The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague has issued a long- awaited ruling. This week it found that Chile did not have a legal obligation to negotiate sovereign access to the Pacific for Bolivia, which lost 400km of coastline, leaving it landlocked, after the War of the Pacific (1879- 1883). The ruling on what remains a deeply emotive and nationalistic issue in both countries is a major blow to President Evo Morales whose government filed the case in 2013. It could damage his prospects of regaining power for another four-year term in the October 2019 general election, especially given the contentious nature of his re-election bid.

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