LA PAZ – Peru will cede to Bolivia 3,000 square meters (about 32,700 square feet) of territory in the Pacific port of Ilo for the construction of an annex for the Bolivian naval academy, the official ABI news agency reported on Monday.
ABI cited the Peruvian ambassador in La Paz, Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros, as saying that next Sunday in Ilo there will be a ceremony to lay the first stone of the building.
The ceding of territory comes in response to the protocol signed Oct. 19 in the port city by the presidents of Bolivia and Peru – Evo Morales and Alan Garcia, respectively – broadening a bilateral accord signed in 1992.
Bolivia lost its Pacific coastline to Chile in a 19th-century war that pitted La Paz and Lima against Santiago.
Chile has repeatedly refused Bolivian demands for a sovereign outlet to the Pacific.
The Bolivian naval annex in Ilo will house some 250 troops, including students, instructors and support personnel, and the protocol also authorizes vessels of the Bolivian navy to navigate in the area for cooperative and training purposes.
In addition, Peru renewed for 99 years Bolivia’s right to use the port facilities and free transit through Ilo for Bolivian exports and opened up the possibility of setting up industries in the port’s Free Zone. EFE