Science calms the Silala stream down

Science calms the Silala stream down
Fecha de publicación: 
11 December 2022
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La Paz, Dec 12 (Prensa Latina) Following the ruling issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the waters of the Silala River, the highest authorities of Bolivia and Chile reiterated their willingness to integrate and cooperate, thanks to the enlightening role that science played in the solution of this dispute.

“Bolivia solved the controversy with a sister nation thanks to the work based on scientific studies and our international relations strategy. We will continue this work for the benefit of peoples,” President Luis Arce wrote on his Twitter account.

He added that the ICJ ratified the Bolivian right over the waters of that international stream and its sovereignty over the dismantling of international canals built on its land.

Bolivian spokesman in the Silala case, Sebastián Michel, praised the scientific method used by Bolivia to solve thelegal conflict, and urged to follow this work line to solve other 17 disputes over on border waters with the neighboring country.

In the context of the lawsuit begun by Chile in 2016, Boliviahired the international consulting firm, Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI), to conduct a technical study of the surface and groundwater flows of the Silala.

Such investigations were based on an extensive hydrogeological characterization program of the river course, which included the drilling of 29 deep wells, and the installation of various mechanisms to monitor water levels.

This work determined that “the Silala is complex in nature and is made up of a coupled system of ground and surface water that originates in Bolivia (upstream) and extends into Chile (downstream).

Michel highlighted the importance of the IHD study, as it allowed sustaining the national defense of the Silala on scientific-technical information that Chile did not have, and regardless of geopolitical pressures.

On the Chilean side, President Gabriel Boric said that “having solved the issue (of the Silala) we continue working with Bolivia and focus on what unites us and not on what separates us”.

The president highlighted the “spirit of good neighbors, cooperation and integration” between both States, and emphasized that this is the right moment to give continuity to what he called the 12-point agenda.

This is a road map agreed in 2021 by Arce and then Chilean ruler Sebastián Piñera, who opened the door to the normalization of bilateral relations, to which Boric’s government gave full support.

Taken from Orbe weekly

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