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Kevin7 asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

What is the history of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian territorial dispute?

2 Answers

  • connie
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
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    The Cordillera del Condor has been the site of armed disputes between the Peru and Ecuador for over one hundred and fifty years. Despite claims that the land is part of Ecuador, the area of confrontation is "recognized as Peruvian by the 1942 Rio Protocol, the 1945 arbitration decision, the 1947 U.S. Air Force aerial survey, and the documents issued after the 1981 border conflict." Boundary markers were established along some 1600 km of frontier, but 78km in the Condor Cordillera stretch, east of the city Zamora, remained unmarked. This is where the dispute centered and is an area believed to be rich in gold, uranium, and oil deposits. (Financial Times, Jan. 1995).

    The common border between Ecuador and Peru has been the source of conflict for over the past 150 years, and the conflict re- ignited in January of 1995. The crisis began because of a poorly defined peace agreement between the two countries in 1942. The Rio Protocol, as it was called, took some 200,000 square kilometers of land from Ecuador and gave it to Peru. The poor description of the new frontier left come 100,00 square kilometers of the border unmarked when an unknown river appeared where the mountains were supposed to be. These rivers are the Santiago and Zamora and are located in the middle of the dense jungle between the two countries. As a result of the lack of clarity of the Rio Protocol, the two nations have been fighting on and off for the last fifty years, including two full scale wars and spasmodic frontier incidents.

    Land squabbles have surrounded bilateral relations for more than 150 years. The disputes between Peru and Ecuador began during the time of the Incas when the Incas from Cuzco, Peru conquered the kingdom of Quito, Ecuador. In 1535, a mission was sent from Quito to mark the border with Peru. Ecuador claims that the first expeditions were dispatched from Quito and that the Jesuits from there set up the first missions. Peru argues that an expedition from Lima discovered the Amazon. In 1802, the Spanish crown gave title over the region to the viceroyalty of Lima, taking it from that of New Granada, which included modern-day Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The Ecuadorian historians have interpreted a subsequent ruling in 1819 as reversing that decision. The dispute has lasted for hundreds of years since. The last major conflict was in 1941 when Peru invaded Ecuador. A ten-day war ensued, ending with a the signing of the so-called Rio de Janeiro Protocol, which defined the border between the two countries. Congresses of both Peru and Ecuador ratified the treaty and four countries - the US, Brazil, Chile and Argentina accepted the task of being its 'guarantors.'

    Tensions always rise during this time, but in 1995 they hit a 14- year peak (New York Times, Feb., 1995). This time, however, clashes erupted. Ecuador's President Sixto Duran Ballen proclaimed a state of national emergency and called up the reserves. Peru responded by mobilizing thousands of troops and massing them in the border area of Timbles. Ecuadorian officials maintained that Peru was attacking territory that was under Ecuadorian control for decades and was outside the area of dispute.

    Ecuador's armed forces also accused the Peruvians of using CH-47 Chinook and Bell-212 helicopters, which they say were provided by the US to aid in Peruvian drug fighting efforts. Two Peruvian airlines suspended flights to Quito, the capital of Ecuador (The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 1995). Each side accused the other of provoking the conflict and insisted it was a peace-seeking nation which is honor-bound to defend its sovereignty and national territory. The core of the dispute - dating back to the earliest independence period - lies in the exact position of the border.

    Ecuador, in turn, argued that it was obliged to sign the protocol under pressure. Since 1950 it has dubbed the protocol as 'impossible to execute' and has laid claims to an area of around 130 square miles, in what, according to the Rio Protocol, was Peruvian territory. Over the last 150 years, Ecuador has seen its territory whittled away to the point where it is now the smallest country in the Andes. It also finds itself as a buffer country between the regions' two powers-Columbia and Peru. With fights over arable land an increasing problem, Ecuador today is South America's most densely populated nation (New York Times, Feb. 1995).

    Source(s): A cease fire was brokered by the four guarantor countries, and subsequently the Itamaraty Peace Declaration was signed on February 17, 1995. One of the declaration's clauses included the creation the Military Observer Mission Ecuador-Peru (MOMEP) in order to verify ceasefire agreements, observe and report infractions through diplomatic channels. On October 26, 1998, these two nations signed a comprehensive peace accord establishing the framework for ending a border dispute. Formal demarcation of border regions started on May 13, 1999. The agreement was ratified without opposition by both nations' congress. U.S. President Bill Clinton said: "This signing marks the end of the last and longest running source of armed international conflict in the Western hemisphere".
  • 4 years ago

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