El Diario reports:
February 14: an ominous date for Bolivia
137 years of unjust confinement
• Bolivians remember, wihth eagereness to vindication, that on a February 14, 1879 Chilean troops invaded our coastlines and we were held landlocked eversince.
• More than a century of unfulfilled promises deepen the desire for justice.
Today [02/14/2016] it is an unfortunate date in the history of Bolivia, because it is recalled that the February 14, 1879 came the invasion of the Chilean to the coast of the Bolivian Litoral.
The inhabitants in Antofagasta saw on the horizon the smoke of the armored Cochrane and the O’Higgins corvette, that were added to the armored Blanco Encalada anchored in the port several days earlier.
The prefect Severino Zapata lacked even the minimal troops with which place a defense, so the disembarkation of Chilean troops in approximately 200 men, took the square, was like a walk in the park.
Chileans forced Zapata, and Bolivian officials and a few armed guards, to leave the city.
According to the book History of Bolivia, by Jose Mesa, Teresa Gisbert and Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert, the invasion began the war unilaterally. In the absence of telegraph lines in our territory, the news reached La Paz, by way of Tacna.
The Amazonas steam ship arrived on the evening of February 19 to Tacna with the news, while the Bolivian consul, Manuel Granier, wrote a letter to the President and sent it with the chasqui, Collque Gregorio (Goyo), who made his best effort and he covered the distance to La Paz in five days.
On the 25th of that month he handed the letter to Hilarion Daza and on the 26th, the Bolivian government issued a proclamation to the nation, communicating about the aggression and establishing the preparations for defense.