President Ollanta Humala said he is confident that the International Court of Justice will rule in favor of Peru in a maritime border dispute with Chile.
The ICJ at The Hague said that it will deliver its judgment on the longstanding dispute on January 27.
“We have all the confidence and all the optimism that the judgment is going to meet the expectations of the Peruvian request,” Humala said, according to daily La Republica.
Humala said that he will receive news about the ruling in Peru and that only a special delegation of Peruvian officials will travel to The Hague to hear the judgment.
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 current 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 runs parallel to the Equator, was established under the two agreements from the 1950s, which Peru claims were only fishing treaties and that the maritime zone has never been settled.
Peru’s proposed border follows the countries’ south-western sloping border into the ocean. A map of the disputed area can be seen here.
While both Chilean and Peruvian officials have said they will respect the court’s ruling, it could create tension between the two countries and political demands and criticism within each country.
In Chile, President Piñera was scheduled at the beginning of this week to discuss The Hague’s upcoming ruling with Michelle Bachelet, who won the presidential elections on Sunday, Dec. 15. Bachelet, who was President of Chile 2006-2010, won the elections against the conservative candidate Evelyn Matthei with just over 62 percent of the vote.