Chile Denies Visa to Bolivian Defense Minister

SANTIAGO – Chile has denied visa to Bolivia defense minister Reymi Ferreira after he boycotted the Chilean products and offensively referred to the President of the Republic.

Speaking to journalists covering the stay of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz revealed that his government decided to rebuff the entry of Reimy Ferreira to Chile.

Exposing the issues in disagreement with the head of the Bolivian Defense, Muñoz said categorically that he will not tread Chilean soil.’

“He (Ferreira) has been one of the most damaging people for two-way relations between Chile and Bolivia,” the Chilean minister added.

Ferreira, on the other hand, refused to apologize to Chile, arguing Tuesday that he never said any of the comments he was accused of saying about its southern neighbor after Chile denied entry to the state official who was intending to visit the nine people arrested by Chilean authorities last week.

The controversy is part of a diplomatic spat that started when two Bolivian soldiers and seven customs agents were arrested at the border by Chile. Authorities argue that they were arrested on Chilean territory over armed robbery and contraband.

Whereas, Bolivia maintains they were fighting contraband on Bolivian territory, therefore interpreting their arrest as a “kidnapping.”

Reymi Ferreira was reportedly scheduled to arrive in Iquique, in northern Chile, on Monday to visit two military officials and seven customs officials in Bolivia which has been arrested since March 19.

Bolivian citizens are in a prison at Alto Hospicio by court order which is investigating them for illegal crossing of territory, smuggling and robbery, among other crimes.

The judge in charge of this case decreed preventive detention for 120 days to carry out the procedure, after the arrest of nine Bolivians in the border area of Colchane, where they allegedly raided a vehicle, according to the Chilean counterpart.