Sneha Girap

Arica y Parinacota Region

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Country  Chile
University  University of Tarapaca
Area  16,873.3 km2
Capital  Arica
Points of interest  Lauca National Park, Chungara Lake, Pomerape, Cotacotani Lake, Socoroma

The XV Arica and Parinacota Region (Spanish: ) is one of Chiles 15 first order administrative divisions. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the east and Chiles Tarapaca Region to the south. It is also the countrys newest region, created under Law 20.175. It became operational on October 8, 2007. Chiles former Tarapaca region was a former Peruvian province, which was occupied by Chile under the 1883 Treaty of Ancon at the close of the War of the Pacific, and then formally annexed in 1929 by the Treaty of Lima.


Map of Arica y Parinacota Region


In 2007, the region was subdivided to create the Arica y Parinacota region and the present day Tarapaca Region to the south. The region is further subdivided into two provinces: Arica and Parinacota.


According to data from the 2002 Census of INE, the region is populated by 189 644 inhabitants. Its density reaches 11.2 inhabitants per km ².

This region holds the largest population of indigenous peoples of Chile: the Quechua, Aymara, Atacameno, Diaguita, Mapuche and Kaweskar (Alacaluf or Qwakshar) transplanted from Central Chile. A significant number of immigrants from neighboring Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. Included are those of Asian descent, such as Chinese and Japanese; and Arabs from Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. Most of the countrys Afro-Chileans live in the Arica province, descended from slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries. There are a large number of Roma people or Gypsies in the Arica province as well, originated from Eastern Europe in the late 19th century.

At the level of cities, the most populated are: Arica, with 175,441 inhabitants and Putre, with 1235 inhabitants.


The regions two main rivers are the Lauca, which drains into Bolivias Coipasa salt flat (Lago Coipasa), and the Lluta, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Lake Chungara at 4,517 metres (14,820 ft) above sea level ranks as one of the highest in the world.


A desert climate dominates the region. Near the coast, cloudiness can limit the temperature swing throughout the day, but in other drier areas, temperatures can vary greatly as is typical in deserts. A marginal desert region can be found over 3,000 m (9,843 ft) above sea level, which sees milder temperatures and summer rains.

Border dispute with Peru

On January 26, 2007, Peru’s government issued a protest against Chile’s demarcation of the coastal frontier the two countries share. According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, the Chilean legislatures had endorsed a plan regarding the Arica y Parinacota region which did not comply with the current established territorial demarcation. Moreover, it is alleged that the proposed Chilean law included an assertion of sovereignty over 19,000 m2 (204,514 sq ft) of land in Perus Tacna Region. According to the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, Chile has defined a new region "without respecting the Concordia demarcation."

For its part, the Chilean government has asserted that the region in dispute is not a coastal site named Concordia, but instead refers to boundary stone No. 1, which is located to the northeast and 200 meters inland. A possible border dispute was averted when the Chilean Constitutional Court formally ruled on January 26, 2007 against the legislation. While agreeing with the courts ruling, the Chilean government reiterated its stance that the maritime borders between the two nations were not in question and have been formally recognized by the international community. [1]. The Peruvian government has stated that it might turn to the international court at The Hague to solve the dispute.


The region lies within the Norte Grande (Far North) natural region. It combines deserts, green valleys, the steep and volcanic Andes mountains, and the Altiplano (high plain) to the east. A narrow coastal strip of low-lying land no more than 2 kilometres (1 mi) wide separates the Pacifics Nazca plate from the Andes. Its Parinacota volcano is the regions highest elevation at 6,348 metres (20,827 ft) and lies on the northern border with Bolivia in Lauca National Park.


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