Thousands of Bolivian soldiers and state employees paid homage this Friday to Eduardo Abaroa, the hero of the defense of the coastal territory in the so-called Pacific War, on the eve of the commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the loss of the Bolivian coast in that war against Chile.
An escort of the Bolivian Navy and the vice president of the country, Álvaro García Linera, led a parade to move the remains of Abaroa from the temple of San Francisco, in the center of La Paz, to the square that bears the name of the hero.
After them paraded soldiers from different units, including the Colorado Regiment of Bolivia, who participated in the Pacific War and is currently the Presidential Guard.
Then it was the turn of officials of ministries and state entities, who carried red, yellow and green Bolivian flags, in addition to the blue flags of the maritime claim.
On their way to the ballot box, the military and officials sang hymns dedicated to Abaroa, the Bolivian maritime claim and some even chanted "sea for Bolivia."
One of the delegations that paraded was that of the National Lottery, whose director, Rossio Pimentel, told Efe that the civic "spirit and fervor" in the Bolivians is intact and "the struggle of more than a century remains."
"Other generations that come to this country will continue to claim sea for Bolivia, it is a fact of justice, Bolivians are standing with more civic fervor than ever claiming our right to the sea," said Pimentel, who was also mayor of the Andean city of Oruro.
The events for the so-called Day of the Sea began with school parades throughout the country and will conclude this Saturday with the speech expected of the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, whose presence was also expected in the parade this afternoon, which finally Did not assist.
Bolivia commemorates the Day of the Sea on March 23 because on that date in 1879 the country's first resistance to what the Bolivian authorities call an invasion of Chilean troops that began on February 14 of the same year.
The commemoration is marked in this 140th anniversary by the ruling issued last October by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of The Hague, in the lawsuit filed by Bolivia against Chile in 2013.
The UN tribunal determined that Chile has no legal obligation to negotiate with Bolivia on a sovereign exit to the Pacific Ocean.
The Bolivian authorities defend that the court also states in its ruling that although Chile does not have that obligation, that does not prevent the two countries from talking.
Bolivia lost in the Pacific War about 400 kilometers of coastline and about 120,000 square kilometers of territory.