Bolivian leader steps up rhetoric over border dispute

Published on 26 Mar 2013, 6:54 Bolivian President Evo Morales has vowed once again to take a border dispute with neighbouring Chile to the Hague.

His landlocked country has long been demanding access to the Pacific Ocean.

"(Chilean) President (Sebastian) Pinera is drowning the Chilean people, because even the dictator (Augusto) Pinochet proposed a territorial exchange," said Morales.

"And for a legally and democratically elected president not to propose anything is incomprehensible," he continued.

The War of the Pacific in the late 1800s allowed Chile to annex a vast northern expanse of land from both Peru and Bolivia.

Morales has accused Chile of permanently stalling negotiations to avoid having to grant Bolivia access to the Pacific.

Verbal exchanges have been shot across the border by both countries during recent months.

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