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Peru - Relations with Ecuador

Peru has had several territorial disputes with Ecuador dating back to colonial times. A significant military clash occurred in 1941, which came to an end in 1942 with the signing of the Rio de Janeiro Protocol. This settlement, sponsored by Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the United States, established territorial limits between Peru and Ecuador but failed to delineate clearly their border in a 78-kilometer section of the Andean foothills. Further disputes over the border in this region led to additional clashes in 1981 and 1995. In the latest clash, thousands of soldiers from each country fought an intense but localized war in the disputed territory of the upper Cenepa valley.

A peace agreement brokered in February 1995 by the four sponsors of the Rio de Janeiro Protocol led to the cessation of hostilities and established the Military Observers Mission to Ecuador-Peru to monitor activities in the disputed area. In 1996, Peru and Ecuador began a series of meetings that led to the 1998 Brasilia Agreement, which defined the border in the disputed area. The border agreed upon tracks the peaks of the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range.

The 1998 Brasilia Agreement granted Ecuador private ownership of a hill known as Tiwinza, but it was agreed that the hill would remain under Peruvian sovereignty. In May 1999, a complete demarcation of the border was completed. The 1998 Brasilia Agreement also established terms of bilateral trade and navigational understandings between the two nations and created the Bi-National Commission for Border Integration. This commission led to the launch of a U.S.$3.0 billion regional development program to improve social and economic conditions along the border.

In October 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a peace accord to resolve once and for all border differences that had sparked violent confrontations. Peru and Ecuador now jointly coordinate an internationally sponsored border integration project. The U.S. Government, as one of four guarantor states, actively facilitated the 1998 peace accord between Peru and Ecuador and remains committed to its implementation. The United States pledged $40 million to the Peru-Ecuador border integration project and another $4 million to support Peruvian and Ecuadorian demining efforts along their common border. In 2009, the United States committed an additional $3 million to Peru’s humanitarian demining program.

On May 2, 2011, Peru and the Republic of Ecuador exchanged communiqués with identical content regarding the maritime boundaries that will exist between the two countries. These communiqués establish a geographic parallel as the maritime boundary that will apply between Peru and the Republic of Ecuador to address the existence of islands in the adjacent land frontier, that constitutes a special circumstance under applicable international law. At the same time, the communiqués establish the bases for the development of a joint action plan in advance of a recognition between the parties of the Gulf of Guayaquil as a historic bay and will segregate interior waters in both jurisdictions as sovereign waters of both states. The foregoing agreements were all set forth in a series of annexes that are attached to the communiqués.

As a result, by virtue of the exchange of communiqués, Peru presented a communiqué addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations expressing its agreement that, given the existence of the islands, the parallel at Boca de Capones that is set forth in the Nautical Map of Ecuador IOA 42, will be the maritime boundary between Peru and the Republic of Ecuador. On June 6, 2011, Peru and the Republic of Ecuador registered with the United Nation the agreement that established their maritime boundaries.

Peru maintains strong political and economic relations with Ecuador. The two governments have signed further agreements on border development, navigation, security and trade. In November 2012, the two governments signed agreements for bilateral development, including a commitment to cooperate in the extraction of natural resources, foster mutual trade and facilitate sea transport in surrounding maritime territories in the Gulf of Guayaquil. In July 2013, the two governments renewed their commitment to increase electrical interconnectivity, agreeing to develop a 500 kV line as part of the International Electrical Interconnection Peru-Ecuador project.

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Page last modified: 05-06-2016 20:48:09 ZULU