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Peru: Deteriorating International Relations with Bolivia

Lately, the Bolivian President Evo Morales is not on good terms neither with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan García, nor with Peru in general. The impasse has been caused by the asylum granted to former Bolivian ministers in Peru, as well as some recent statements by Morales about the lawsuit presented at the International Court of Justice in the Hague regarding the maritime boundary with Chile. Morales insinuated that Peru presented this lawsuit to prevent Bolivia from achieving its long-awaited access to the Pacific Ocean. Bloggers have not delayed to give their opinions.

Photo by Journey 1972 and used under Creative Commons license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thejourney1972/3389473220/

Photo by Journey 1972 and used under Creative Commons license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thejourney1972/3389473220/

Luis Alberto Chavez of Polithika [es] writes about his opinion about the position from the Bolivian president, especially after reading an interview in the international press:

Sumiso ante Chile y provocador con el Perú. Así se muestra Evo Morales en la entrevista ofrecida al diario chileno La Tercera. No opina sobre coyuntura política chilena, se expresa con amabilidad cuando recuerda sus primeros tratos con el Presidente Lagos y la agenda de 13 puntos que mantiene con el país del sur. Con el Perú, en cambio, se va de boca. Se encona. Llega al extremo de decir que tiene información de que nuestro país perderá en la demanda por establecer el límite marítimo planteado ante La Haya. Alucinante. Evo está en el mejor momento de su relación con Chile y al mismo tiempo en el peor con el nuestro, traicionando lo que ha sido siempre el comportamiento del pueblo boliviano.

Submissive to Chile and provoking with Peru. That is how Evo Morales appears during the interview with the Chilean newspaper La Tercera. He doesn't provide an opinion on the political situation in Chile, speaks with kindness when recalls his first dealings with President Lagos and the 13-point agenda that remains with the country to the south (Chile). With Peru, however, he runs his mouth. He becomes tough. Goes so far as to say that he has information that our country will lose the case at The Hague for establishing the maritime boundary. Amazing. Evo is at the best moment of his relationship with Chile, while at the worst with Peru, betraying what has always been the behavior of the Bolivian people.

Cesar Reyna of the blog Reserva Moral [es] sees the reason why Morales makes these types of statements:

Si opinó provocativamente fue para crear un incidente que justifique la ruptura de relaciones diplomáticas (al buscar la reacción de las autoridades peruanas). Culpar a Perú de que sus acciones legales obstaculizan las aspiraciones bolivianas de obtener salida al mar también le sirve para transmitirle a su electorado que las negociaciones con Chile se han estancado por motivos ajenos a su gestión. Ambas lecturas de la situación son válidas porque el mandatario altiplánico mencionó que su país podría romper relaciones con el nuestro a raíz de la concesión de asilo a tres ex funcionarios del Gobierno de Sánchez de Losada. Evo ha calculado cada una de sus palabras -aunque no lo parezca- ya que después de retirar a su embajador en Lima el siguiente paso sería desmembrar a la CAN (Comunidad Andina de Naciones).

If he made provocative statements, it was to create an incident to justify the severance of diplomatic relations (looking for the reaction of the Peruvian authorities). Blaming Peru for its actions hinders Bolivia's aspirations for an outlet to the sea, it also tells his electorate that negotiations with Chile have been stalled for reasons because of reasons out of its control. Both readings of the situation are valid because the Bolivian president said that his country might break off relations following the granting of asylum to three former officials of the government of Sánchez de Losada. Evo has calculated every word, but it already appears that after withdrawing its ambassador in Lima, the next step would be to dismantle the CAN (Andean Community of Nations).

At El Blog Que Tal Raza [es], the blogger focuses on previous statements made by Morales on the subject of former Bolivian ministers who were granted asylum in Peru:

Quiere demandar al Perú ante La Haya por conceder asilo a ex ministros. El anuncio del presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, sobre una eventual demanda contra el Perú ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia de La Haya, para revertir el asilo concedido a los tres ex ministros bolivianos del gobierno de Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, es considerado “una posición de ignorancia” por parte de expertos y autoridades peruanas, quienes señalan que de concretarse dicha querella el mandatario boliviano hará un “papelón internacional”.

He wants to sue Peru at The Hague for granting asylum to former ministers. The announcement by the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, on a possible suit against Peru before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in order to reverse the asylum granted to three former ministers of the government of Bolivia Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, is considered a “position of ignorance “by the Peruvian authorities and other experts, who note that the Bolivian lawsuit will be an “international embarrassment.”

Finally, at the blog Renatto Real Politik [es] doesn't believe that the Bolivian people share Morales’ opinions about their neighbor:

Me causa bastante extraneza que Evo Morales sea tan “amistoso” con los chilenos. Yo no se… pero, ¿Por qué tanto afin con el pueblo sureño? Esta claro que la ambición de todo gobernante boliviano, post “Guerra del Pacifico” quizo, a todo costa, recuperar la salida al mar. ¿Qué dirán los bolivianos? No, realmente no creo que los bolivianos compartan el sentimiento “antiperuano” de Evo Morales.

I am quite surprised that Evo Morales is so “friendly” with the Chileans. I don't know … but why so much affection for the Chileans? It is clear that the ambition of every Bolivian president, after the War of the Pacific is perhaps, at all costs, to recover the sea. What do the Bolivian people say? No, I really do not think that the people share the “Anti-Peruvian” feelings of Evo Morales.

For more information in Spanish, Guillermo Tejada Dapuetto has collected several newspaper articles [es] on the subject. Also the post by Silvio Rendón at Gran Combo Club [es] provides links to previous posts analyzing the complicated relationship between Peru, Chile and Bolivia. For now, it is still far too early to know the consequences of the above statements, but officially both Chile and Peru have remained cautious in this regard.

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