Courtesy Reuters

A Possible Settlement of the Tacna and Arica Question


According to the agreement between Chile and Peru, the documents setting forth the contentions of both parties shall have been submitted by September 14th for consideration and adjudication by the United States. Bolivia has in vain attempted to have her claims to the recovery of a sea port taken into consideration at the same time. Yet it is evident that unless she too can obtain satisfaction a final settlement cannot well be expected. Without attempting to forecast what the decision of the American arbitrators is likely to be after they have examined and weighed the evidence, FOREIGN AFFAIRS ventures to put forward a suggestion of its own which it believes is at least worthy of consideration and might prove helpful in reaching a solution that shall be equitable as well as permanent. It should be kept in mind that the territory the cession of which is provided for is largely desert and very sparsely inhabited.


1. Bolivia to receive a strip of territory of ten kilometers on each side of the railway from the present Bolivian frontier to the Pacific Ocean.

2. The portion of the district of Tacna south of the railway strip to go to Chile, the portion north of the strip to go to Peru.

3. Peru to remit the whole of the payment of the ten million pesos, stipulated in the Treaty of Ancon, and to pay Chile for the cost of the Tacna-Arica Railway, said cost to be determined by American arbitrators.

4. The city of Arica to be made a free port.

5. Bolivia to cede to Chile the territory southwest of a line beginning on the Andes at a point about 45 kilometers west of San Pedro de Quemes and terminating at the Argentine frontier about 45 kilometers south-east of San Pablo.

6. Bolivia to cede to Peru her territory north of the Madre de Dios River.

Advantages to Bolivia: Access to the sea through a territory and port of her own.

Advantages to Peru: The recovery of

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