SANTIAGO – With just few weeks left until the International Court of Justice´s verdict over the maritime conflict with Bolivia, president Piñera met up with former presidents Ricardo Lagos and Eduardo Frei today. Possible outcomes of the trial in The Hague were discussed, along with consequences and predictions. Earlier, president Piñera met up with the council of former foreign ministers.
Both former presidents Lagos (2000 – 2006) and Frei (1994 – 2000) reflected on the situation, as through their respective terms they already encountered problems with their Bolivian counterparts on the maritime dispute. Bolivia lost during the War of the Pacific in the 19th century a significant part of coastal territory to Chile and has gone to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, because they say that Chile has not kept promises to negotiate over sovereign access, such as a land corridor and seaport. As Bolivia still has their navy, although they don´t have sea access, they want their coast back in order to be able to export their minerals and gas.
After the meeting, former president Lagos said that he believes “there will be no surprises” in what the ICJ will determine. He said both countries should await with tranquility the verdict of the International Court. He regretted that during his proper term, there was never any progress made with the six different Bolivian presidents he discussed the theme with.
Former president Frei said he expected the ICJ in The Hague to respect international treaties, thus expecting a positive outcome for Chile.
— Prensa Presidencia de Chile (@presidencia_cl) September 25, 2018
Vice President of Bolivia expects a “catastrophic defeat” for Chile
Meanwhile, Álvaro García Linera, the vice president of Bolivia, said he expected Chile to suffer a “catastrophic defeat” at the International Court of Justice of The Hague. During a press conference today in La Paz, Linera said: “Chilean diplomacy has lost the north, that is why it is aggressive and shows its weakness, it is clear that they are very worried”.
He went on by saying that “both history and truth can´t be ignored. Sooner or later, truth and justice always prevail. Bolivia maintains a very solid position as a country and we have publicly manifested our position.”
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.