Peru Petitions for Equidistant Border with Chile

By Dialogo
December 05, 2012

On December 3, Peru petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a “fair solution” regarding the maritime border demarcation in the Pacific with Chile, by means of an equidistant line of both coasts.

“The Peruvian cause claims that the demarcation was never set, so the border must be determined by the Court,” the Peruvian representative and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Allan Wagner, stated in The Hague while requesting an even-handed solution for both nations.

In a session where some judges were wearing wigs and others ermine, Allen presented arguments on behalf of Peru, which continued on December 4 in the same room adjacent to the Peace Palace, closed temporarily for renovation.

On December 6 and 7, Chilean representatives will appear before court, prior to an argument session for each country that will start on December 10.

The ICJ will then proceed to set the borders between both countries on a date that has not been determined.

Peru submitted a 302-page document with maps and annexes detailing its position, and explaining that “the starting point of the analysis is the axiomatic principle that Peru is entitled to have an area of 200 nautical miles.”

The trial attracted further attention after the same court passed a ruling over a maritime border between Nicaragua and Colombia. As a result, Bogotá walked away from the ICJ jurisdiction after considering the ruling unfair.

Chile believes that the limits were determined by two agreements signed in 1952 and 1954, which demarcated the current border, respected by both countries, especially for fishing purposes.

Perú is debating that the projection line towards the Pacific is demarcated based on a parallel, and not an equidistant line, a median, more perpendicular to the coast, as indicated by the 1982 U.N. Convention of the Sea.

For some historians, the dispute is the last pending remnant of the Pacific War, in which Chile, Peru and Bolivia were involved, and after which the Chileans extended their northern coastal line up to 400 km and their continental territory by 8,000 km2, annexing provinces that used to be Peruvian and Bolivian.

As always, there is no willingness to find solutions, through organizations like OAS and the diplomacy among the Nations themselves grows when solutions are needed, through the diplomatic relations, the questions concerning each of their Countries. We shall not forget that Latin America is a fraternity. Yes, we are all brothers and sisters. Big hugs to all my brothers and sisters in Latin America the ones I know, and who I do not know. In 1954 and in 1969 Peru signed some agreements with Chile, granting CHILE the right to FISH, ONLY TO FISH in the area of the 200 PERUVIAN NAUTICAL MILES. Chile claims that those agreements also grant territoriality, AND IT AIMS TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO IT, that's why the HAGUE RULING WILL BE FAVORABLE TO PERU for supporting its right of property with reliable documents. CAPISH!!!