A recent Chilean decree breaks with the principles of international law and alters the agreements reached through a bilateral treaty in 1984.
On Wednesday, Argentina's Senate approved a declaration rejecting President Sebastian Piñera's decree that expands the Chilean maritime borders.
The resolution rejects Chile's intention to extend its continental shelf, in violation of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed with Argentina in 1984 and ignoring the demarcation of the outer limit of the approved continental shelf.
The senate also rejects Chile's intent to appropriate an extensive international maritime and oceanic area, which is a Common Heritage of Humankind.
Both pro-government and opposition coalitions agreed with the Foreign Affairs Ministry's dismissal of the Chilean government decree. Despite their traditional quarrels on domestic issues, all senators came to terms with the importance of this geopolitical issue.
Chile's president is in hot water.— John Bartlett (@jwbartlett92) October 4, 2021
The #PandoraPapers leak alleges that the 3rd instalment of a multi-million $ payment Sebastián Piñera received for his stake in a mining project contained a clause requiring his government not to strengthen environmental protections at the site pic.twitter.com/TZeLZmHUUt
"Working for the country in times of rift, and being able to be united with a favorable decision, favors us before the world," Senator Adolfo Rodriguez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said.
On Aug. 27, Piñera issued a decree extending the Chilean border by 5,000 km2 over the Argentine maritime border and 25,000 km2 over the international ocean seabed. Critics argue this decree is politically motivated since Chileans will elect their new president in November.
This is not the first time that these South American countries have had conflicts over the definition of their maritime borders. For example, the 1978 dispute over the Beagle Canal, which is located at the very end of the continent, almost ended in armed conflict between Argentina and Chile. Later, however, the 1984 bilateral treaty delimited the common maritime border and specified that Chile had sovereignty over the area located in the Pacific Ocean.