BRASILIA – Former foreign ministers of Ecuador and Peru met on Tuesday to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of the pact they signed in Brasilia to resolve a border dispute that went on for nearly 170 years.
“We have proven that in peace everything is possible and that, without it, nothing good is achieved,” said Ecuador’s Jose Ayala Lasso in the same room at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry where the two nations signed the Global and Definitive Peace Agreement on Oct. 26, 1998.
The negotiations for that treaty were headed by a group of guarantor countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the United States.
Brazil acted as coordinator and was the site of almost all meetings held by Ecuadorian and Peruvian negotiators over more than three years.
The border conflicts between Peru and Ecuador lasted for almost 170 years and resulted in numerous periods of tension that, in 1995, led the two nations to war with each other, a situation which prompted the mediation of the guarantor countries.
“All the friendly countries showed a great willingness for peace and did everything possible to integrate that idea into the future of Peru and Ecuador,” Peruvian former Foreign Minister Fernando de Trazegnies Granda said at Tuesday’s ceremony.
Both countries, Trazegnies said, acknowledge on Tuesday that they are “sons of a Spanish father,” with “a historical family relationship” in which “their mother is Inca” and their “older brother” is Brazil.
The accord was signed by then-Presidents Jamil Mahuad of Ecuador and Alberto Fujimori of Peru.
Also attending the ceremony on that day as witnesses were Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia, as well as representatives of the US, the Vatican and the Organization of American States.
Hosting the event was then-Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, whom both foreign ministers thanked on Tuesday for the “infinite patience” he displayed during the negotiations.