Tensions Rise Between Bolivia and Chile after U.S. Military Carries Out Exercises on the Border

August 23, 2016

August 15, 2016 (Panampost)  President of Bolivia Evo Morales used his Twitter account this week to denounce the “joint military maneuvers between Chile and the USA” bordering his country.

The conflict and tension between the two countries has increased this year, mostly originating from Bolivia’s claim to a passage to the sea.

Morales has claimed Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca received poor treatment when he visited Chilean ports and the Silala River.

Joint military operations between the US and Chile in the Bolivia frontier. Is there something old invaders need to learn?

He then referred to the Global Peace Index 2016 presented by the Institute for Economics and Peace, where tranquility was measured in 163 countries. In that study, Chile was ranked as the most peaceful country in Latin America.

Is Chile the most peaceful or the most privatized of Latin America? Who owns education, health, mining, forests, water, sea, ports?

Morales’ complaint is based on the “maneuvers” that more than 1,000 US and Chile military performed in late July under the name, “Combined Joint Southern Star Exercise,” in which the Armed Forces of Chile carried out mock operations for UN peacekeeping.

Some of the activities were done in “hostile territory.” Various infiltration tasks, hostage rescue, parachute jumps, medical evacuations and night operations, among others, were also done. In 2007, it was the first time these activities were carried out as part of a plan to strengthen military ties and rapprochement between the US and Chile.

In June, Morales said that “the Chilean Army is under the control of the Armed Forces of the United States.” The Ministry of Defense of Chile said exercises will always be accompanied by American troops to ensure compliance with the law.

When the exercises were completed, the Chilean Agency for International Development Cooperation said Chile was planning to carry out a program of cooperation with Bolivia, which unfolds through technical assistance and human capital formation.