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Bolivia Accuses Chile of Lying to United Nations About Ocean-Access Dispute

By: Karina Martín - Sep 22, 2017, 3:32 pm
(Flickr)
According to Morales, Chile is using their diplomatic message in an attempt to deny Bolivia their ocean territories.  (Flickr)

EspañolBolivian President Evo Morales accused Chilean President Michelle Bachelet of lying to the United Nation about its demands for access to the ocean.

“The government of Chile again tries to deny #MarParaBolivia and lies to the UN,” Morales tweeted. “The truth can’t be denied about what they have done concerning the waters of Silala.”

Morales was referring to the Silala River along the two countries’ borders, which is just one of many water-related disputes the two countries have had in recent years. According to Chile, the Silala, which originate in the Bolivarian territory of Potosi and flows across the boarder into Chile’s Antofagasta territory, is an international river.

Bolivia however, has insisted it has the right to use 100 percent of the waters there, and is therefore suing Chile in the International Court of Justice in hopes that a ruling will force Chile to cede its use.

Chile made a statement to the United Nations General Assembly this month about Bolivia’s desire for access to the Pacific Ocean that Morales considered inappropriate, as bilateral issues, he said, can be handled outside of “multilateral” forums.

“We have never used any multilateral forum to talk about bilateral issues,” Chilean said in response to what it called “unfounded legal statements and historical misconceptions that President Morales has issued.”

“The dialogue between Chile and Bolivia can only be carried out on the basis of full respect for international treaties and international law,” the Bachelet administration said. “However, Morales insists that his claim to sovereign access to the sea ‘is based on truth, law, justice and history.'”

The Bolivian President also said he was confident the International Court of Justice ruling on the issue would side with his country.

The #SeaForBolivia claim is founded on truth, law, justice, and history. The ICJ will side with us, the rest is history.

As officials of both countries continue to trade criticisms, they are also preparing for opening statements at the Silala River trial, which should resolve the conflict for good.

Sources: El Deber, La Tercera, Los Tiempos, MonteCarlo.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.