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The Tacna-Arica Controversy

ON JULY 20, 1922, a protocol of arbitration and a supplementary act were signed in Washington by the plenipotentiaries of Chile and Peru, providing for submission to arbitration by the President of the United States of the major issue in the long-standing controversy between Chile and Peru arising out of the non-execution of Article 3 of the Treaty of Ancon, which brought to a close the war of the Pacific.

Article 3 of that treaty reads as follows:

"The territory of the provinces of Tacna and Arica . . . shall continue in the possession (continuará poseido) of Chile, subject to Chilean legislation and authority for a period of ten years from the date of the ratification of the present treaty of peace. At the expiration of that term, a plebiscite will decide, by popular vote, whether the territory of the provinces above-mentioned is to remain (queda) definitely under the dominion and sovereignty of Chile or is to continue to constitute a part (continua siendo parte) of Peru. That country of the two to which the provinces of Tacna and Arica thus remain annexed (queden anexadas) shall pay to the other ten millions of pesos of Chilean silver or of Peruvian soles of equal weight and fineness.

"A special protocol, which shall be considered an integral part of the present treaty, will determine the form in which the plebiscite is to be carried out and the terms and time for the payment of the ten millions by the nation which remains the owner (dueño) of the provinces of Tacna and Arica."

The treaty was ratified on March 28, 1884, so that under the terms of the article just quoted the plebiscite should have been held on March 28, 1894. No protocol for the execution of the plebiscite has ever been concluded, so that the plebiscite was not held on March 28, 1894, or since then, and Chile still remains in possession of Tacna and Arica. Both parties have laid claim to sovereignty over the territory in dispute, each accusing the other of the

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