Territorial disputes in Latin America are commonplace. After all, before the Latin American countries became independent, they were all colonies - Spain, Portugal or other European countries. The main part of the territory of South and Central America belonged to Spain. Accordingly, the colonial possessions of Madrid were divided into viceroy and captaincy generals. The Vice Kingdom of New Granada included the territories of modern Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. The Vice Kingdom of New Spain was located on lands that are now part of the United States (Florida, California, Texas), Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Cuba. In addition, the Spanish colonies in the Pacific, including the Philippines, were subordinate to the viceroy of New Spain. The viceroyalty of Peru included the territories of modern Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, while the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata included the lands of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
Point in stories Spanish colonial rule in South and Central America set national liberation wars that swept the region in the first quarter of the XIX century and ended with the emergence of new independent states. During the period of national liberation wars, several commanders who became significant figures in Latin American history — Francisco Miranda, Simon Bolivar, José de San Martin, Antonio José Sucre, Bernardo O'Higgins Rikelme, and many others — were put forward at once. Despite the respect they all enjoy in Latin American countries, the first and most famous among them is Simon Bolivar. The whole country of South America, Bolivia, is named in his honor. For two centuries that have passed since the height of the national liberation wars in South America, the name of Bolivar remains the symbol of the “Latin American dream.”
Bolivar’s cherished goal was to create the United States of South America, which would become a powerful confederation, able to protect its interests and compete with North America and Europe. Bolivar hoped that Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, La Plata and Chile would be included in the South American Federation. However, the project to create South American states was originally a "stillborn child."
Simon Bolivar did not manage to overcome the resistance of the Creole elites, who did not want to share power in the controlled provinces with anyone. As a result, a number of independent states appeared on the territory of the former Spanish possessions in South America, which were in very complex relations with each other. With a certain cultural similarity, linguistic unity, similar to the ethnic composition of the population, many countries turned into real enemies during the XIX-XX centuries. repeatedly waged with each other bloody wars.
American and English capital, which were interested in the exploitation of the natural resources and economic opportunities of South and Central America, played their part in this. Naturally, the United States and Great Britain, which replaced the weakened Spain in the struggle for influence in the New World, in every way hampered genuine South American patriots and encouraged puppet regimes, for whose leaders their own power ambitions and financial interests were in the first place. In many of the bloody wars that took place on the continent, the hand of American and British companies that competed for natural resources and markets was traced.
The problem of Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean, which the International Court of Justice in The Hague refused to resolve in October 2018, dates back to the very same division of the "inheritance" of Bolivar. In 1825, the independence of Upper Peru was proclaimed, which was renamed Bolivia in honor of General Simon Bolivar. 1836 to 1839 there was a Confederation of Peru and Bolivia, which broke out as a result of the war unleashed against it, in which the confederation was opposed by the Peruvian opposition and Chile and Argentina who had not come to the aid of it, were not interested in the existence of a large neighboring state.
By the second half of the XIX century, Bolivia was a major supplier of nitrate to the world market. Saltpetre mines in the Bolivian territory were carried out by Chilean companies that closely cooperated with British capital. The influence of Great Britain in Chile at that time was very significant. However, 14 February 1878, the Bolivian government abolished tax breaks for producing saltpetre in the country Chilean companies. The Chilean leadership, which felt the support of Britain, tried to put pressure on Bolivia. However, Bolivia, which was allied with neighboring Peru and then still had access to the Pacific Ocean, threatened with the complete confiscation of Chilean enterprises.
The conflict deepened and led 14 February 1879 of the year to the capture of the Bolivian city - the port of Antofagasta by the Chilean troops. The capture of the city was facilitated by the fact that the majority of its population was Chileans by this time, so the Chilean squadron in 200 managed to seize the port very quickly. In response, 1 March, 1879, Bolivia declared war on Chile, and soon Peru, which had a union treaty with the country, joined Bolivia.
Given the complex landscape of the Atacama and Tarapac deserts, which were located on the border of Bolivia, Peru and Chile, the first stage of the war took place mainly at sea. On April 5, 1879, the Chilean fleet blocked the port of Iquique in Peru. However, on May 21, the Peruvian monitor “Huascar” sank the Chilean Esmeralda corvette, and on July 23, 1879, it captured the Rimak steamer, transporting an entire Chilean cavalry regiment. But on October 8, 1879, in a naval battle near Cape Angamos, the Chilean fleet was still able to defeat the Peruvian ships. Although the Peruvian Union corvette managed to get away from the Chileans, the Huascar monitor was captured and then converted for the needs of the Chilean fleet.
After the battle at Cape Angamos, Chile managed to gain maritime domination, which contributed to the turning point in the war. Despite the advantage in the number of troops, Bolivia and Peru could not effectively supply their units, as the sea communications now controlled Chileans. In November 1879, Chilean troops landed in the province of Tarapaca. 23 November 1879, the Chilean troops captured the city of Iquique. In the period of autumn 1879 - spring 1880. the position of the Peruvian and Bolivian troops gradually deteriorated, with the result that Chileans managed to establish control over the southern part of the Peruvian coast, and on January 17 1881, Chilean troops entered Lima. The President of Peru and the authorities fled to Ayacucho, intending to continue the guerrilla war.
Chile’s success was largely due to support from the UK, which was interested in strengthening its regional ally’s position. However, the fighting continued until the 1883 of the year, and only 20 of October of 1883 of the year a peace treaty was signed with Peru, according to which the city of Iquique with the surroundings retreated to Chile. Armistice Agreement with Bolivia was signed on 4 on April 1884 of the year in Valparaiso. Under this agreement, Bolivia gave Chile the province of Antofagasta, completely losing access to the Pacific Ocean, but in return received a compensation payment in 300 of thousands of pounds sterling and the right to free transit of goods through the ports of Chile. As for the peace treaty, it was signed between Chile and Bolivia only in 1904.
Deprivation of access to the Pacific Ocean has a very negative impact on the economic development of Bolivia. First, Chile took away the province of Antofagasta from Bolivia, where the main reserves of valuable resources — nitrates and guano — were located. Previously, the exploitation of the fields gave significant revenues to the Bolivian state, and after the province came under control of Chile, the country lost the opportunity of these revenues. Copper, silver, molybdenum, gold, lithium, iron, quartz, and iodine are mined in Antofagasta.
Secondly, Bolivian trade also came under the control of neighboring Chile, which could allow or not allow the transit of Bolivian goods through its ports. As a result, Bolivia has become one of the most socially and economically backward countries in South America. Won Chile, which received a large and resource-rich territory, and the UK, which was one of the main partners of the Chilean Republic.
For Bolivians, the return of an outlet to the Pacific is a very important and painful issue. Despite the loss of the coast, Bolivia still retains its naval forces, which are based on Lake Titicaca. The country's President Evo Morales has repeatedly stated that his country will do everything possible to achieve historical justice and regain access to the Pacific Coast. Of course, this would be very good for the country, but only international structures represented by the UN and the Hague Court are unlikely to take the side of Bolivia in the foreseeable future.
Another example of Western intervention in the political controversies in South America is the famous Chak war between Bolivia and Paraguay in the 1932-1935. It was caused by disputes of two states concerning the belonging of a part of the Gran Chaco region. Territorial contradictions appeared almost immediately after Paraguay and Bolivia became independent states. Indeed, at one time, Madrid did not draw borders between the viceroy kingdoms of Peru, which consisted of Bolivia, and La Plata, which consisted of Paraguay.
Since the Bolivarian project of creating the South American Confederation was untenable, the countries began to argue over the ownership of the border areas. Since Paraguay became an independent state in 1811 and Bolivia in 1825, Paraguayan troops were deployed in Chaco. But then Bolivia began to send military units to the region and build fortifications.
In 1928, there were reports that large reserves of oil could lurk in the Chaco. The American company Standard Oil, belonging to the Rockefeller clan, immediately became interested in the region. But the British did not waste time in vain - Shell Oil, controlled by the Rothschild clan, showed interest in Chaco. So the two leading oligarchic clans of the planet clashed in the struggle for the South American oil fields. Standard Oil provided full support to Bolivia, while the British set it on Paraguay.
With regard to direct military assistance, the Bolivians attracted German and Czech military advisers and instructors. German officer Hans Kundt even headed the headquarters of the Bolivian army. Paraguay, in turn, took advantage of the help of Russian “white” immigrants led by Major General of the Russian Army Ivan Timofeevich Belyaev, who received the rank of divisional general in the Paraguayan army. Subsequently, General Kundt recalled that he and his German comrades underestimated the Russian officers who served in the Paraguayan army.
Chak war was one of the bloodiest in the Americas. On the Bolivian side, more than 60 thousand people died and went missing, Paraguay lost 31,5 thousand people dead and missing. The war lasted for three years, but none of the countries managed to defeat the enemy. Although the Paraguayan army moved the fighting into Bolivian territory, it no longer had the strength to completely defeat the enemy. 21 July 1938, Paraguay and Bolivia signed a peace treaty by which 3 / 4 of the disputed Chaco territory paraguay departed. But the presidents of Bolivia and Paraguay put an end to the dispute between the two countries only in the 2009 year, when the treaty on the settlement of the state border was signed.
Repeatedly fought between themselves and Peru with Ecuador. The two countries are arguing over control of part of the territories in the Amazon. Like previous conflicts, this territorial dispute is rooted in the struggle of South America for independence. In the twentieth century, Peru and Ecuador fought three times - in 1941, in 1981, and in 1995. It was only in 1998 that the border between the two countries was settled.
Thus, although more than two hundred years have passed since South America fought for independence, the legacy of the colonial era is still evident in numerous disputes and conflicts between the long-independent states of the continent. And, of course, an important role in stirring up these conflicts belongs to the United States and Great Britain, which use the principle of "divide and conquer", more precisely, plunder natural resources.