Monday, January 27, 2014

Tempers Flare in Chile After Border Ruling, but Military Largely Quiet

The new border
The International Court of Justice issued a ruling today that redraws the maritime border between Chile and Peru, handing Peru more than 20,000 square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean that belonged to Chile. The court denied Peru's claim to a much larger piece of the ocean, but the decision is being widely viewed in Chile as a victory for Peru. Indeed, Chilean politicians seems to be on the defensive, and there have been protests in Santiago and Arica. On social media, some Chileans are lambasting Peruvians, with typical nationalist fervor. Chile's government lamented the ruling, but reiterated that it will abide by the decision. It added that even with the loss of territory, Chilean fishermen keep most of the important fisheries. That hasn't appeased fishermen in Arica, however. On the military front, the only significant military movement was in the Chilean Navy, which set out to sea just days before the ruling, ostensibly for routine exercises. Chilean travel to Tacna, the Peruvian border city, slowed sharply last weekend. But no one expects any shots to be fired. There are some scenarios I've pondered that could inflame the crisis. For example, what it a Chilean fishing boat defies the ruling and is apprehended by Peruvian forces? Would Chile defend the fishermen? Likewise, would Chile immediately allow Peruvian fishing boats into the area? Would a treaty be required to formalize the court decision? If so, would Chile's Congress ever approve it? One conclusion is clear: For President Sebastián Piñera, it was a political defeat that capped a problematic four-year administration. Update: Peru wasted no time asserting its sovereignty over the new territory, sending its navy into the area.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHIT the ICJ ruling Chile will lose more than 50thousand Sq-

Km of sea. Their Politician now are trying to make-up the results in order not to look too bad. The ICJ in an act of mercy gave some consolation present when they gave only 80 Miles from the Point #1. To deflect south from it. So the ruling destroyed objetively the Chile argument that the two fishing agrement were treaties otherwise the ruling would be maintained the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain that?

Anonymous said...

Cool-down and come to terms with the new reality, no matter what, get used with the new maritime border drawing.