Ecuador and Peru share a long border made up
largely of jungle
and high mountains. As is the case with many such borders
around the world, disputes arise, and conflict breaks
out. This affects not only the budgeting
and financing of the countries themselves, but the
budget of the citizens as well. In this
century, these Latin American neighbors have fought three
times, (1941, 1981 and 1995), over the area
known as the Cordillera del Condor region. After much
bloodshed and, since 1995, much negotiating, these Andean
nations signed a peace accord on October 26,
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OF CONFLICT: Ecuador-Peru
NAMES: Marañon War, Zarumilla Campaign
July 5, 1941
July 31, 1941
OF CONFLICT: Inter-State
World War 2
Ecuador-Peru Border Wars in 1981 and 1995 Pin
dispute between Ecuador and Peru originated in Spanish
Colonial times. Upon independence, Ecuador joined what is
now known as"Great Colombia", comprised of the
territories of Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama
(then a part of Colombia). In 1829, the Treaty of Peace
and Limits of Guayaquil was signed. Subsequently, in
1830, Pedemonte-Mosquera Protocol was signed. They
established the Marañon-Amazon River as the border
between Peru and Ecuador; however, Peru has contested
these agreements. Between 1936 and 1938, representatives
from Ecuador and Peru attempted to negotiate a treaty in
Washington, D.C., consequently, the Peruvians withdrew
from the negotiations. A series of border clashes were
fought in the years between 1938 and 1940. Peru decided
to settle the matter by force after a border clash in
unprepared to meet the July 5 Peruvian invasion. The much
larger Peruvian army of 13,000 men, supported by a
battalion of armor, together with artillery and air
support (known as Group of the North or agrupamiento del
Norte commanded by General Eloy G. Ureta), moved quickly
into the southern coastal province of El Oro, threatening
Guayaquil. The fewer than 1,800 Ecuadorian troops in the
area lacked air cover and could offer only limited
resistance. The Ecuadorian president's fear of being left
unprotected from his political opponents led him to keep
the nation's best fighting forces in Quito. Peruvian
forces also moved into the disputed Amazonian territory
without significant opposition. Peruvian troops
continuously attacked the nation's southern and eastern
provinces until a ceasefire went into effect on July 31.
After a campaign lasting only three weeks, an armistice
The 1941 war with Ecuador
was a major success for Peruvian forces. By theend of the
month, when military actions ceased, Peru held Ecuador's
southernmost province of El Oro and much of the disputed
eastern jungle territory that had been part of Ecuador
since the 1830s. Pin
The Rio Protocol of
February 1942 awarded to Peru some 205,000 square
kilometers of previously disputed Amazon territory. The
subsequent Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries
(Rio Protocol) imposed on Ecuador acceptance of Peru's
claims in the Amazonian region in return for Peruvian
withdrawal from Ecuador's coastal provinces.
to 400-500 killed
Peru: 107 members
of Air Force, Army, and Guarda Civil killed
FACTS OR TRENDS: This
section is formed from the opinion of the History Guy
regarding this conflict.
1. First use
of paratroops in Latin America (by Peru).
1. Bryce Wood, The
United States and Latin American Wars 1932-1942. New
York, Columbia University, 1966.
2. David H. Zook,
Jr., Zarumilla-Marañon: The Ecuador-Peru Dispute,
New York, Bookman Associates, 1964.
Click here for a search on news regarding Ecuador and
on the Ecuador-Peru Conflict
Borders Make Good Neighbors?--Christian
Science Monitor article on the recent peace
--Information from Native Web.
Plan for Development of the Border
from the Federation of American Scientists.
Invisible Victims of War--
Start Work on "Park of Peace"
Please cite this source when appropriate:
Lee, R., and Halcli, J.
"Ecuador-Peru Border War (1941)"
Copyright © 1998-2012 Roger A. Lee; Last Modified:
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