La batalla de los templos

<>BANGKOK - Las escaramuzas militares entre Tailandia y Camboya, que desde febrero se han cobrado más de dos decenas de vidas, causaron numerosos heridos y desplazaron a decenas de miles de personas se pueden atribuir principalmente a la política interna en ambos países. Con raíces en antiguas enemistades y el legado de la época colonial, la lucha está perjudicando a toda la región. Tan virulenta es la controversia que incluso una solución a corto plazo requerirá la mediación de terceros. Una paz segura dependerá principalmente de cuál sea el desenlace de la crisis política interna de Tailandia en los próximos meses y de la voluntad de Camboya de mantenerse al margen de este proceso.

El conflicto gira en torno a 4,6 kilómetros cuadrados que lindan con un milenario templo hindú conocido como "Preah Vihear" por los camboyanos y "Phra Viharn" por los tailandeses. Camboya insiste en que la tierra en disputa ha estado bajo su soberanía territorial, desde un caso de delimitación territorial decidido por la Corte Internacional de Justicia en 1962. En su veredicto de votos 9 contra 3, la Corte Internacional de Justicia dictaminó que el mapa de Camboya, elaborado por peritos franceses en 1904-1907, dictaminó que el área del templo se encontraba dentro de Camboya y que Tailandia (conocida como Siam hasta 1939) no se había opuesto anteriormente. Durante las audiencias, Camboya pidió a la Corte Internacional de Justicia que se pronunciase sobre los terrenos colindantes, pero los jueces limitaron su decisión sólo al templo, como Camboya solicitara originalmente.

El mapa creado por los franceses se ​​convirtió en el núcleo de la controversia, porque manipuló divisiones geográficas naturales. Tailandia rechaza el mapa, que va en contra de un acuerdo franco-siamés de 1904 que establece una demarcación a lo largo de una línea divisoria de aguas que separa los dos países. Más aún, la iniciativa cartográfica francesa tuvo lugar apenas una década después de que Siam cediera un puñado de territorios -la mayor parte de lo que es hoy Camboya occidental- a Francia, que en ese entonces pendía sobre Indochina como amo colonial. En ese momento, un vulnerable Siam se vio obligado a firmar una serie de injustos tratados con las potencias europeas a cambio de mantener su independencia.

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