SANTIAGO – The Chilean government rejected on Saturday the enactment in Peru of a new law creating a district on the border between the two countries which, it says, “includes territory that is unquestionably Chilean,” and announced that it is sending a note of protest to Lima.
Peruvian President Ollanta Humala enacted on Saturday the creation of the La Yarada-Los Palos district in the southern region of Tacna, which has sparked controversy with Chile because it includes an area that both countries consider their own.
The Chilean Foreign Ministry, headed by Heraldo Muñoz, said in a communique that it “has learned of the enactment by the Peruvian executive branch of Law 4762, which, in creating a district identified as La Yarada-Los Palos, attributes to it a jurisdiction that includes territory that is unquestionably Chilean.”
Chile’s position will be formalized to Peru “in a note of protest aimed at protecting the interests and territory of the Republic of Chile,” the Foreign Ministry of the southern nation said.
The communique said that Chile has maintained “diplomatic channels open to handle the normal difficulties of relations between neighbors,” but regretted that the law and the Peruvian district it created this Saturday “significantly deteriorate” that relationship.
The area in dispute is called the “land triangle” and covers 37,610 sq. meters (9 1/4 acres), which both countries claim because of their different interpretations of the border treaty of 1929 and the ruling handed down in 2014 by the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, in The Hague, with regard to their maritime border.
The Michelle Bachelet government has sent four diplomatic notes to Peru in recent days and has called home for consultation Chile’s ambassador to Lima.
The Chilean government reiterated Friday that on Nov. 4, a unit of Peruvian troops showed up at the border without warning, a failure to comply with a bilateral accord that has been recorded in photographs.
The Chilean government warned Thursday that “it will not be timid” when it comes to protecting the nation’s territorial sovereignty on the border with Peru.