Chargé Ames to the Secretary of State.

No. 441.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy and translation of a convention recently signed by representatives of Chile and Bolivia in pursuance of the terms of article 3 of the treaty of peace and amity concluded October 20 of 1904, and governing the construction and operation of the railroad from Arica to La Paz, provided for by that treaty.

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I have, etc.,

Edward Winslow Ames.



In conformity with the stipulations of article 3 of the treaty of peace and amity between Chile and Bolivia of October 20, 1904, promulgated March 21, 1905, there was signed in La Paz on June 27 last, between the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Chile and the minister of foreign relations of Bolivia, a convention concerning the construction and exploitation of the railroad from Arica to the plateau of La Paz; and whereas
According to announcement made by the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Chile in Bolivia, the government of that country has given its approval to that convention under date of July 20,

I therefore decree that the convention referred to be published in the Diario Official and inserted in the Bulletin of Laws and Decrees of Congress.


Luis A. Vergara.

The Governments of the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Bolivia, equally interested in promoting the development of the commercial relations between the two countries, and by virtue of the authority given them by article 3 of the treaty of peace and amity entered into by both governments October 20, 1904, have agreed to regulate the concession, construction, and operation of the railroad from Arica to the plateau of La Paz in conformity with the principles hereinafter indicated, without prejudice to others, which may hereafter be agreed upon, and for this purpose have named their respective plenipotentiaries, viz:

  • His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Mr. Beltran Mathieu, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary in Bolivia;
  • His Excellency the President of the Republic of Bolivia, Mr. Claudio Pinilla, minister of foreign relations;

Who, duly authorized ad hoc, have agreed upon the stipulations contained in the following clauses:

  • Article 1. For the purpose of determining the pecuniary responsibility of the Government of Chile established in article 3 of said treaty, it is declared that the value of the construction of the Bolivian section of the railroad shall be that indicated in the bid accepted by the Government of Chile for its construction.
  • Art. 2. The railroad may be built by sections and the work shall begin simultaneously in Arica and in Viacha if there are no serious obstacles, and the sections thus constructed shall be delivered for traffic as soon as each is terminated; and the period of fifteen years, at the end of which the Bolivian section of this railroad is to go over to the ownership and proprietorship of Bolivia, shall be counted from the day on which the whole line is completed and delivered for service.
  • Art. 3. Both governments, through their functionaries, shall give all necessary facilities for the quickest and most perfect construction of the railroad.
  • Art. 4. The Governments of Chile and of Bolivia shall cede gratuitously such fiscal lands as may be necessary for the construction of the road and its dependencies and the use of such waters as do not belong to individuals or to which individuals have no right and which are necessary for the construction and operation of the railroad.
  • Art. 5. They bind themselves also to assist, in conformity with the laws of the respective countries, in the condemnation of municipal and private lands which may be necessary for the object above indicated.
  • They shall also equally grant facilities, and in the same manner, for the temporary occupation of land and for the formation of administrative services which may be necessary for the construction and operation of the railroad, such as fences along the abutting property throughout the extension of the railroad, the use of materials necessary for the railroad, the prohibition of the performance of certain operations at less than a certain distance from the road, etc.
  • Art. 6. No work on the railroad or its accessories shall be impeded, delayed, or interfered with because of or during the proceedings necessary for determining the amount of the condemnation or of the laboring force.
  • Art. 7. The materials necessary for the construction and operation of the railroad shall be exempt from all fiscal or municipal taxes, as shall the food stuffs which shall be introduced during the time of constructing the railroad for the maintenance of the laborers.
  • Art. 8. The railroad line, as well as all the movable and immovable property pertaining to it, shall be exempt from all ordinary or extraordinary taxes during all the time that it is in the power of the Government of Chile.
  • Art. 9. National and international correspondence shall be transported gratuitously by the railroad.
  • Art. 10. The railroad shall also be obliged to transport at cost all fixed material and all rolling stock which the Government of Bolivia may need for the construction of the railroads it may build in the interior of the country on its own account.
  • Art. 11. The laborers and employees of the railroad and its dependencies shall be exempt from military service in their respective countries, except in case of a national war.
  • Art. 12. In order to assure the perpetuity of free traffic on the railroad, the respective governments bind themselves to guarantee the neutrality of the railroad and its dependencies.
  • Art. 13. It is understood that the railroad in its various sections shall be subject to the authority and laws of each of the signatory countries in its respective territory; but, with the object of facilitating the operation and securing the safety of the line, the Governments of Chile and Bolivia shall by common accord adopt the operating rules which are generally in use on this kind of international railroads. In them shall be indicated the objects which, because of their great value or the danger which their carriage would entail, may not be transported except under certain conditions.

These operating agreements shall have the same value as the dispositions of this convention, of which they shall be considered an integral part.

In witness whereof the above-named plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed with their respective seals and in duplicate the present convention, in the city of La Paz, on the 27th day of June, 1905.

  • B. Mathieu.
  • Claudio Pinilla.
  • Cesar de la Lastra.