The Gran Chaco is an
alluvial plain covered with grass and hardwood forest in northeastern
Argentina, northwestern Paraguay and southeastern Bolivia. It was
Bolivia's only access to the Atlantic Ocean. It was also believed to
contain large oil reserves.
In 1924 Paraguay issued a
set of three stamps with the same map design. The first six letters of
"Paraguay" are spread over the Chaco area, implying a territorial
claim to the area. The stamps were withdrawn after Bolivia protested.
Three years later Paraguay issued a set of two
stamps which also claimed that the Chaco was included within the
borders of Paraguay.
In 1930, and 1935 Bolivia responded with its
own stamps showing the Chaco within the borders of Bolivia.
stamps of Paraguay, issued in 1932, show the Gran Chaco as "Chaco
Paraguayo" with the slogan "Has been, is, and will be." Shortly after
this the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay began. An armistice
was signed in 1935, and arbitration resulted in the "Treaty of Buenos
Aires. Most of the Chaco was awared to Paraguay, but Bolivia retained
navigation rights on the Pilcomayo River to the coast.
In 1939 Paraguay issued a stamp showing the newly
agreed-to border (C121). An inscription on the stamp is "An Honorable
peace is worth more than all military triumphs."