The Hague Sets Dates For Oral Arguments For Peru-Chile Maritime Dispute

December 3 is the date set for Peru and Chile to begin their oral arguments at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, over a long-time maritime border dispute, Peru’s Foreign Affairs minister Rafael Roncagliolo announced Thursday.

The hearings are expected to last until December 14, Roncagliolo said during an interview with RPP radio station.

“We have a date. The hearings are going to start with the presentation from Peruvian state’s agent, Ambassador Allan Wagner, on December 3, 2012,” he said.

Chile is to make its presentation on December 6-7, which will be followed by a second presentation by Peru and another presentation by Chile.

Roncagliolo said the court’s final decision regarding the dispute could be made in the first half of 2013. “That is what seems reasonable, although it is not certain,” he said.

Peru filed its complaint at the ICJ in January 2008.

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 two agreements from the 1950s. However, Peru claims those agreements were 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, with the disputed area marked in dark blue in the map below.


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