Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bolivian Soldiers Held After Straying into Chile

Off to Chilean jail. (SoyChile.cl)
Three Bolivian soldiers who crossed into Chile Jan. 25 have been arrested and remain in a Chilean jail. The three were ordered held for 15 days for entering Chile with an assault rifle. The Bolivians apparently were pursuing car thieves, which are common along the Chile-Bolivia border. The incident seems like a simple mistake by a patrol that could have benefited from a GPS device. But since Bolivia is pressing to regain territory to the Pacific, relations between the two countries have chilled. So, Chile's government is not in a forgiving mood. Bolivia's government protested that the jailing of its soldiers is a disproportionate and "unfriendly" reaction. Military entries by Bolivians into Chile aren't new. In June 2011, Bolivian troops strayed into Chile and were held for several days before being sent back home. Update: The three soldiers rejected a plea bargain and are headed to trial. Two were released but cannot return to Bolivia, while the third was ordered held under house arrest.

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