The unequal 1879-1883 war that Chile unleashed against Bolivia and Peru was aimed at seizing lands of two impoverished, ill-armed countries.
To uninformed people, especially those who are not Peruvians or Bolivians, Chilean propaganda attempts to present Chile as a country that in 1879 invaded Bolivia and next Peru in an act of self-defence. Chileans have come to the realisation that they cannot deny that they attacked Bolivia and Peru in order to seize its neighbours’ territories. They cannot hide the fact that they had in advance purchased state-of-the-art weaponry, well beyond their normal defence needs.
In view of this conceptual cul-de-sac and just for the sake of making a miserable excuse for their robbery, Chileans try to take advantage of a symbolic defensive treaty2 Bolivia and Peru had signed, Chileans indulge in a pathetic exercise of lies, and dare to claim that they launched a “self-defence war” to counter an impending attack on Chile3. If Chileans are consistent with this assertion, if they say they launched a defensive or preemptive war, they are put in a compelling position to demonstrate the following:
1) That in 1879 Peru and Bolivia had a robust economy, political stability and military power2 to attack Chile;
2) That historical documents exist (military maps, military reports, etc.) that demonstrate Bolivia and Peru were equipped and ready to attack Chile;
3) An accurate identification of Peruvian and Bolivian military units (battalions, regiments, divisions) poised to attack Chile, plus the names of their commanders;
4) The names of Chilean cities that Peruvian and Bolivian armies were about to attack, and which the progression route of the onslaught was (all backed up by historical documents supposedly Chile has in its possession);
5) The place or city of Chile the invading Peruvians and Bolivians reached (the invaders are supposed to have been stopped there, and a Chilean counterattack ensued).
Chileans have never been able to demonstrate anything at all--in 1879 neither Peru nor Bolivia were in a position to successfully resist the Chilean invasion, let alone attack Chile. It is plain to see that Chile invaded Bolivia and Peru cashing in on the chronic weakness of these countries (endless coups d’etât, long-lasting economical crisis, revolutions and the like).
1 Chilean businessmen exploiting Bolivian saltpetre had already taken over Antofagasta by the time robbing and murderous Chilean soldiers invaded that coastal Bolivian province under the pretext of taxation on Chilean-controlled saltpetre exports.
2 When Chile invaded Bolivia, a Peruvian minister went to Chile in order to mediate--Peru neither threatened nor attacked Chile. The Chilean response amounted to “Let me crush Bolivia, mind your own business”. Under the terms of the defence treaty, Peru demanded that the Chilean army should withdraw from Bolivia. Then Chile declared war on Peru--right from the onset, it was a losing war for Peru and Bolivia!
3 Read Theft_oriented Chile declares war on Peru on April the 5th, 1879.