During the first day of oral arguments presented by Bolivia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, the land-locked nation reiterated its position and insisted that Chile has an obligation to negotiate a sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean.
The Bolivian team stated that Chile has, in the past, offered a solution to the issue, but that it has failed to materialise such proposal. In this way, four lawyers pleaded Bolivia’s case before the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
Prior to the hearing, Chilean Foreign secretary, Roberto Ampuero, amicably greeted president Evo Morales, who had earlier taken to Twitter to remind that today, 139 years and 33 days ago, the Chilean Navy invaded the Bolivian port of Antofagasta.
“Bolivia takes to the most important Tribunal on Earth judicial and historical pleas to demand the reparation of its right to access the sea with sovereignty”, Morales wrote on Twitter.
Later, in a press conference, Morales stated that they had gone to The Hague to present their “simple, fair cause” and to show the world that Chile breaches its commitments, given that they assured during the hearing that the country has been willing to restore ocean access in the past.
Also on Twitter, Morales affirmed that Antofagasta, the area in which his country had almost 400 kilometers of coastline before the War of the Pacific came to an end, in 1883, “was, is and will be Bolivian territory”.
On the other hand, Piñera, who took office for the second time on 11 March, answered by assuring that Antofagasta “has been, is and will continue to be Chilean”.