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.
  • Chair the Chilean Boundary Commission and work with the Mixed Boundary Commissions of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, both in cabinet work and in the field.
  • 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

Carlos Dettleff Beros

National Director

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 worked as a professor of International Law at the Universities Americas and Andrés Bello in Concepción, at the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE), at the Joint Center for United Nations Operations (CECOPAC) and is currently a professor of Private International Law and Immigration Law at the University of Talca.

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

Pedro Pablo Silva Sánchez

Director of Borders

Pedro Pablo Silva Sánchez, lawyer, has been the Director of Frontiers since October 2023, when he was appointed through the Senior Executive Service System.

Mr. Silva holds a PhD (Dr.iur) degree in international law, from the University of Bremen, a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edimburgh, and a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree in International Law, Investments, Trade and Arbitration from the Universities of Heidelberg and Chile.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor at the Law School of the University of Santiago, where he teaches different subjects related to public internacional law. Also, he teaches public international law at the University Alberto Hurtado, and general international environmental law at the Master of Laws (LL.M) programme taught by the Universities of Heidelberg and Chile.

Formerly, he was the Head of International Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; he was also a judicial law clerck for the Constitutional Tribunal, and a legal advisor for the General Direction on Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, for several years he worked teaching public international law at the LL.M programme in International & European Law Human Rights, Security & Development, de la Université Catholique de Lille. He was also a lecturer in international law for the B.A. in Political Management, at the University of Applies Sciences of Bremen, Hochschule Bremen – HSB, and at the Law School of the University of Bremen.

Telephone (56-2) 24135718