The International Court of Justice on Monday adjusted the maritime border between Chile and Peru to Lima's advantage, although it did not alter the precise coordinates or rule in favor of the initial claims - involving much more territory - made in the Peruvian suit.
"The Court concludes that the maritime boundary between the Parties starts at the intersection of the parallel of latitude passing through Boundary Marker No. 1 with the low-water line," the tribunal in The Hague said.
The new boundary "extends for 80 nautical miles along that parallel of latitude to Point A. From this point, the maritime boundary runs (southwest) along the equidistance line to Point B, and then along the 200-nautical-mile limit measured from the Chilean baselines to Point C," the ICJ ruled.
The court granted to Peru a portion of the ocean that, up to now, had been in Chilean hands, given that it recognized the existing maritime frontier running directly west from the land border for 80 nautical miles, and then the new boundary extends southwest to a spot 200 nautical miles from the coast of the two countries.
The magistrates did not establish the precise coordinates of the new boundary, however, although that was something that the parties had requested, saying: "The Court expects that the Parties will determine these coordinates in accordance with the present Judgment, in the spirit of good neighborliness."
Peru, who in 2008 took its case against Chile to the ICJ, asked the U.N. tribunal to delimit the maritime frontier in accord with an equidistant line, whereby it would stand to gain some 35,000 square kilometers (13,450 square miles) of waters in the Pacific, but the decision fell short of that goal.
The dispute has its roots in the late 19th century, when Peru and Bolivia lost territory to Chile in the War of the Pacific.
Relations between Peru and Chile are generally smooth and both governments have insisted they will not allow the boundary controversy to disrupt growing bilateral economic ties. EFE