The Maritime Dispute Before the International Court of Justice: The Bolivian Arguments


Monday, September 25, 2017, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CGIS South, S020, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Carlos Diego Mesa, Former President of Bolivia (2003-2005); International Spokesman of the Bolivian Maritime Cause in The Hague

Moderator: Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University 

For more than a century the diplomatic relationships between Bolivia and Chile have been conditioned by the Pacific war (1879-1883) where Bolivia and Peru confronted Chile. As a product of the war Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean. This country has not renounced to the right of regaining sovereign access to the Ocean. In 2014, Bolivia presented a demand before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague Netherlands. In 2015, the ICJ declared itself legally qualified judge on the case and the countries are now waiting for the final verdict of the Court. The former President of Bolivia and current international spokesman of the Bolivian maritime cause in The Hague Mr. Carlos Mesa will expose the arguments behind the demand of his country and the potential implications of the ICJ´s verdicts. The event seeks to inform the academic and student community in the Boston area about an issue regarded as highly relevant for the relationships between Bolivia Chile and Peru.

Mr. Mesa is a former constitutional President (2003- 2005) and Vice-president (2002-2003) of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Since 2014 he is the international spokesman of the Bolivian Maritime Demand before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Mr. Mesa is also an intellectual figure in his country. Author of nineteen books and dozens of documentaries many of them regarded as fundamental to understand the contemporary history of Bolivia he won the Journalism prize “Rey de España” (1994) and National Journalism Prize of Bolivia (2012). Mr. Mesa is a regular contributor of open editorials in local and international media.

Presented in collaboration with the Harvard Kennedy School Latin American Caucus. This event will be in Spanish.