Bolivia rejects Chile's OAS candidate

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005

World locator map with Bolivia highlighted in green.
World locator map with Bolivia highlighted in green.

Bolivia have rejected Chile's Organization of American States (OAS) candidate for the Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, saying that he is not a consensus candidate. According to Bolivia the only consensus candidate is Mexican Luis Ernesto Derbez.

The reason behind Bolivia's rejection of the Chilean candidate is the ongoing dispute between Chile and Bolivia that began with the War of the Pacific in 1879 and resulted in Bolivia losing it's maritime border (and thus maritime access) at Atacama. Bolivia is still demanding maritime access, something Chile refuses to give. Bolivia thus believes that Mr Insulza would be incapable of finding a solution to what Bolivia feels is it's legitimate demand for maritime access were he to become the OAS Secretary General. While Bolivia believes that the OAS is the right multilateral forum to address this issue Chile claims that it is an issue between Bolivia and Chile, and should not concern other nations, a viewpoint that Mr Insulza has himself expressed.

The Bolivian ambassador to the OAS María Tamayo Arnal pointed out that in 1979 and 1989 the OAS approved resolutions stating that Bolivia's lack of maritime access was of hemispherical interest.