International Court Settles Chile-Peru Maritime Border Dispute

By MarEx 2014-01-27 13:12:00

Chile's claim to rich fishing grounds in the Pacific Ocean, disputed by Peru, was upheld by an international court on Monday, ending one of Latin America's last big border spats.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice awarded more than half the disputed 38,000-square-kilometer patch of ocean to Peru, but Chile got the bulk of the valuable coastal fishing grounds.

A Peruvian fishing association had estimated the value of fishing in the entire disputed area at $200 million a year.

Presiding judge Peter Tomka said the maritime border between the countries would be set by a straight line extending 80 nautical miles west from the point where their land borders meet - less than the 200 nautical miles Chile wanted.

Both countries have pledged to abide by the ruling. Its economic significance pales beside the $3 billion in bilateral trade the two fast-growing countries carry out each year.

Officials in The Hague were cautious in their response to the ruling before simultaneous television addresses by the presidents of both two countries planned for later on Monday, a source told Reuters.