Peru plans response to Chile at the ICJ over maritime border dispute in November

Peru is expected to present its rebuttal in November to Chile’s counter-memorial arguments over a maritime dispute currently at the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Foreign Affairs Minister José Antonio García Belaunde was reported as saying.

“Last month I met with lawyers for Peru, including four foreigners and ex-foreign affairs minister Eduardo Ferrero, for the first evaluation of Chile’s counter-memorial responding to the Peruvian memorial submitted to The Hague,” daily El Comercio reported García Belaunde as saying.

Peru submitted its arguments to the ICJ in March 2009 and last month Chilean representatives submitted their counter-memorial arguments a few days before President Sebastián Piñera assumed the presidency.

In January 2007, Peru began proceedings against Chile at the ICJ. The dispute dates back to the 1879 – 1883 War of the Pacific, in which Peru and Bolivia lost substantial territory to Chile. Central to the row is 38,000 square kilometers, or about 14,500 square miles, of fishing-rich sea which Chile currently controls.

Chile says the current border, which is parallel to the equator cutting west across the pacific, was established under two agreements in the 1950s, however Peru claims those agreements were fishing treaties and the maritime zone has never been delimited.

Peru’s proposed border follows the countries south-western sloping border into the ocean.

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