From: Pav Jordan, Reuters
Published August 14, 2007 09:31 AM

Chile and Peru in Fishing Waters Row

SANTIAGO -- Chile called home its ambassador in Peru Monday as a dispute flared over disputed maritime territory between the South American neighbors.

They have bickered over the rich Pacific coast fishing waters for years, and Peru published a new map Sunday that pushes its bid to negotiate a new sea border.

Chile's government protested the move and said it was calling home its ambassador in Peru, Cristian Barros, for consultations.

"We feel that this type of publication (map) and this position certainly make more difficult a fluid bilateral relationship with the Peruvian government," spokesman Ricardo Lagos Weber said Monday.

"Chile will continue to fully exercise its rights and competencies over Chilean territory," he said.


Peruvian President Alan Garcia said in June his country would take Chile to the International Court at The Hague to resolve the case.

The sea border, set in the 1950s, starts close to the land border and cuts due west across the ocean. But Peru says it was non-binding and rob it of 14,630 square miles (37,900 sq km) of fishing waters.

Its proposed border is a southwestern sloping line that follows the diagonal land border into the Pacific Ocean.

Chile defeated Peru in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific and seized a chunk of mineral-rich territory from its northern neighbor. The two countries have strong economic ties but relations are still rocky.

The dispute over their sea border has bubbled anew over the past two years, and comes in addition to less serious disputes over the origins of everything from a dessert and a fruit to pisco, a grape liquor.

Peru and Chile are the world's top producers of fishmeal, a cattle feed, and fishing is one of the engines of Peru's economy.

(Additional reporting by Monica Garcia in Bogota; editing by Kieran Murray: Reuters Messaging:; 562 370 4252))

Source: Reuters

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