Bolivia Presents Case to Reclaim Coast before International Court

EspañolBolivian President Evo Morales has presented legal documents in support of his country’s case against Chile at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in an effort to recover the coastal territories lost after the Pacific War (1879-1883). The legal battle began when Morales initially filed the case with the ICJ in April of 2013.

During a press conference on Tuesday, the Chilean minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, stated the government would examine the documents. Ever since the Bolivian head of state announced in 2011 that he would pursue legal action regarding the long-standing sea access claim, Chile’s position has been to point to a 1904 treaty signed by both countries where they mutually recognize the limits of their territories.

However, on Wednesday, Muñoz called the case against Chile “contrived,” following the tone taken by former President Sebastián Piñera, who in February threatened to abandon the Pact of Bogotá which grants the ICJ its jurisdiction. During a radio interview today, President Michelle Bachelet also called for the observance of signed international treaties.

Evo Morales stated that Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean is a right and a precondition for developing conversations between the two countries, which broke off diplomatic relations in 1978. The President of Bolivia was optimistic and said, “I have confidence in Michelle Bachelet [and] in her party, a socialist party.”

Chile’s legal representative in the ICJ, Felipe Bulnes, has until February 18, 2015, to submit a formal response.

Source: Santiago Times and El Deber.

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