio station Cooperativa on December 14.

By the end of the XIX century, Bolivia and Chile fought the Pacific War, and then signed a peace treaty to put an end to the conflict in 1904.

In this agreement, Bolivia granted to Chile the territory and maritime area that was in the Pacific Ocean, in exchange for commercial facilities in northern Chilean ports.

However, Bolivia rejects the agreement and demands that Chile grant them a portion of land and sea to compensate for its lack of maritime access. President Evo Morales said he would bring the referendum to an international court, as in the case of Peru, which claimed a maritime border with Chile before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Bolivia sent a delegation to The Hague to follow the hearings in the Peruvian maritime claim, which concluded on December 14.

Regarding this issue, Minister Moreno confirmed that the cases are different, since Peru is not aware of the treaties signed in 1952 and 1954, which fixed the maritime border according to Chilean judgment, and Bolivia recognizes the validity of the Treaty of 1904 with Chile.

“Bolivia agrees that the Treaty of 1904 states exactly what the Chileans claim,” Moreno declared.

The Chilean Minister added that his country is willing to seek solutions “based on what was agreed over 100 years ago, which established the boundaries of Bolivia and Chile.”

“This also requires political leadership in Bolivia,” Minister Moreno assured.

Bolivia and Chile have no diplomatic relations since 1978.