In light of Friday's detention of two Chilean policemen that were conducting frontier safeguard duties and their subsequent return to Chilean territory on the part of the Bolivian Government, Chilean Government would like to point out:
As soon as the detention of the policemen took place, the Chilean Government used diplomatic channels to gain access to them and their early release, by pleading on the Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation, subscribed in November 2008, for the mutual collaboration between Carabineros de Chile and Policia Nacional de Bolivia.
For said purposes, two diplomatic notes were sent and properly received by the Bolivian Chancellery, pleading their release and defending our right for consular assistance according to the Vienna Convention.
It should be emphasised that both policemen were performing their duties of border patrolling while following a suspicious car that did not stop in front of a border control and escaped by crossing the border, which was publicly acknowledged by the Bolivian government in a press release. Up until now, the suspicions car has not been located within the Bolivian territory by the corresponding authorities.
Chilean government would like to assert that this case cannot be compared with the nine Bolivian citizens detained in Chile. In the previous case, the due process followed an accusation of serious crimes placed by a representative of the Public Prosecutor Office – while using the highest evidence standards in front of an independent courthouse – and it terminated in a judicial sentence.
The relationship between the States has to be guided by International Law. The instrumentalization of border issues for propaganda purposes and ensuring the mobilization of the public opinion through provocative acts and intemperate declarations, can result counterproductive in the enforcement of the rules of law and the encouragement of suitable vicinity.
Chilean Government has always been in favour of establishing dialogue regarding specific issues of the border situation, including drug trafficking and smuggling. This has been notified to Bolivia in several previous occasions through diplomatic channels and it was conveyed personally by Foreign Minister, Heraldo Muñoz, to Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni recently.
In this sense, it would be helpful that the Bolivian Government ceases hostilities toward the Chilean people and its authorities, so as to give credibility to the prospective border agreements that could be accomplished.
The Government of Chile invites the Government of Bolivia to agree promptly, as it has been previously proposed, to the operational technical bases so as to fully implement the existing agreement regarding integrated control in the Chugará-Tambo Quemado crossing and thus improving the free transit between both countries.
Within this context, Chilean Government is available to move forward in these particular subjects and reach an understanding regarding them, as they are not issues submitted to the International Court of Justice.