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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Bolivia to be granted access to Pacific coast through Peru

(22 October 2010)

Following an initial agreement in 1992, Bolivia and Peru have signed an expanded agreement allowing the landlocked nation of Bolivia access to the Pacific coast. The 1.4 mile stretch of coast will be leased by Peru to Bolivia under a 99 year lease.

Bolivia intends to develop a new port located approximately 10 miles south of the Peruvian port of Ilo. President Evo Morales stated that this will open access for Bolivia to global markets and allow improved trading, including the development of a free trade zone, and provide an alternative to shipping exports through Chile. It would also allow a naval post to be established. The agreement, referred to as ‘Bolivamar’, is seen as a step towards strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. During the 1879-84 War of the Pacific, Chile acquired the northern portion of its territory in the Atacama Desert from Peru and Bolivia which left Bolivia without access to the Pacific coastline.

The disputed maritime boundary between Chile and Peru is being adjudicated by the International Court of Justice. It is unclear if the new agreement between Bolivia and Peru includes provisions for Bolivian rights in Peru’s maritime areas off the proposed port.

Source: ‘Peru gives landlocked Bolivia a piece of Pacific coast to call its own’, Rory Carroll, The Guardian, 20 October 2010; ‘Peru deal gives landlocked Bolivia coast for own port; BBC News, 21 October 2010; ‘Bilateral Meeting Ends with Bolivia Planning to Build Military Base in Peruvian Port’, Irenea Renuncio Mateos, IHS Global Insight, 21 October 2010