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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 22:59 UTC



Argentina installs solar panels in Chilean territory by mistake

Monday, June 17th 2024 - 10:23 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Faurie said the items could not be removed until the summer but some Chilean lawmakers want them demolished at once Faurie said the items could not be removed until the summer but some Chilean lawmakers want them demolished at once

Argentina's Ambassador to Santiago Jorge Faurie admitted his country had made a mistake when solar panels were placed three meters into Chilean territory in Tierra del Fuego, which triggered a diplomatic incident between the two countries.

 The items were a part of the Magellanic Maritime Transit Control and Surveillance Landmark 1. They had been donated by the company Mirgor, founded in 1983 by Mauricio Macri, Nicolás Caputo, and Roberto Gustavo Vázquez. Macri sold his share in the company in 1994, way before becoming a politician and being elected Mayor of Buenos Aires first and President later. Nicolás Caputo is a first cousin of current Economy Minister Luis Toto Caputo.

Regarding the panels, Chile wants them removed “as soon as possible”, but Argentina insists that weather conditions do not allow it yet. To add to Argentina's embarrassment, the Navy announced the installation of these panels on April 29 with a high-profile ceremony that could in no way go unnoticed.

“There is a wire fence that was understood that it was not exactly the limit, there was a mistake,” Faurie told La Nación. “Having taken cognizance of this claim, we said that we were going to proceed with the withdrawal. It is a factual error,” the diplomat said.

“The operators may not have consulted satellite coordinates, which would have been the most useful thing to do, but they installed them taking a wire fence as a reference,” he added. Faurie also told Radio BioBio that the installation was undertaken by the company donating the panels. The technicians were apparently “misled by the fence of a ranch in the area.”

“It is not a major issue. They will be removed as soon as weather conditions allow it,” which would be in the summer, Macri's former Foreign Minister explained. In the meantime, the possibility of the panels supplying energy to Chilean residents was also being studied, he also noted.

According to Chilean diplomatic sources, Deputy Foreign Minister Gloria de la Fuente had discussed the issue with her Argentine counterpart Leopoldo Sahores. Chile's Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren was quoted by media covering the Bürgenstock Conference on Ukraine in Switzerland that it was not a “serious matter.” He also said he hoped it would be solved quickly. “We believe it is a good faith error,” he also admitted. “We have a very extensive border with Argentina and this is not an absolutely exceptional event, sometimes this type of error occurs,” he reckoned. However, some hardline nationalist lawmakers urged the Government of President Gabriel Boric Font to simply demolish the installations.

“A large part of the installation is obviously in Argentine territory and there is a relatively small portion that remains in Chilean territory that must be corrected and we will see the most effective way to correct it. We are going to evaluate the situation obviously according to the conditions of the terrain and also the meteorological conditions,” the Palacio San Martín said in Buenos Aires.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Chile.

Top Comments

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  • imoyaro

    No mistake...

    Jun 17th, 2024 - 10:26 pm +1
  • FortHay

    That's funny stuff. I remember logging a well for ENAP near the fence that was decidedly deviated. YPF apparently never figured it out.

    Jun 17th, 2024 - 01:08 pm 0
  • MarkWhelan

    It's a good thing the construction crew did not raise any flag at the dedication ceremony. Or did they?
    That could be construed as laying an official claim to all the land enclosed by the fence.

    Jun 17th, 2024 - 01:44 pm 0
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