Tuesday, May 12, 2015
New Defense Minister Backed Bolivia in Territorial Dispute
Chile has a new defense minister after President Michelle Bachelet shuffled her cabinet. Jose Antonio Gomez, the former head of the Ministry of Justice, replaced Jorge Burgos. Gomez's resume has little in terms of military affairs, other than the time he served on a defense committee when he was a senator. But the most troubling part of his background is that in 2011 he advocated yielding Chilean land so Bolivia could recoup its access to the Pacific Ocean. After assuming his new post, Gomez quickly backed away from his controversial position. He called his remarks as those of "another era," before Bolivia took Chile to the International Court of Justice over its access to the sea. That case is being argued now. With a background in law and human rights, Gomez doesn't seem like a good fit for the top civilian defense post. His sympathy for Bolivia doesn't strengthen his credentials, either.