Bolivia Marks its Ongoing Battle for Access to the Sea


Evo Morales called on Chile for the return of Bolivia's former Pacific Ocean access.

Bolivian President Evo Morales led celebrations for the landlocked nation's Sea Day, calling for access to Pacific seaports lost in a late-19th-century war.

The day marked 136 years since Bolivia lost its coastline in a battle with Chile, which took over 120-thousand kilometers of land, including 400 kilometers of coast, and many of the world's top copper reserves.


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"We not only remember and honor the memory of our heroes, but also today the Bolivians who have a firm conviction … for justice, for rights, that the Pacific should be returned to us," Morales told a large crowd in La Paz.

"Today, March 23, we Bolivians are more united than ever in the certainty that we have advanced in our most important objective, our maritime reintegration. We have advanced in taking our case to the highest tribunal created by humanity in order to resolve controversy through peaceful means."

Bolivia has taken its demand to the Hague and from 4-8 May, both nations will present their arguments regarding rights to the land in question.


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"The republic of Chile has, by means of its highest powers and on several occasions, promised publicly and formally to allow Bolivia sovereign access to the sea," Morales continued.

He concluded, "This promise was born of the recognition of the nation's obligation and conscience among various Chilean authorities of the enormous damage caused to Bolivia in appropriating its rich and extensive coastline and vast maritime territory."