Latin America has a historical past of border disputes, however good fences are making for higher neighbours , by Romain Droog (Le Monde diplomatique

Latin America's contested borders

Latin America’s contested borders


The Colombian archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is dwelling to the Afro-Caribbean Raizal individuals, whose important supply of earnings has historically been fishing. This April, they needed to cling up their nets when the Worldwide Court docket of Justice (ICJ) dominated that the islands lie in enclaves inside Nicaragua’s territorial waters.

San Andrés is simply the most recent in a collection of border disputes in Latin America: of 18 instances pending or being heard on the ICJ, practically a 3rd concern the area. Moreover ideological, social and cultural pursuits, nationwide communities are sometimes united by exterior threats — similar to territorial disputes with their neighbours.

On paper not less than, the ideas for outlining borders as soon as appeared clear. When Latin American nations gained independence (most between 1810 and 1821), the boundaries of the newly decolonised territories had been largely preserved intact beneath the Roman authorized precept of uti possidetis juris. As an example, the brand new Empire of Brazil adopted the borders agreed by Spain and Portugal beneath the 1750 Treaty of Madrid.

Below the identical precept, nations newly unbiased from Spain preserved the boundaries that they had had as administrative models of the Spanish empire. As an example, a part of the territory of the Royal Viewers of Quito turned Ecuador, and a piece of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata turned Argentina. These younger republics, led by new creole elites, didn’t utterly dismantle the institutional (and social) constructions of their former masters.

What land belongs to whom?

However uti possidetis juris quickly created issues. Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and most of present-day Ecuador, pursuing Simón Bolivar’s imaginative and prescient of a unified Latin America, remained a single entity, the state of Larger Colombia, earlier than splitting up in 1831. Argentina, torn between the divergent pursuits of its capital and provinces, fractured into a number of totally different entities earlier than (…)

Full article: 1 972 phrases.

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