When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Ecuador Wades Into Chile-Peru Maritime Dispute

A recent treaty between Peru and Ecuador could complicate matters for Chile, which is involved in a drawn-out border dispute with authorities in Lima over Pacific water rights.

Fishermen in northern Chile, near the border with Peru
Fishermen in northern Chile, near the border with Peru
Martin Delfin


EYES INSIDE
LATIN AMERICA

A historic maritime border between Chile and Peru that is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague took a new turn last week when a third country, Ecuador, decided to demarcate its sea boundaries with the government in Lima.

Peru filed a formal complaint with the ICJ in 2008, demanding its southern neighbor drop its claim to 14,500 square miles of contested, fishing-rich Pacific water.

The dispute dates back to the 19th century War of the Pacific, which involved not only Chile and Peru, but also Bolivia. During the five-year conflict Bolivia – allied at the time with Peru – lost access to the ocean. Chile and Bolivia are currently engaged in their own border dispute. Bolivian President Evo Morales threatened in March to take the Chilean government to court if negotiations faltered.

Chile cites border accords signed in 1952 and 1954 between its government, Peru and Ecuador to claim that the maritime border matter was settled long ago. But Peruvian President Alan García says those early agreements were only drawn up to establish fishing boundaries and nothing else.

The dispute heightened last week when Peru announced that it signed a new agreement with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. The deal reaffirms the Peru-Ecuador sea border as a straight horizontal line that runs parallel to the equator and stretches out from where the two countries meet. The new treaty also contains a controversial clause whereby Ecuador formally aggrees with Peru that the 1950s accords were fishing agreements – not a three-way border deal.

Peru is now hoping to use the agreement with Ecuador as a legal fodder to finally settle its dispute with Chile.

"Our theory has always been that Peru, Ecuador and Chile signed fishing agreements in 1952, but our Chilean friends have always said that these were maritime accords," President García said last Thursday. "What does it mean 60 years later now that we have signed a maritime boundary agreement with Ecuador? It means that the agreement in 1952 wasn't a maritime border accord."

Chilean lawmaker Jorge Tarud, a member of the lower house foreign relations committee, says the deal with Ecuador has nothing to do with his government's own dispute with Peru. "The judges at The Hague aren't stupid. They know the history well, and this treaty won't have any effect," said Tarud.

In an interview Sunday with the Santiago daily La Tercera, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said that in signing the agreement with Ecuador, the Peruvian government accepted the way the boundaries were originally demarcated in the 1950s. In fact, it was only recently that Peru – after respecting those accords for decades – suddenly "began to ignore" them, according to Piñera. "President Correa told me that Ecuador's position has not changed in any way."

The justices in The Hague could issue a ruling by 2013, according to Peruvian Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaunde. Chile is expected to file its answer to the Peruvian lawsuit in July.

Photo - Macha.cl

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ