Bolivian President Morales Declares End to Hostile Relations With Chile

The period of confrontation between Bolivia and neighboring Chile over a territorial dispute in the Pacific Ocean is in the past after the two countries exchanged detainees, Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Monday.

July 9, the Chiefs of Police of the two countries embraced each other at a checkpoint in Tambo Quemado in the course of the return to Chile of two Caribinieri servicemen arrested on the territory of Bolivia in July 2017. 

They were detained after they crossed into the territory of Bolivia bypassing the checkpoint between the two countries in a chase of a vehicle. 

This followed a trial of 9 Bolivian citizens detained for smuggling presumably on the territory of Chile, who were expelled from the country back to Bolivia.

"With embraces in Tambo Quemado, we have overcome past animosity. 

People-to-people diplomacy unites and creates, animosity divides and destroys," Morales wrote on his Twitter.

Chile and Bolivia cut off diplomatic relations in 1978 due to the dispute over the status of the port of Arica. 

Previously, Chilean forces have occupied Bolivian territories, depriving it from the access to the Pacific ocean. 

Bolivian authorities had recourse to the International Court of Justice with territorial claims against Chile in April 2013. In 2015, the International Court of Justice rejected the Chilean claim to dismiss the Bolivian case.