Sat. Feb 29th, 2020

Bolivia tells Chile that water delivery from Silala will be under compensation

The interim government of Bolivia warned on Thursday that any delivery to Chile of the waters of Silala, on which both countries maintain a dispute in The Hague, will be prior agreement and with compensation, as Evo Morales defended during his administration.

“Any delivery of this flow to Chile would be subject to an agreement between the parties that would imply compensation,” said the Bolivian Foreign Ministry in a statement.


The note comes a day after the interim chancellor of Bolivia, Karen Longaric, met in The Hague with the secretary of the United Nations International Court of Justice, Philippe Gautier, based in this Dutch city.

The Foreign Ministry recalled that the litigation began during the government of Evo Morales and noted that then in the “countermemory” of the case “it was admitted that a part of the waters of Silala flow naturally to Chile and constitute an international watercourse” .

Bolivia will continue to defend in this controversy “the sovereignty it exercises over the channels and over the water that flows through the artificial channels,” the note emphasizes.


The Government of Evo Morales presented in 2018 a counterclaim to the lawsuit that Chile had initiated in 2016, in one of the conflicts that have clouded relations between both neighboring countries for decades.

Bolivia defends that they are a source of exclusive use of theirs but that it was artificially diverted, while Chile uses arguments such as that they are an international river that must be shared.

At the beginning of this century, the Morales Government already tried with the Chilean Executive, presided over by Michelle Bachelet, a pre-agreement that raised possible compensation between the two, but did not bear fruit.

Evo Morales defended that “compensation” in the framework of an agreement with Chile, considering that this country “took advantage” of the waters for decades.


The foreign minister was accompanied on her visit by Jaime Aparicio Otero, Bolivia’s new agent before the court, who also represents the country before the Organization of American States (OAS).

Bolivian former president Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (2005-2006), who was a Bolivian agent in The Hague with Evo Morales, asked on Twitter to avoid the “speculation” and “electoral management” of a case that “is a state issue “.

Bolivia has general elections called for next May 3, for which the interim president of the country, Jeanine Áñez, has presented her candidacy.

The Silala dispute is one of those that muddle relations between Bolivia and Chile, a country that has been without an ambassador to La Paz since 1978.

Previously they met in The Hague over a lawsuit from Bolivia against Chile to recover sovereign access to the Pacific, lost in a war against its neighbor almost a century and a half ago, but the court ruled that the Chilean side has no legal obligation to negotiate, although He urged dialogue between them.


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