Bolivia Begins Plan to Reclaim Lost Territory
The landlocked country of Bolivia has found itself embroiled in yet another dispute with neighboring Chile over lost territory.
As a result of the 1879 – 1884 War of the Pacific between Bolivia and Peru against Chile, Chile annexed 120,000 square kilometers of Bolivian territory, causing Bolivia to be one of two landlocked South American countries, the other being Paraguay.
On March 19, the government of Bolivia plans to present its demands to the International Court of Justice.
In a press statement, President Evo Morales said, “We will show the International Court of Justice and all people on the planet that our cause is just, reasonable, and sound.”
Several months ago, Morales said that Chile had agreed to give up a 10-kilometer corridor to Bolivia in 1975, which would recover Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean.
Chile responded, stating that there is nothing to negotiate and that “its sovereign borders are fixed through a treaty after the war.”
To symbolize the potential reannexation of territory, the government of Bolivia created an enormous flag stretching approximately 200 kilometers with a width of three meters.
The flag is blue with various Bolivian symbols throughout.
On Saturday, thousands of Bolivians carried the flag alongside a stretch of highway in Bolivia. The spontaneous march was a way to provide support to the legal team who had to present the case to the International Court of Justice.
Morales thanked all those who held the flag in support via Twitter: “I thank the thousands of brothers and sisters that united 196.5 km of the flag of Maritime Vindication, as a historical and insuperable symbol of our unity to demand #Mar Para Bolivia (Sea for Bolivia) with sovereignty.”
The Bolivian government claims the flag extends between the two Bolivian cities of La Paz and Oruro. If the statement is correct, this would make it the largest flag in the world. The Guinness World Records commented that they do not intend on certifying whether the claim is valid or not.