* Signing of the Rio de Janeiro Protocol
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
By 5 July 1941: 15,723 troops 11 tanks 24 guns of the Agrupamiento del Norte Later: 68,100 troops 24 tanks 120 guns 132,000 parmilitary and militia
At the beginning of offensive, numbers have been estimated between 15,200 and 30,000 men.
The ECUADORIAN–PERUVIAN WAR, known locally as the WAR OF \'41
(Spanish: Guerra del 41), was a South American border war fought
between 5–31 July 1941. It was the first of three military conflicts
A ceasefire agreement between the two countries came into effect on 31 July 1941. Both countries signed the Rio Protocol on 29 January 1942, and Peruvian forces subsequently withdrew. The enmity over the territorial dispute continued after 1942 and concluded following the Cenepa War of 1995 and the signing of the Brasilia Presidential Act agreement in October 1998.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Background/Causes * 1.2 Salomón–Lozano Treaty * 1.3 Preparing for war
* 2 Forces involved
* 3 War * 4 Aftermath * 5 Notable combatants * 6 See also
* 7 References
* 7.1 Notes * 7.2 Bibliography
* 8 External links
Main article: History of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian territorial dispute
* v * t * e
The Ecuadorian–Peruvian territorial dispute
* HISTORY OF THE ECUADORIAN–PERUVIAN TERRITORIAL DISPUTE
The dispute between
As early as 1829,
During 1859 and 1860, the two countries fought over disputed
territory bordering the Amazon. However,
In 1887, a treaty signed by both nations established that the King of
Spain would act as an arbitrator. The resulting Herrera-García Treaty
was expected to resolve the conflict permanently. However, the
Another dispute was created after the signing of the
Salomón–Lozano Treaty in March 1922 by the governments of Colombia
and Peru, which at that time was ruled by
Augusto B. Leguía
Following the coup d'état of Leguía by the troops under the command
Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro , the treaty was made public and caused
much anger to the Peruvian population which deemed that the treaty
awarded Colombia a section of Peruvian territory. This dispute over
the Amazon region controlled by the city of Leticia would eventually
cause a short war between Colombia and
Salomón–Lozano Treaty was unpopular in
PREPARING FOR WAR
An agreement was signed in 1936 which recognized territories in de facto possession by each country. The resulting border is known as the 1936 status quo border line.
However, by 1938 both nations were once again holding minor border
skirmishes. That same year, the entire Ecuadorian Cabinet, which was
composed of high-ranking army officers who served as advisors for
Alberto Enríquez Gallo (who had taken charge of government
after a military coup d'état), resigned from government in order to
take command of the
Peru's response to the events taking place in
On 11 January 1941, alleging that the Ecuadorians had been staging incursions and even occupations of the Peruvian territory of Zarumilla, the President of Peru, Manuel Prado , ordered the formation of the North Grouping, a military unit in charge of the Northern Operational Theater.
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According to the testimony of Col. Luis Rodríguez, the Ecuadorian forces at the disposal of the Army Border Command in El Oro (Lieutenant Colonel Octavio A. Ochoa) after the incidents of 5 and 6 July were as follows:
* Forces deployed along the Zarumilla river: 3 superior officers, 33 officers, and 743 men, organized as follows:
* "Cayambe" Battalion: 2 superior officers, 22 Officers, 490 soldiers. * "Montecristi" Battalion: 1 superior officer, 11 Officers, 253 soldiers.
* Forces deployed in the immediate rear: 4 superior officers, 40 officers, 28 soldiers, 93 volunteers, 500 carabineros (a paramilitary Government force), organized as follows:
* At Arenillas: 2 superior officers, 3 Officers, 14 soldiers. * At Santa Rosa: 2 superior officers, 1 Officer, 18 soldiers, plus the 93 volunteers, and the 500 carabineros.
As a result of the rising tensions on the border during 1939 and 1940, the Peruvian President Manuel Prado authorized in December 1940 the creation of the Agrupamiento del Norte (Northern Army Detachment). By July 1941, this unit was ready to begin active military operations. Peruvian order of battle
Order of Battle, Agrupamiento del Norte, July 1941
* Group Headquarters (Commander in Chief: Gen. Eloy G. Ureta; Chief of Staff: Lieut. Col. Miguel Monteza)
* 5th and 7th Cavalry Regiments * 6th Artillery Group (8 105 mm guns) * Army Tank Detachment (12 Czech tanks LTP )
* 1st Light Infantry Division (Col. Luis Vinatea)
* 1st, 5th, 19th Infantry Battalions * 1st Artillery Group (8 guns) * 1st Engineer Company * 1st Antiaircraft Section
* 8th Light infantry Division (Col. César Salazar)
* 20th Infantry Battalion * 8th Artillery Group (8 guns) * 8th Engineer Company
* Army Detachment "Chinchipe" (Lieut. Col. Victor Rodríguez)
* 33rd Infantry Battalion (2 Light Infantry companies)
* Army Jungle Division (Northeast) (Gen. Antonio Silva)
Figures for total strength of the Agrupamiento del Norte at the beginning of offensive operations have been put at 11,500 to 13,000 men.
The accounts as to which side fired the first shot vary considerably
to this day. According to Peru's version Ecuadorian troops invaded
Peruvian territory in the
Zarumilla province, which started a battle
that spread to a zone known as Quebrada Seca (dry creek). But
Ecuador's version is that
The first clashes occurred on Saturday, 5 July 1941.
According to Peruvian accounts, some Ecuadorian troops from the garrison of Huaquillas , a town on the bank of the Zarumilla river, which then served as the status quo line in the extreme left of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border, crossed into the Peruvian border post at Aguas Verdes, a town directly in front of Huaquillas, and opened fire on a Peruvian patrol. These troops were then followed by some 200 Ecuadorian armed men, which attacked the Police station at Aguas Verdes, to which the Peruvians reacted by sending an infantry company to Aguas Verdes and repulsing the Ecuadorians back across the Zarumilla. The fighting then spread to the entire border area along the Zarumilla river. By 6 July, the Peruvian aviation was conducting air-strikes against the Ecuadorian border posts along the river.
According to Ecuadorian Col. Luis A. Rodríguez, commander of the Ecuadorian forces defending the province of El Oro during the war, the incidents of 5 July started when an Ecuadorian border patrol found some Peruvian civilians, protected by policemen, clearing a patch of land on the Ecuadorian side of the river. Upon seeing the patrol, the Peruvian policemen opened fire, killing one soldier. This was followed by the widespread exchange of fire between troops on the opposing banks of the Zarumilla, while two Ecuadorian officers sent to Aguas Verdes to speak with the Peruvian local commanding officer were told by Peruvian authorities to go back to their lines.
Regardless, the much larger and better equipped Peruvian force of
13,000 men quickly overwhelmed the approximately 1,800 Ecuadorian
covering forces, driving them back from the
Zarumilla and invading the
Ecuadorian province of El Oro .
The Peruvian army had at its disposal a battalion of armor made up of Czech tanks, with artillery and air support. They had also established a paratroop unit in the region and used it to great effect by seizing the Ecuadorian port city of Puerto Bolívar , on 27 July 1941, marking the first time in the Americas that airborne troops were use in combat.
Faced with a delicate political situation that even prompted
Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Río to keep a sizable
part of the Army in the capital,
As a result of the war,
Ecuador's government, led by Doctor Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Río , signed the Protocolo de Río de Janeiro on 29 January 1942, and Peruvian forces subsequently withdrew. Nonetheless, during the retreat several attacks were made against the Peruvian military, and a series of lives were lost during the process.
The placement of the border markers along the definitive border line
indicated by the
Rio Protocol was not concluded when the Ecuadorians
withdrew from the demarcation commissions in 1948, arguing
inconsistencies between the geographical realities on the ground and
the instructions of the Protocol, a situation that according to
In 1960, Ecuadorian President José María Velasco declared that the Rio Protocol was void. According to the Velasco Administration, the treaty, having been signed under Peruvian military occupation of Ecuadorian soil, was illegal and contrary to Panamerican treaties that outlawed any treaty signed under the threat of force.
However, this proclamation made little international impact (the
treaty was still held as valid by
In 1981, both countries again clashed briefly in the
Paquisha War .
Only in the aftermath of the
Cenepa war of 1995 was the dispute
finally settled. On 26 October 1998, representatives of
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* Lieutenant José A. Quiñones was a Peruvian pilot during the war.
* On 23 July 1941, his plane, a North American NA-50 fighter , was
shot down while carrying out a low-level attack on an Ecuadorian
border post on the banks of the
Zarumilla river. According to
traditional Peruvian accounts, Quiñones, upon being hit by ground
fire, crashed his damaged aircraft deliberately into the Ecuadorian
anti-aircraft position, destroying it. He was promoted posthumously to
Captain, and is today considered a National Hero of Peru.
* Ecuadorian wartime records of the downing differ greatly from
Peruvian ones as
* History of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian territorial dispute * Paquisha War – 1981 * Cenepa War – 1995
Uppsala Conflict Data Program
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