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Chilean-Peruvian maritime dispute of 2006-2007

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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. [*] . On January 26th, 2007, Perus government issued a protest against Chiles controversial demarcation of the coastal frontier the two countries share. Peruvian President Alan Garcia 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. http://english.people.com.cn/200701/27/eng20070127_345352.html Peru protests against Chile's new definition of territory Xinhua Peoples Daily online. (accessed January 27 2007)

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. 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. [*]

It has been reported that following the Chilean judicial ruling in Limas 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. .

On January 28, 2007 Perus leading newspaper El Comercio reported that the President of the Cabinet of Ministers (Consejo de Ministros del Peru), Jorge del Castillo, expressed his grave concern over the pending maritime dispute with Chile.

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. [*]


Additional news reporting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4405402.stm Peru-Chile border row escalates (BBC 4 Nov 2005)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4531032.stm Hackers fuel Peru-Chile rivalry (BBC 15 Dec 2005)

http://www.mercopress.com/vernoticia.do?id=9821&formato=HTML Chile: Fishing boats detained in Peruvian waters (Mercopress 9 Feb 2007)

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/14656 Peruvians Don't Trust Chile

http://www.mercopress.com/vernoticia.do?id=9778&formato=HTML Chiles Foreign Ministry rejects Peru border definition proposal

See also

Atacama border dispute

List of Chilean-Peruvian controversies

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chilean-Peruvian maritime dispute of 2006-2007