What is DIFROL?

The National Department of State Borders and Boundaries (DIFROL, by its Spanish acronym) is an advisory agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, whose main mission is to preserve and strengthen the territorial integrity of the country, providing professional and technical advice, in the legal field and in the relating to earth sciences, to the Supreme Government in matters of borders and limits. DIFROL also advises the Supreme Government in the negotiation of agreements, as well as in the participation in international forums and meetings on issues related to Chile’s international boundaries and physical, Neighborly and regional integration policies, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Our institution carries out its work through its two Departments: the Borders Department and the Boundaries Department, in addition to the dependency units of the National Department.

Department of Borders

  • Guide the application of program for the development of the border area, acting as a coordinating agency on matters within its competence, between ministries and other institutions of the State Administration.
  • Provide technical coordination to agencies of the State Administration and, bilaterally, with the neighboring countries, for the operation of control services on matters of physical integration, the opening and closing of border crossing points, the development of transboundary interconnecting roads, the bi-oceanic corridors, as well as in other matters assigned to it by Law.
  • Coordinate tasks of the Boundary Committees.
  • Authorize expeditions in the border area by persons having their legal residence abroad.
  • Authorize the sale, lease, concession, and other contracts regarding immovable properties located in the border area.
  • Participate in the authorization procedures for acquiring rights to immovable property applicable to the nationals from neighboring countries.

Department of Boundaries

  • Interpret the treaties and other instruments that set the land, maritime, and air boundaries of Chile.
  • Replace and densify boundary markers on the border and determine their geographic coordinates.
  • Authorize the admission of maps, geographic maps, and publications which contain representations of or references to the international boundaries of Chile, and reviews them for the purpose of authorizing their edition or circulation in Chile.
  • Advise public and private organizations in determining the international limit in the field.

Our Authorities

Ximena Fuentes Torrijo

Director of Borders and Boundaries

Professor Ximena Fuentes was appointed as National Director of State Borders and Boundaries on October 15, 2015, after being elected through the Senior Executive Service System.

Ambassador Fuentes has a law degree from the University of Chile and a DPhil in International Law from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis was entitled: “The criteria of equitable utilization of international watercourses in general international law”.

The Director is a Professor of Public International Law at the The University of Chile. She has taught at the University of Talca, the Adolfo Ibañez University, and in the LLM at the University of Heidelberg in Latin America.

Between 2008 and 2012, she served as Chilean counsel in the Perú v. Chile maritime dispute presented at the International Court of Justice. Later, she worked as the executive coordinator of Chile’s defense in the case Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile)

In 2016 she was appointed as Agent of Chile at the International Court of Justice in the case Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia)

Telephone (56-2) 24135768

Carlos Dettleff Beros

Director of Borders

Lawyer and anthropologist Carlos Dettleff has been Director of Frontiers since September 2017 and was appointed through the Senior Executive Service System.

Mr. Dettleff graduated from the Andres Bello Diplomatic Academy and has a Master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick. He is currently a professor of Public International Law at the University of Chile, he also teaches at the LLM at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and of the LLM at the University of Heidelberg in Latin America.

He previously worked as a legal advisor to the European Commission Delegation in Chile. He also worked in the Foreign Investment Committee.

Telephone (56-2) 24135765

Samy Hawa Arellano

Director of Boundaries

Attorney and Naval Polytechnic Engineer, Samy Hawa has been Director of Boundaries since March 2020 and was elected through the Senior Executive Service System.

Mr. Hawa studied law at the University of the Americas. He holds a Master’s degree in Private Law from the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción and a Master’s degree in Naval and Maritime Sciences from the Naval Polytechnic Academy.

He has served as professor of International Law at the Universidad de las Américas and Andrés Bello in Concepción, and he is currently a professor of Private International Law at the Universidad de Talca, and he is a concurrent professor at the United Nations Peace Operations Training Center (CECOPAC) in International humanitarian law and peacekeeping operations.

He has served in the United Nations peace missions in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Haiti (MINUSTAH), and at the UN headquarters in New York for the COE – MOU negotiation.

Telephone (56-2) 24135718