Peru’s foreign minister says Bolivia’s access to the sea is already provided for in the treaty

Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 09:06 UTC

“Tomorrow they will publish headlines in the newspaper that Pedro delivers the sea to Bolivia, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Castillo had said.

Peru’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Wednesday regarding Bolivia’s potential access to the Pacific Ocean, following remarks by President Pedro Castillo in a radio interview with CNN in which the head of state sparked controversy on this sensitive issue.

“The conditions of access are provided for in the framework agreement for the binational project of friendship, cooperation and integration ‘Gran Mariscal Andrés de Santa Cruz’ and the other ILO agreements on free and touristic zones , signed by the two countries on January 24, 1992,” the Peruvian diplomatic administration said.

“The efforts to offer better conditions for the transit of Bolivian people and goods through Peruvian territory and ports respond to a historical position of Peru which, in no case, can be interpreted as affecting our sovereignty”, also underlines the document. He also pointed out that the agreements allow Bolivia “to benefit from a set of facilities in the said Peruvian port and in the special economic zones that have been created to favor the development of the south of our country, while facilitating trade Bolivian exterior”.

Peru “promotes and defends the values ​​and interests of the State on the international scene based on the full exercise of its sovereignty and on the basis of the security and integrity of its territory”, we also read in the press release. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peru has “repeatedly expressed its broadest spirit of solidarity and understanding in relation to the situation of isolation that affects Bolivia”.

“Peru’s action abroad is based on full respect for the Constitution and international law, in particular on faithful respect for the treaties to which the State is a party, as well as on a permanent desire to strengthen relations with friendship, cooperation and integration with neighboring countries”, indicates the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Castillo admitted during the interview that some time ago he came out in favor of Bolivia’s access to the sea and said the idea should be put out for consultation. [through a plebiscite]. After these remarks, Castillo was widely criticized by most political parties in Peru.

“I’m not telling you that I’m going to give you the sea for Bolivia (…) Now we’re going to come to an agreement, we’re going to consult people. For that, people have to come forward,” Castillo had said during the interview.

The president of Bolivia’s lower house, Freddy Mamani, praised Castillo’s “predisposition”, which “certainly shows your democratic spirit and your desire to strengthen brotherhood among peoples”, he wrote on Twitter.

But the president of the Peruvian Parliament, María del Carmen Alva, told Castillo that “the territory of the State is inalienable and inviolable”, in accordance with Article 54 of the Peruvian Constitution: “The territory of the State is inalienable and inviolable. It includes the ground, the subsoil, the maritime domain and the airspace which covers them”. National sovereignty and the Constitution are respected,” Alva wrote on Twitter.

“Tomorrow they will come out with headlines in the newspaper that Pedro delivers the sea to Bolivia, but that doesn’t matter to me, because I came to do the will of the Peruvian people,” Castillo had feared during the CNN interview.

However, Popular Force Congressman Ernesto Bustamente recalled that the Peruvian Congress’ Foreign Relations Committee had already declared former Bolivian President Evo Morales persona non grata for his interference in the country’s internal affairs seeking of an exit to the sea.

Deputy Rosselli Amuruz of Avanza País called for Castillo’s resignation after acknowledging that he was unprepared for the position. “Our country cannot go aimless, have a person whose position is too great for him who admits that he is not ready to govern: An admission from the side, a relief from the obvious: resign, Mr. President,” Amuruz said.

In accordance with the agreement signed in 1992 by Presidents Alberto Fujimori and Jaime Paz Zamora, Peru granted Bolivia a 99-year concession for the southern port of Ilo, which guarantees Bolivia not only access to this terminal on the Pacific, but also the development of a free zone. and tourist.