“There seems to be an overzealous desire to please Bolivia without measuring the impact on the business of the port of Arica itself and the anti-Chilean vision that exists on the other side,” said Marcelo, former president of Arica. Urtia Ardunate condemns. A port company warned of possible damage to state-owned ports after a diplomatic deal between Chile’s foreign ministry and neighboring countries approved a bypass for Bolivian trucks bound for ports in southern Peru.
Marcelo Urrutia Ardunate, former president of the Arica Ports Company (EPA) for 2021-2022, told the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the development of Chilean ports between Bolivia and Peru would be damaged. He called for a review of the agreed trilateral agreement that could give Arika.
The above refers to social protests against the government of Dina Boluarte, which blocked access roads to the southern maritime terminal after learning of a bypass permit by the Chilean border city for Bolivian trucks bound for ports in southern Peru, Peru.
“Given that diplomatic agreement does not require the economic impact of the port of Arica to be measured, it permits the transit of cargo to Peruvian ports, without which it could have been transferred in full. and I believe that they cannot be ignored any risks posed by Arica.The silence of the Board of the Port of Arica on this measure without consulting the region is striking and misunderstood solidarity and claims that there is no reciprocity from Bolivia.
Urrutia explained that the Chilean foreign ministry “is not understood to have sacrificed Arica for a clearly invisible national interest”. Priority should be given to a region already experiencing negative consequences from two bilateral treaties and the development of public companies such as ports, which, in addition to employing about 3,000 people, account for almost 10% of the region’s production. Interested in strengthening. direct and indirect”.
“Every ton they took from Arika was made public by the press.”
In this regard, he said, “We turn both cheeks, ignoring that Bolivia has maintained an aggressive strategy against Chile since losing its maritime dispute ruling in 2018. Successive Bolivian governments have implemented plans to bring cargo into Peruvian ports, and every tonne brought in from Arica has been made public by the press. Today is the time to bear the cost of this retaliatory strategy and correct course so that it addresses issues of concern to both countries and is mutually beneficial. ”
In this sense, he said, with this bypass, “they realize our roads are safer, as are border, logistics and port services. The Bolivian government must bear the costs that facilitated the diversion of part of the cargo to Peru simply because of geopolitical criteria. Today, we look like saviors of their bad decisions to take cargo to competing ports, but we get nothing in return that benefits the local port business. ”
Urrutia explained that historically, “there has been a temptation to turn an issue that is purely a business issue into a foreign policy issue.” That is Bolivia’s strategy, which it broke between 2018 and 2022. The refusal put an end to the development of the port of Arica. Thus ending the 20-year trend of offering the port of Arica as a bargaining chip to soften Bolivia’s claims to its landlocked lands, it does not allow commercial development and projection of our port. I did. ”
A former EPA Director said: A review of this trilateral agreement is expected in regards to the dismissal of her three key officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, implemented by the government. There seems to be an overzealous desire to please Bolivia, but it does not measure the business impact of the port itself or the anti-Chilean vision that exists from the other side.”
“Don’t look at Bolivia out of superiority or guilt.”
“For a long time, the port of Arica was viewed as a bilateral political issue, agreeing with Bolivia’s claim not to pay market interest in return for the Mediterranean Sea. The operation of the port has nothing to do with diplomatic issues. So that period has to be left behind.Free shipping works perfectly, Bolivian cargo passes through Chilean highways and doesn’t even pay tolls.Moreover, port services are efficient. They need to be paid because they operate and they have businesses and workers behind them that support them,” he said.
Equally, it is expected that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will protect the interests of the border areas. and that its final destination is a Peruvian port seems unusual. It’s time to ask him to restart trains to La Paz, almost two years after the restart was suspended, and we were unable to reach an agreement with the truck drivers who were against it. So it provides a bypass for those who oppose trains carrying freight into the port of Arica.Where does this agreement benefit Chile and Arica?