Chile-Peru maritime dispute
The dispute over maritime boundaries is heating up, as the Peruvian Foreign Ministry declared that existing agreements between Peru, Chile, and Ecuador dealt only with fishing rights and did not establish sovereign jurisdiction. Yesterday Presidents Lagos (of Chile) and Palacios (of Ecuador) reaffirmed that the declaration of 1952 and accord of 1952 between those three countries remain fully in effect, in response to a unilateral declaration redefining maritime rights passed by the Peruvian Congress on November 3. On Monday, the commander in chief of the Chilean Army, Juan Emilio Cheyre, denied that there were any military tensions along the border with Peru. See El Murcurio Online (Chile, in Spanish).
In the race for Chile's presidency, leading candidate Michelle Bachelet, of the center-left Concertación, complained that a "campaign of terror" is being waged against her. To back this up, she cited rumors that she plans to abolish the armed forces pension system, bringing military personnel into the civilian system, and that she supposedly supports homosexual marriage. The election will be December 11. See El Murcurio Online (Chile, in Spanish).
Bolivian missile envy
Leftist presidential candidate Evo Morales is suing Bolivia's President Rodriguez and defense minister for having dismantled 30 Chinese HN-5 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, on the grounds that cooperating with the United States in this disarmament program was a betrayal of national sovereignty. Many people feared that those missiles could have fallen into the hands of terrorists. Since both officials will be out of office in the next few months, however, the lawsuit is largely moot. It is obviously a symbolic gesture aimed at demonstrating Morales' nationalistic credentials. The election will be December 18. See CNN.com.