Chile seeks world court ruling on river dispute with Bolivia

Apr 1, 2022, 7:18 AM | Updated: 7:47 am
FILE - Exterior view of the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, or World...

FILE - Exterior view of the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Chile went to the United Nations' highest court Friday to seek a resolution in a long-running dispute with its Latin American neighbor Bolivia over the use of the waters of a river that flows across both nations. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Chile went to the United Nations’ highest court Friday to seek a resolution to a long-running dispute with its Latin American neighbor Bolivia over the use of the waters of a small river that flows across both nations’ border.

Chile filed the case at the International Court of Justive in 2016 asking the court to rule that the Silala River is an international waterway, and that Chile is “entitled to the equitable and reasonable use” of its waters.

The head of Chile’s legal team, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ximena Fuentes Torrijo, told judges that the dispute offered the court “an opportunity to affirm the applicability of the basic principle of reasonable and equitable utilization in these times of increasing fresh water scarcity.”

Chile says the river originates from remote springs in the Atacama Desert in Bolivia and flows across the border into Chile, where it feeds into another river.

Chile said the “nature of the Silala River as an international watercourse was never disputed until Bolivia, for the first time in 1999, claimed its waters as exclusively Bolivian.”

Fuentes Torrijo told judges Friday that “Bolivia’s sudden about face in 1999 was not based on any scientific foundation” and appeared motivated by efforts to seek compensation from Chile for use of the Silala’s waters.

She said the case should establish that nations “have a right to the reasonable and equitable use of an international watercourse and that the law of international watercourses does not permit an upstream state to charge its downstream neighbor for controlling the flow of such a watercourse.”

Bolivia is to begin presenting its arguments on Monday. The court will likely take months to issue a decision. Its rulings are final and legally binding.

It’s not the first time the two nations have faced off at the Hague-based court. In 2018, the court’s judges ruled that Chile did not have an obligation to negotiate access to the sea for landlocked Bolivia.

Despite that ruling, Bolivia maintains that it has a right to sovereign territory giving it access to the Pacific Ocean.

Bolivia lost its only coastline to Chile during an 1879-1883 war and the nation has demanded ocean access for generations. Chile has a coastline that stretches 4,300 kilometers (2675 miles).

The cases in The Hague come amid a history of strained relations between the two countries. Bolivia broke diplomatic relations with Chile in 1978.

Chile’s new president, left-leaning former student leader Gabriel Boric, who took office on March 11, has invited Bolivian President Luis Arce to work on bilateral issues between the two countries, but warned that “Chile does not negotiate its sovereignty.”

____

Associated Press Eva Vergara in Santiago contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Albuquerque police seek car in killings of 4 Muslim men

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities investigating whether the killings of four Muslim men are connected said Sunday that they need help finding a vehicle believed to be connected to the deaths in New Mexico’s largest the city. Albuquerque police said they released photos of the vehicle suspected of being used in the four homicides, hoping […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Report: Dozens got sick after visiting Kansas splash park

GODDARD, Kan. (AP) — A new federal study said dozens of people got sick after visiting a splash park near Wichita, Kansas, last summer. The study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 21 people contracted Shigella bacteria and six others became sick with the norovirus after visiting the splash park […]
19 hours ago
A sign marks the water line from 2002 near Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Sat...
Associated Press

More human remains discovered as drought dries Lake Mead

More human remains have been found at drought-stricken Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Las Vegas, authorities said Sunday.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

North Carolina sheriff stocking schools with AR-15 rifles

MARSHALL, N.C. (AP) — When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter. Spurred by the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May, […]
19 hours ago
Republican Kentucky State Representative Savannah Maddox addresses the audience gathered during the...
Associated Press

Kentucky candidates struggle when describing 2020 election

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Republicans came to the state’s premier political event this weekend intent on winning elections in November and beyond, but some candidates aspiring to become governor had a hard time coming to terms with Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020. They gave parsed or tortured responses when asked if Democrat Joe […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Miss America 2018 Cara Mund poses for photographers on the 86th Floor Observation Deck of th...
Associated Press

Former Miss America Cara Mund plans to run for Congress

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Cara Mund, a former Miss America who gained attention by criticizing the organization near the end of her reign in 2018, plans to run for Congress in North Dakota as an independent. Mund announced her candidacy Saturday and said she would start gathering the 1,000 signatures she needs to get on […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Chile seeks world court ruling on river dispute with Bolivia