Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was in Argentina last month, where she gave her support to Argentina joining the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. It was her first visit to the country since President Mauricio Macri assumed office in 2015. In an email interview, Peter M. Siavelis, the director of the Latin American and Latino Studies program at Wake Forest University, discusses relations between Chile and Argentina.
WPR: What are the main areas of cooperation between Chile and Argentina, and how have ties evolved over the past 10 years?
Peter M. Siavelis: Chile has historically shared troubled relations with neighboring Argentina and Bolivia. But in sharp contrast to Bolivia, whose relationship with Chile remains fraught with tension and conflict—the two still do not have formal diplomatic ties—Argentina and Chile have had relatively smooth relations over the past 10 years. This is remarkable considering that the two countries came to the brink of war in 1978 as a result of territorial disputes over islands in the Beagle Channel.