Monday, April 11, 2005

Upon Further Review...

More information for those of you dying of curiosity about the Peruvian/Ecuadoran conflict and too lazy to research independently. This is the result of my google search:

The conflict between the regions has roots in the Incan(of Cuzco/Peru) conquest of the kingdom of Quito(Ecuador) in the 1500s.
In 1941, Ecuador denounced the boundaries set by Spain in the early 1800's, and claimed 125,000 sq. miles of Peruvian land, and the two countries fought a brief war, which Ecuador lost badly.
The 1942 Rio de Janiero Protocol set vague borders between the two countries in a remote part of the Amazon. This agreement decreased the size of Ecuador by 50%.
Ecuador has since denounced this treaty as well and a dispute has centered over the largely unmapped area around the Cordillera de Condor mountain range. Active conflict broke out in 1981 and 1995, when an Ecuadoran helicopter bombed a Peruvian military installation well within Peruvian territory. A hill known as Tiwintza holds special significance as Ecuadoran troops successfully defended it against Peruvian attacks during the 1995 war, also known as the Alto-Cenepa War.
Some speculation over the motives of each side for the 1995 war:
That Ecuador initiated the conflict to support increases in its military budget.
That Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori welcomed the conflict for similar reasons or to gain support in his re-election bid.
According to the U.S. Institute of Peace the natural resources(including oil and gold) of the Cordillera de Condor are insignificant.
An agreement was signed in 1998 setting the border according to Peru's wishes, but granting possession of Tiwintza within Peru to Ecuador, though under Peruvian sovereignty.

Conclusion: Not worth getting shot over. Also, I'm sure the story is not this simple. Border disputes are never just about the tiny strips of land in question. See Kashmir, Gaza, Rhineland, Korean DMZ, etc. I guess increased military budgets might be enough of a motive, but it seems a little weak.

Hugo in the jungle.

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