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  HOME | Chile

Minister of Defense Warns Against “Entering Chile without Authorization”

SANTIAGO – Chilean Defense minister Jorge Burgos has warned of the dangers of entering the country without authorization, in response to news of a march from Peru on Wednesday to a disputed territory on the border between the two countries.

“It is always dangerous for someone to enter our territory without prior authorization,” warned Burgos late Monday, adding that, if necessary, there is a “contingency plan” in place to defend the country’s sovereignty.

The minister also said that “(crossing) in that part is even more dangerous because demining has still not been completed. It is that clear.”

A group of nationalist Peruvian organizations have announced plans to carry out a march Wednesday on the 3.7 hectare territory on the Chilean border which both countries claim as their own.

The dispute over the stretch of land worsened last week when Peru’s President Ollanta Humala presented a new territorial map that included the enclave along the border.

Speaking from the Argentine province of Neuquen, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz declared Monday that “it is an extremely delicate situation and I hope that an unfortunate incident does not occur.”

“We hope that prudence is exhibited,” said the foreign minister, adding that Chilean authorities are in touch with their Peruvian counterparts.

“In the past, Peruvian authorities have acted very responsibly and have stopped the marches before they could recklessly cross the border,” Muñoz said.

After emphasizing that “prevention is better,” the head of Chile’s diplomacy indicated that the ministers of interior, defense and foreign affairs are taking coordinated actions with regard to the matter.

“The brothers of other countries who want to enter Chile can do so through the regular procedures and enter through established border crossings,” Muñoz said.

“The doors are open. But for what they are not open is to enter illegally,” he warned.

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