Former Bolivian president Evo Morales (2006-2019) highlighted that the resolutions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on the dispute with Chile over the Silala River recognize the sovereignty of his country over those waters and that this was “the product of a state policy “.
“We welcome the ICJ ruling which recognizes and consolidates Bolivia’s sovereign right over the Aguas del Silala and the artificial canals. According to the ruling, Chile “does not claim any vested rights” over the use of this natural resource” Morales said. in a Twitter thread.
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The former president also assured that the United Nations High Court ruled that his country “has the sovereign right to dismantle that infrastructure and any reduction in the flow of water from Silala to Chile will not constitute a violation” of the obligations Bolivia internationals.
“The highest court of justice in the world also determines the fair and reasonable use of the waters as part of the continued cooperation between the two countries. This ruling recognizing our sovereignty over the Silala Waters is the product of state policy,” he added. Morales.
He also thanked former ambassadors, former foreign ministers, former ministers and international experts “who have worked with dedication and patriotism on this cause”.
In March 2016, while he was president, Morales announced that he would file a lawsuit with the ICJ over what he considered Chile’s abusive use of the Silala water resource.
However, Chile was early and filed a lawsuit in June of that year in the same court to defend its theory that it is an international waterway that must be shared, to which Bolivia responded with three counterclaims.
The ICJ stressed this Thursday in its ruling that it “is not called upon to make any decision” on the dispute between Bolivia and Chile over the Silala waters, as the parties agree that it is an international channel.
The court found that most of the complaints and issues were resolved during the trial and answered all points with: “It no longer serves any purpose, and therefore the court is not called upon to make any decisions.”
The Silala originates in springs in the Bolivian department of Potosí and crosses the border in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest regions on the planet, until it flows into another channel in Chile.
The Silala controversy has further eroded already acrimonious bilateral relations over Bolivia’s centuries-old maritime claim to sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean, lost in a late 19th-century war that also reached court in The Hague.
In 2018, the court ruled that Chile has no legal obligation to negotiate with Bolivia, although Bolivian authorities understand the ruling does not prevent dialogue.