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News > Latin America

Bolivia: Morales Unveils 200km Flag to Protest Maritime Battle

  • Evo Morales leaves an offering during an inter-religious ceremony.

    Evo Morales leaves an offering during an inter-religious ceremony. | Photo: Bolivia's Vice Presidency

Published 10 March 2018

President Evo Morales unfurled the potentially record-breaking banner to commemorate Bolivia's 2013 maritime lawsuit against Chile.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has bolstered the campaign for his landlocked country to gain access to the Pacific Ocean, unfurling a 200-kilometer-long flag to commemorate the 2013 maritime lawsuit against Chile.

In the Flag For The Sea event in the city of Oruro, Morales – along with hundreds of supporters – stretched the flag from the highland towns of Sica Sica and Caracollo to the south of La Paz, a potentially record-breaking distance.  

Evo Morales: Bolivia Is "Very Close" to Access to the Sea

Morales thanked the Bolivian people for participating in the celebrations commemorating the 2013 maritime lawsuit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Chile.  

"We thank the unstoppable mobilization of our people who, with Flag for the Sea, from the Orient to the peak of the Huayna Potosi, from the Tiquina straits to Cochabamba's Christ, from the Andean Plateau to the Amazons, say to the world #MarParaBolivia (#SeaForBolivia) with Sovereignty," Morales wrote on his Twitter account.

Evo also said that March 10 would remain in the country's collective memory because "Bolivia was born with the sea, and the sea will return with sovereignty."

The ceremony began at 8 a.m., and was scheduled to end at 2 p.m. when the blue "maritime vindication" flag was measured and certified by Guinness World Records and the Military Geographical Institute.

The banner has the Bolivian colors, the Indigenous 'whipala' flag and nine stars symbolizing the nation's regions.

Morales says the flag will serve a dual purpose: to break the world record for the longest banner and to make a statement the ICJ can't overlook.

In 2013 the Bolivian government filed a lawsuit in the ICJ demanding 400 kilometers of coastline and 120,000 square kilometers rich in natural resources that were seized by Chile in 1879 during the Pacific War, which lasted until 1883.

The next hearings will take place between March 19 and 28. Bolivia's hearings are scheduled for the first two days and, after a one-day break, Chile's hearing will take place on March 22.

The lawsuit is now in its final stages, and it is estimated that within six months the ICJ will provide its final ruling.

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