Chile, Peru set date to redraw maritime border after Hague decision
Published On : Fri, Feb 7th, 2014
After marathon meeting in Santiago, Chilean and Peruvian ministers say Andean neighbors to establish fixed maritime border next month.
On Thursday, senior ministers held a 14 hour-meeting to discuss the implementation of the The Hague verdict, which settled a centuries-long maritime dispute last week.
Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Defense Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, met with Peruvian counterparts Eda Rivas and Pedro Cateriano in what is called the 2+2 meeting. Together they set a timetable for the final implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling.
Experts from both countries will work together to establish the exact coordinates in a process beginning Feb. 17 and at the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy (SHOA). A council consisting of both parties will identify exactly where the maritime border will start, the fieldwork for which will begin the first week of March. The process will conclude March 25
The ICJ verdict established a maritime border that stretches for 80 nautical miles perpendicular to the coastline. Beyond that point, Peru gains territory as the maritime limit slopes southwest, calling on Chile to hand over 12,4274 square miles which was previously been disputed.
The ruling determined Chile would maintain its control over the waters directly off its coast — and a now disputed sliver of Peruvian territory — based on an inland border marker, Hito No. 1. This delineation has brought back into dispute the land border between the two neighbors. However, this issue was not addressed Thursday, as the ministers vowed to focus solely on resolving the maritime border.
“The only thing that was discussed was that Peru pointed out that this [land] triangle is Peruvian, Chile maintains that it’s Chilean along with the sea off these coasts and that the court has determined that the sea is Chilean,” Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno told ADN Radio.
Chilean authorities also agreed to ask local courts in Arica in Northern Chile to drop charges against Peruvian fishermen detained while fishing in Chilean water.
“We hope that they have a solution by tomorrow so that these Peruvian citizens can reunite with their families and return to Peru,” Defense Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter, told Andina.
There are currently six Peruvian fishermen held in custody in Arica.
The ministers will meet again In March, this time in Lima, to finalize the maritime borders.
By Sandra Segall
Copyright 2014 – The Santiago Times