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The Beagle Channel: Conflicts between Argentina and Chile

The world prefers democracies to resolve their borderline conflicts, not dictatorships.
41-El Canal de Beagle: conflictos entre Argentina y Chile
| 27 October, 2019 |

The geographical concept of “frontier”; has a paradoxical limitation: the invisibility. It is true that many countries have established borders by natural accidents. Brooks, rivers, canyons, mountain ranges. Despite this, in some cases the lines that delimit the neighborhood of the territories, are the result of agreements political. That is why most borders end up subjectively, although they must be placed between very strict parallels and meridians.

In America the doctrine ofuti possidetis juris remained in force at least until 1881. It means that the regional divisions drawn up by the Spaniards did not change for long.

A this respect we must admit that the world is divided into countless coordinates to be understood, conceived and, moreover, conquered.

Regarding the doctrine of uti possidetis juris applied in America, the borders between countries are discussed from the days of Christopher Columbus. Two years after the discovery, an agreement was signed between Portugal and Spain to share the New World. The firm went ahead in Tordesillas. It consisted in agreeing that Spain ‘s interests should not exceed those of Portugal. Similarly, Portugal’s interests should not be extended to the discovery of Columbus. Ignoring the continental magnitude, a “pole to pole” line was drawn that would divide the lands of the Atlantic between the two empires.

From that day on, Chile and Argentina were on the Spanish side. However, very complex was its geopolitical configuration. It would seem simple to say that everything on one side of the Andes is Argentine and what is on the other is Chilean.

But… such a obviousness ended up being unusually confusing. Each of the boundaries between the two countries is located between impassable mountains and canals of maze navigation.

Problems in this aspect began already in the days of Magellan, when Elcanoinsisted on find the Pacific. How could borders be delimited in the ocean?

The Beagle Channel became a conflict long before the discussions that were close to lead us into armed conflict.

Precisely, when Chile’s conquest took place and its territories expanded south, Argentina also decided to explore Patagonia and extend its influence territorial.

As a emulating the Tordesillas agreement, a bilateral treaty of forty articles and an introductory one, was signed in 1856. Marking a clear division of the Andean mountain range, reads as follows:

“ There will be unalterable peace and perpetual friendship between governments of the Republic of Chile and the

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