Humala and Piñera Meet in Havana after Border Ruling

President Ollanta Humala met with his Chilean counterpart on Wednesday, a couple of days after an international court ruled on a contentious maritime border dispute.

President Humala and President Sebastian Piñera met in Havana on the sidelines of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations, CELAC.

The meeting came two days after The Hague-based International Court of Justice established a new maritime border between Peru and Chile. The border established by the court gave Peru almost 50,000 square kilometers of Pacific Ocean, with Chile maintaining dominion over a third of the previously held area.

Peruvian officials had celebrated the ruling, while Chilean officials said they disagreed with it.

President Humala said that both countries reiterated on Wednesday that they would comply with the ruling. He said that Peru and Chile would gradually implement the new border.

“Today, President Piñera and I not only participated in the second CELAC summit but we also took the opportunity to talk and to maintain our position to fulfill the ruling from The Hague quickly and gradually, within a framework of good neighbors and good intentions,” Humala said.

President Piñera said, “We hope that when the ruling is fulfilled, we will leave behind a past that has divided us.”

Chile’s incoming president, Michelle Bachelet, also participate in the meeting. Elected this past month, she takes over from Piñera in March. Bachelet was President in the term prior to Piñera, from 2006 to 2010.

The border dispute has its roots in the 19th century War of the Pacific, when Peru and Bolivia lost large amounts of territory to Chile.  The land border between Peru and Chile was defined in 1929, following a plebiscite in which the Tacna region voted to return to Peru, but despite two fishing territory agreements signed in 1952 and 1954, Peru argued that the maritime border had never been drawn.  Peru took its case to The Hague in 2008.

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