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

Attorney Ms. Ximena Fuentes took up office as National Director of State Borders and Boundaries on October 15, 2015, after being elected by the Superior Public Leadership System.

Madam Ambassador is an attorney-at-law, with a degree in Legal and Social Sciences from Universidad de Chile and a PhD in International Law from Oxford University. Her doctoral thesis was titled: “The criteria of equitable utilization of international watercourses in general international law”.

Ms. Fuentes has taught Public International Law at Universidad de Chile, Universidad de Talca, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, and the Masters’ program in International Law at the Heidelberg Center for Latin America (partner of the Heidelberg University). Between 2008 and 2012, she was Legal Advisor of the Government of Chile in the proceedings instituted by Peru with the International Court of Justice in The Hague. She is currently the Legal Advisor of the Chilean Government in the case relating to the obligation of negotiating an access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile).

In 2016 Ms. Fuentes was appointed Agent of Chile to the International Court of Justice in the proceedings against Bolivia regarding the use of the water rights over the Silala River.


tel. (56-2) 24135767 / (56-2) 24135768

Carlos Dettleff Beros

Director of Borders

Attorney and anthropologist Mr. Carlos Dettleff became Director of Borders in September 2017, having been chosen through the Superior Public Leadership System.

Mr. Dettleff studied at the Chilean Diplomatic Academy “Andrés Bello” and has a Master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick. He has taught Public International Law at Universidad de Chile, the Master’s program in Law at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and the Master´s program at the Heidelberg Center for Latin America.

Mr. Dettleff previously served as Legal Advisor of the European Commission Delegation in Chile.

He worked as an attorney in the Foreign Investment Committee.


tel. (56-2) 24135706 / (56-2) 24135765

Samy Hawa Arellano

Director of Boundaries

The lawyer and Naval Polytechnic Engineer Samy Hawa has been Director of Limits since March 2020 and was chosen through the Public Senior Management system.

Hawa studied law at the University of the Americas, is a Master in Private Law from the Catholic University of the Holy Conception and Master in Naval and Maritime Sciences from the Naval Polytechnic Academy.

He has served as professor of International Law at the University of the Americas and Andrés Bello (both headquarters in Concepción), currently as professor of Private International Law at the University of Talca, and is a concurrent professor at the Peace Operations Training Center of United Nations in International Humanitarian Law and Operational Law.

He has represented our country in the United Nations Missions in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Haiti (MINUSTAH), and at the UN headquarters in New York for the COE – MOU negotiation.


tel. (56-2) 24135717 / (56-2) 24135718