After the tunnel, the sea
Bolivia lost its sea acces in the war of the coasts of Peru between 1879 and 1883 against Chile. This war is known as the Pacifc War.
To the north of its borders, Chile attack Peru and Bolivia: first time between 1836 – 1839, and a second time between 1879 – 1883. The first conflict aimed to prevent the union between Peru and Bolivia. The second time was to obtain some lands, richs in nitrate, a substance usully used in that time, to make explosives and fertilizers.
The English government suport that Chilean expansion in this fraticide war just for oppose agreements between Bolivia and the II German Reich, who provided Bolivian nitrate and financed its mining development.
Today, without sea acces, Bolivia can not export its natural gas independently for all the Pacific Asia.
Three Chilian architects imagined one technical daring project to give Bolivia a sea acces: a tunnel. With a lenght of 150km thats starts in Bolivia emptying in an artificial Bolivian island in the midle of the sea, who will be a three-national sea and will solve the conflicts between Peru and Chile too.
The relationships between Chile and its northern neighbors were complicated. Peru has filed a lawsuit against Chile on their maritime boundary. And Bolivia continues to demand acces to the sea. This situation raises some thorny political issues.
With this tunnel, Bolivia would have an outlet to the sea and that would allow to do the exportation of its raw materials, oil and minerals, especially. Peru would win an extension of its territorial waters and Chile would settle its dispute with its neighbors while retaining the rights in the disputed area.
The project designers wanted to build the new island with the materials of the excavation of the tunnel, or also using the technique used for the floting islands of Lake Titicaca, made through the “totora” a sort of floating reeds.
The island would belong to Bolivia and around her a new sea including the disputed area would be created and administered by the three countries.
A part of the tunnel woul be reserved for the railroad tracks.
A pipeline could also serve the island to facilitate the export of Bolivian gas, in particular, which supplies the entire region.
It is expected that Bolivia is the main inversor of the project.
A country without port lose each year between 0.6% and 1% of their earnings. According to these calculations Bolivia lost four millons dolars during this last ten years. It could therefore finance the tunnel in ten years. The project is daunting, but for experts, it is not utopian. From a technical standpoint, it is perfectly possible today to build such a work of which there are already several similar: the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal and the Channel Tunnel, for example.
But the great difficulties will be politicals, certainly…