History of the Ecuadorian–Peruvian territorial dispute
The territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru was the source of the longest-running international armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. This dispute was a consequence of each country's interpretation of what Real Cedulas Spain used to define its colonial territories in the Americas. After independence all of Spain's colonial territories signed and agreed to proclaim their limits in the basis of the principle uti possidetis juris which accepts the Spanish colonial borders of 1810 as the borders of the new republics, thus the borders of Gran Colombia which included Ecuador and Venezuela would follow the borders of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, Peru the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1810. However, Peru was not satisfied with this and tried to set the date of her Uti Possitedis to 1824- a time when Peru was independent with territories Peru militarily occupied since 1820. Tumbes and Jaen de Bracamoros, to which Peru had no colonial titles, were territories that declared their independence in 1820 and were militarily occupied by Peruvian patriot forces that convinced the people in these territories to join Peru.
Because of this, Peru claims that part of its western territorial borders where it lacks title is derived from free determination of its people in the border areas after independence. In the eastern section known as Maynas or Mainas, the sparsely inhabited and Amazon Basin, Peru bases its legal claims on the disputed Real Cedula of 1802. Gran Colombia which declared independence 2 years earlier in 1819 and helped to liberate Peru in the Battle of Junin and Ayacucho bases its rights on the clear and undisputed Real Cedulas of 1717, 1739 and 1740 and declares that the Real Cedula of 1802 is not political in nature, but was meant only for ecclesiastical and military jurisdiction. During the first 10 years of independence, Gran Colombia, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, had continually protested Peru's occupation of Tumbes and Jaen. Peru ignored Simon Bolivars ultimatum to face war. Bolivar declared war and Peru responded by invading and occupying southern Ecuador with a force of 8,000 soldiers.
Simon Bolivar sent Jose Antonio de Sucre to Ecuador who lead 4,000 Gran Colombian soldiers that defeated the Peruvian invaders in the Battle of Tarqui in 1829. The Treaty of Giron ended the war and the Treaty of Guayaquil in 1829 more or less restated the borders of Uti Possidetis juris of 1810 with slight modification in favour of Peru to form a clear border. Negotiations known as protocolized conferences began and Gran Colombia ceded some of its territory for the sake of peace and to have river borders to avoid future disputes. During these conferences both parties agreed that in the west the borders should follow the rivers Tumbes, but that either the Huancabamba or the Chinchipe would be decided later. In the east both agreed to divide Maynas in half and that both republics would be separated by the Marañón and Amazon rivers until the border reaches Brazil. On August 10, 1830 a treaty was signed known as the Protocolo de Mosquera-Pedimonte which summarized the results of the protocolized conferences.
This treaty was to end the border conflict once and for all, Ecuador split from Gran Colombia and thus the ones who signed the treaty did not have any negotiating powers. When Peru found out that Ecuador had seceded from Gran Colombia it decided to retain Jaen and Tumbes in the west and to invade the Amazon Basin north of the Marañón river; when the Republic of Ecuador proclaimed its secession from Gran Colombia in 1830 its government negotiated a swap of territories in the Amazon basin for debt with the British creditors, the dispute over the territories re-ignited in 1857. Peru implemented a maritime blockade of the port of Guayaquil demanding a revocation of the deal, as well as an acknowledgment of Peruvian sovereignty over the disputed territories; these demands went unheeded and with Ecuador in a state of civil war, the government of Guillermo Franco in the province of Guayaquil, claiming to represent the entire country, agreed to Peru's demands and signed the Treaty of Mapasingue of 1860.
Gabriel García Moreno's provisional government won the civil war that year, voided this treaty, with the new Peruvian government following suit several years later. The dispute continued through beginning of the 20th century. Numerous attempts were made to define the borders, but both governments could not come to an agreement acceptable to their constituencies. A war between Colombia and Peru occurred during 1932 and 1933 in the Eastern region of the Amazon territories and resulted in the official designation of the Putumayo River as a border between Colombia and Peru. An agreement recognizing territories in de facto possession by each country was signed in 1936, but minor military skirmishes began to occur in 1938. Tensions escalated, war broke out in July 1941, came to an end with the signing of the Rio de Janeiro Protocol on January 29, 1942; the treaty was intended to bring the long-running territorial dispute to an end, but in 1960 the president of Ecuador Dr. José Mª Velasco Ibarra proposed to the Congress a thesis of nullity based in the fact that the 1942 protocol was forced upon the Ecuadorian government under duress.
A brief military clash took place in early 1981, when the Peruvian Army forcefully took control of three Ecuadorian military outposts on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range. An agreement in 1992 between the presidents o
Viceroyalty of Peru
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Viceroyalty of Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian established by the Treaty of Tordesillas. The treaty was rendered meaningless between 1640 while Spain controlled Portugal; the creation during the 18th century of Viceroyalties of New Granada and Río de la Plata reduced the importance of Lima and shifted the lucrative Andean trade to Buenos Aires, while the fall of the mining and textile production accelerated the progressive decay of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish Empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century; these movements led to the formation of the modern-day countries of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina and Venezuela in the territories that at one point or another had constituted the Viceroyalty of Peru.
After the Spanish conquest of Peru, the first Audiencia was constituted by Lope García de Castro, a Spanish colonial administrator who served as a member of the Council of the Indies and of the Audiencias of Panama and Lima. From September 2, 1564, to November 26, 1569, he was interim viceroy of Peru. In 1542, the Spanish created the Viceroyalty of New Castile, which shortly afterward would be called the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1544, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V named Blasco Núñez Vela Peru's first viceroy, but the viceroyalty was not organized until the arrival of Viceroy Francisco Álvarez de Toledo, who made an extensive tour of inspection of the colony. Francisco de Toledo, "one of the great administrators of human times", established the Inquisition in the viceroyalty and promulgated laws that applied to Indians and Spanish alike, breaking the power of the encomenderos and reducing the old system of mita, he improved the defensibility of the viceroyalty with fortifications, la Armada del Mar del Sur against pirates.
He ended the indigenous Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba, executing the Inca Túpac Amaru, promoted economic development from the commercial monopoly and mineral extraction from silver mines in Potosí. The Amazon Basin and some large adjoining regions had been considered Spanish territory since the Treaty of Tordesillas and explorations such as that by Francisco de Orellana, but Portugal fell under Spanish control between 1580 and 1640. During this time, Portuguese territories in Brazil were controlled by the Spanish crown, which did object to the spread of Portuguese settlement into parts of the Amazon Basin that the treaty had awarded to Spain. Still, Luis Jerónimo de Cabrera, 4th Count of Chinchón sent out a third expedition to explore the Amazon River, under Cristóbal de Acuña; some Pacific islands and archipelagoes were visited by Spanish ships in the sixteenth century, but they made no effort to trade with or colonize them. These included New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Marquesas Islands by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira.
The first Jesuit reduction to Christianize the indigenous population was founded in 1609, but some areas occupied by Brazilians as bandeirantes extended their activities through much of the basin and adjoining Mato Grosso in the 17th and 18th centuries. These groups had the advantage of remote geography and river access from the mouth of the Amazon, in Portuguese territory. Meanwhile, the Spanish were barred by their laws from enslaving indigenous people, leaving them without a commercial interest deep in the interior of the basin. A famous attack upon a Spanish mission in 1628 resulted in the enslavement of 60,000 indigenous people. In fact, as time passed, they were used as a self-funding occupation force by the Portuguese authorities in what was a low-level war of territorial conquest. In 1617, viceroy Francisco de Borja y Aragón divided the government of Río de la Plata in two, Buenos Aires and Paraguay, both dependencies of the Viceroyalty of Peru, he established the Tribunal del Consulado, a court and administrative body for commercial affairs in the viceroyalty.
Diego Fernández de Córdoba, Marquis of Guadalcázar, reformed the fiscal system and stopped the interfamily rivalry, bloodying the domain. Other viceroys, such as Fernando Torres, Fernández de Cabrera, Fernández Córdoba expanded the colonial navy and fortified the ports to resist pirate attacks, such as those led by the Englishman Thomas Cavendish. Fernández de Cabrera suppressed an insurrection of the Mapuche Indians. Viceroys had to protect the Pacific coast from English and Dutch pirates, they expanded the naval forces, fortified the ports of Valdivia, Valparaíso, Arica and Callao and constructed city walls in Lima and Trujillo. The famous English privateer Henry Morgan took Chagres and captured and sacked the city of Panama in the early part of 1670. Peruvian forces repelled the attacks by Edward David, Charles Wager and Thomas Colb; the Peace of Utrecht allowed the British to send ships and merchandise to the fair at Portobello. In this period, revolts were common. Around 1656, Pedro Bohórquez crowned himself Inca of the Calchaquí Indians, inciting the indigenous population to
Venezuelan War of Independence
The Venezuelan War of Independence was one of the Spanish American wars of independence of the early nineteenth century, when independence movements in Latin America fought against rule by the Spanish Empire, emboldened by Spain's troubles in the Napoleonic Wars. The establishment of the Supreme Caracas Junta following the forced deposition of Vicente Emparan as Captain General of the Captaincy General of Venezuela on April 19, 1810, marked the beginnings of the war. On July 5, 1811, seven of the ten provinces of the Captaincy General of Venezuela declared their independence in the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence; the First Republic of Venezuela was lost in 1812 following the 1812 Caracas earthquake and the Battle of La Victoria. Simón Bolívar led an "Admirable Campaign" to retake Venezuela, establishing the Second Republic of Venezuela in 1813. Only as part of Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada in 1819-20 did Venezuela achieve a lasting independence from Spain. On 17 December 1819, the Congress of Angostura declared Gran Colombia an independent country.
After two more years of war, the country achieved independence from Spain in 1821 under the leadership of its most famous son, Simón Bolívar. Venezuela, along with the present-day countries of Colombia and Ecuador, formed part of the Republic of Gran Colombia until 1830, when Venezuela separated and became a sovereign state; the French invasion of Spain in 1808 led to the collapse of the Spanish Monarchy. Most subjects of Spain did not accept the government of Joseph Bonaparte, placed on the Spanish throne by his brother, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France. At the same time, the process of creating a stable government in Spain, which would be recognized throughout the empire, took two years; this created a power vacuum in the Spanish possessions in America, which created further political uncertainty. On 19 April 1810 the municipal council of Caracas headed a successful movement to depose the Spanish Governor and Captain General, Vicente Emparán. A junta was established in Caracas, soon other Venezuelan provinces followed suit.
The reverberations of this act of independence could be felt throughout Venezuela immediately. Across Venezuela and cities decided to either side with the movement based in Caracas or not, de facto civil war ensued throughout much of Venezuela; the Caracas Junta called for a congress of Venezuelan provinces to establish a government for the region. Both the Junta and Congress upheld the "rights of Ferdinand VII," meaning that they recognized themselves to still be part of the Spanish Monarchy, but had established a separate government due to the French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula; as the Congress deliberated, a faction proposing outright independence won favor. Persons such as Francisco de Miranda, a long-term Venezuelan expatriate, Simón Bolívar, a young, Criollo aristocrat—both influenced by Age of Enlightenment ideas and the example of the French Revolution—led the movement; the Congress declared Venezuela's independence on 5 July 1811, establishing the Republic of Venezuela. Before the Congress began its sessions in November 1810, a civil war started between those who supported the juntas, independence, royalists who wanted to maintain the union with Spain.
Two provinces, Maracaibo Province and Guayana Province, one district, never recognized the Caracas Junta and remained loyal to the governments in Spain. Military expeditions to bring Coro and Guayana under the control of the Republic failed. In 1811 an uprising in Valencia against the Republic was suppressed. By 1812 the situation became aggravated for the young Republic, it was short of funds, Spanish Regency set up a blockade, shortly after, on 26 March 1812, a devastating earthquake affected republican areas. In these desperate moments, Miranda was given dictatorial powers he was unable to stem the royalist advance headed by Captain Domingo de Monteverde. By midyear, after the Battle of San Mateo, the Republic collapsed. Miranda capitulated to Monteverde and signed an armistice on 25 July 1812. Bolívar and other republicans continued the resistance from other parts of the Spanish South America and the Caribbean, or organized guerrilla movements in the interior of the country. In 1813 Bolívar joined the army of United Provinces of New Granada.
After winning a series of battles, Bolívar received the approval of the New Granadan Congress to lead a liberating force into Venezuela in what became known as the Admirable Campaign. At the same time, Santiago Mariño invaded from the northeast in an independently organized campaign. Both forces defeated the royalist troops in various battles, such as Alto de los Godos. Bolívar entered Caracas on 6 August 1813, proclaiming the restoration of the Venezuelan Republic and his supreme leadership of it, something, not recognized by Mariño based in Cumaná, although the two leaders did cooperate militarily. In the viceroyalties of La Plata and New Granada the Creoles displaced the Spanish authorities with relative ease, as Caracas had done at first; the autonomous movement swept through New Granada. Bogotá inherited the role of capital from Spain, but the royalists were entrenched in southern Colombia. Cali was a bastion of the independence movement just north of royalist territory. Cartagena declared independence not only from Spain but from Bogotá.
Bolívar arrived in Cartagena and was well received, as
Peru the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE; the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima.
Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, social unrest, internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017. After the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimoristas, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power causing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign in March 2018; the sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is classified as an emerging market with a high level of human development and an upper middle income level with a poverty rate around 19 percent.
It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9% and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing and fishing; the country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom. Peru has a population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans and Asians; the main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine and music; the name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama City, in the early 16th century.
When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans. Thus, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú. An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of an Inca princess and a conquistador, he said the name Birú was that of a common Indian happened upon by the crew of a ship on an exploratory mission for governor Pedro Arias de Ávila, went on to relate more instances of misunderstandings due to the lack of a common language. The Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after independence; the earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to 9,000 BC. Andean societies were based on agriculture, terracing.
Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC; these early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed around the coastal and Andean regions throughout Peru. The Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Peru's Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture; the Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was more of a religious than a political phenomenon, with their religious centre in Chavín de Huantar. After the decline of the Chavin culture around the beginning of the 1st century AD, a series of localized and specialized cultures rose and fell
Francisco de Paula Santander
Francisco José de Paula Santander y Omaña, was a Colombian military and political leader during the 1810–1819 independence war of the United Provinces of New Granada. He was the acting President of Gran Colombia between 1819 and 1826, elected by Congress as the President of the Republic of New Granada between 1832 and 1837. Santander came to be known as "The Man of the Laws". Santander was born in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, on April 2, 1792, his parents were Juan Agustín Santander Colmenares, governor of the rural province of San Faustino de los Ríos as well as a cocoa grower, his mother. Both were descendants of aristocratic Spanish families who had settled in the New Kingdom of Granada, he died due to gallstones in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Cundinamarca, on March 6, 1840. A law student, he began his military career at the young age of eighteen, following the establishment of juntas in 1810, which began the process of independence in New Granada. Santander enlisted in the battalion the National Guard.
He first served as a soldier in army of the federalist United Provinces of New Granada, under the command of General Antonio Baraya, that fought against General Antonio Nariño, of the Province of Cundinamarca, who had refused to recognize the authority of the Union. During these campaigns Santander achieved the rank of colonel in 1812. After the royalist forces re-conquered New Granada, Santander like many other New Granadan officers retreated to the plains east of the Cordillera Oriental, the Llanos, near the modern Venezuelan border. There, Santander joined forces with Venezuelan patriots and operated under the command of Simón Bolívar. During the military campaign across the Andes, Bolívar promoted Santander to Brigadier General in 1817. By 1819, Santander was given command of the republican army's vanguard by Bolívar during the campaign to liberate New Granada. Santander was one of the battlefield commanders during the republican victory at the battle of "el Pantano de Vargas" and at the Battle of Boyacá, on August 7 of that same year.
After these battles, he was promoted to Commanding General, the equivalent of a modern major general. In October 1821, after the Constitution of Cúcuta was proclaimed, Santander was elected by the newly gathered Congress as Vice President of Gran Colombia, in a heated election, where he overcame the other strong candidate for the post, the former leader of Cundinamarca, General Antonio Nariño, by a margin of 38 to 19 votes. Santander was placed in charge of the government of New Granada, while Bolívar returned to Venezuela to propose the union of Venezuela and New Granada to the Venezuelan congress. Since General Simón Bolívar, despite being the President of the new republic, decided to continue leading the republican forces in their southern campaigns in Ecuador and Peru, the office of President of Gran Colombia was entrusted to General Santander; the Constitution mandated that the vice-president remain in Bogotá in such cases and handle the functions of the executive branch of government.
As acting ruler, Santander had to deal with a grave economic crisis—that was one of the direct consequences of a decade of constant warfare—pockets of royalist sentiment in Gran Colombian society, supplying the logistics of the continuing military operations and legislative reactivation, the establishment of internal political divisions. During this period Santander moved towards a centralist political philosophy and upheld the legitimacy of the Cucutá Constitution against federalist and regionalist pretensions. Santander made a concerted move toward free trade, he removed and reduced many taxes, left in place from Spanish rule and opened ports to all foreign nations. He created incentives for immigrants, including expedited naturalization—applicants were allowed to leave the country for up to six months without interrupting their "required" stay—and land grants. Bolívar undid many of Santander's actions after he returned in 1826 and reassumed his position as president ruling through emergency decree.
During his first administration, in an effort to stabilize the new nation, Santander ordered the execution of most of the Spanish officers in captivity, among them General José María Barreirio. General Bolívar, in a letter sent to Santander from Pamplona, expressed his sadness and disapproval. Santander and Bolívar were considered as close friends and allies, but political and ideological differences emerged, it is considered by modern scholars that Santander believed in the sanctity of constitutional government and in the rule of law to a greater degree than Bolívar, who would have thought that those concerns were secondary to what he perceived as the actual needs and solutions that historical circumstances demanded, thus could be subject to flexibility. In 1826, when the first Venezuelan uprising occurred and Bolívar came to disagree about how to handle the situation. Santander believed that the rebels, led by José Antonio Páez and federalist sympathizers, should be punished or at least made to submit to the established constitutional order.
When Bolívar, who had returned from Peru and reassumed his executive powers, arranged for an amnesty and placed Páez as supreme military chief of the department of Venezuela, Santander felt that the central government's authority and the rule of law were being undermined by the constitutional President himself in a personalist manner. Santander disagreed with Bolívar's attempt to promote a reform of th
Military history of Ecuador
The military history of Ecuador spans hundreds of years. Ecuador's military history dates back to its first attempt to secure freedom from Spain in 1811; the rebel forces of the newly declared independent state of Quito attempted to extend their control to other parts of the territory but proved little match against the royalist army dispatched by the Viceroy of Peru. In December 1812, during the Battle of Ibarra, Spanish forces reasserted control over the contested areas. A new independence movement began in 1820, Ecuadorian forces assembled in Guayaquil, forming contingents with revolutionary soldiers from Colombia commanded by Antonio José de Sucre, a close collaborator of the Venezuelan liberator, Simón Bolívar Palacios. In 1822 after a successful invasion in the Andean highlands, the rebels scored a decisive victory over the royalist army at the Battle of Pichincha. In 1828, as a member of the Confederation of Gran Colombia, Ecuador fought along with Colombia and Venezuela against Peru to block the latter's attempt at annexation.
Confederation forces, fewer than half of which were Ecuadorians, defeated the much larger Peruvian invasion force near Cuenca, at the Battle of Tarqui on 26 February and 27 February 1829. The Gual-Larrea Treaty was signed on September 1829 ending the war; this treaty, better known as the Treaty of Guayaquil, specified that the Gran Colombian-Peruvian border was to be the same border that had existed between the Spanish colonial viceroyalties of Nueva Granada and Lima. At the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830, most of Ecuador's senior army officers and many of its troops were Venezuelans, as was the country's first president, Juan José Flores; the army of 2,000 men consisted of one cavalry regiment. As late as 1845, when Juan José Flores was forced from his second term of office, only four of fifteen general officers were Ecuadorian. Non-Ecuadorians comprised most of the officers and non-commissioned officers in the elite cavalry units as well. Upon taking office as president in 1851, General José María Urbina freed the black slaves and recruited many of them into the military.
By 1859 the nation was on the brink of anarchy and was marked by the Ecuadorian–Peruvian territorial dispute of 1857–1860 Guayaquil's Guillermo Franco, had declared several regions autonomous and signed the Treaty of Mapasingue, ceding the southern provinces of Ecuador to an occupying Peruvian army led by General Ramón Castilla. This action was outrageous enough to unite some disparate elements. Gabriel García Moreno, putting aside his differences with General Juan Jose Flores, got together with the former dictator to put down the various local rebellions and force out the Peruvians; the final push of this effort was the defeat of Franco's Peruvian-backed forces at the Battle of Guayaquil, which led to the overturning of the Treaty of Mapasingue. This opened the last chapter of Flores's long career and marked the entrance to power of Gabriel García Moreno. In the 1860s, successive governments attempted to professionalize the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. Gabriel García Moreno, who dominated the political scene from 1860 until 1875, reduced the army in size and depoliticized it.
Further improvements occurred during the prosperous period of the 1880s and 1890s under the military dictator Gen. Ignacio de Veintemilla, successor civilian governments. French officers arrived to provide training on a newly acquired arsenal of weapons. By 1900 the army was able to repel an attack from Colombia, organised by Ecuadorian political opponents of the government in power. In 1905 the government established military education and training institutions and divided the country into four defense zones. Preceding World War I, the army had nine infantry battalions, three cavalry regiments, three artillery regiments, three engineering battalions, it was in the years of 1913 to 1916 that all the work done since the beginning of the century was tested. Following the assassination of Gen. Eloy Alfaro, Crnl. Carlos Concha, a famed and revered field commander started a revolution in the northern province of Esmeraldas; the civil war had started and the army was destroyed by the insurgency forces.
By the year of 1914 Gen. Leonidas Plaza, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and acting President had to take personal control of operations and it would take another two years to end the conflict. In these times both, the army and Navy started the development of joined tasks such as amphibious landing operations, earning lots of experience in this field. By the mid-1920s, it had expanded to fifteen infantry battalions. Under the influence of an Italian military mission, the infantry was reduced to ten battalions, although each battalion now consisted of four rather than the previous two or three rifle companies. In 1930 the army had a total strength of about 5,500 men of all ranks. Ecuador remained neutral in World War I. Continual political unrest made. Rebellions and lack of loyalty of both senior Generals and medium ranking officers made the Ecuadorian forces weak and disorganized. A long territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru, which traces its roots back to the Gran Colombia–Peru War, escalated on January 11, 1941.
Peru, alleging that the Ecuadorian troops had been staging incursions and occupations of Peruvian territory, began to mobilize its troops to the disputed zone in Zarumilla. This escalated into a major conflict, called Ecuadorian–Peruvian War of 1941; the accounts as to which side fired the first shot vary to this day. Regardless, the much larger and better equipped Peruvian force of 13,000 men overwhelme
Battle of Pichincha
The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador. The encounter, fought in the context of the Spanish American wars of independence, pitted a Patriot army under General Antonio José de Sucre against a Royalist army commanded by Field Marshal Melchor Aymerich; the defeat of the Royalist forces loyal to Spain brought about the liberation of Quito, secured the independence of the provinces belonging to the Real Audiencia de Quito, or Presidencia de Quito, the Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which the Republic of Ecuador would emerge. The military campaign for the independence of the Presidencia de Quito could be said to have begun on October 9, 1820, when the port-city of Guayaquil proclaimed its independence from Spanish rule after a quick and bloodless revolt against the local colonial garrison; the leaders of the movement, a combination of Venezuelan and Peruvian pro-independence officers from the colonial army, along with local intellectuals and patriots, set up a governing council and raised a military force with the purpose of defending the city and carrying the independence movement to the other provinces in the country.
By that time, the tide of the wars of independence in South America had turned decisively against Spain: Simón Bolívar's victory at the Battle of Boyacá had sealed the independence of the former Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada, while to the south, José de San Martín, having landed with his army on the Peruvian coast in September 1820, was preparing the campaign for the independence of the Viceroyalty of Perú. There were three military attempts; the first campaign was carried out by the new independent government of Guayaquil, which raised an army with local recruits — 1,800 men strong — and in November 1820 sent it towards the central highlands, with the purpose of encouraging other cities to join the independentist cause. After some initial successes, which included the declaration of independence of Cuenca, on November 3, 1820, the Patriots suffered a costly defeat at the hands of the Royalist army at the Battle of Huachi, near Ambato, forcing the Patriots to retreat back to the coastal lowlands.
By February 1821, Guayaquil began to receive reinforcements and supplies, sent by Simón Bolívar, President of the fledgling Republic of Colombia. In May of that year, Brigadier General Antonio José de Sucre, Commander in Chief of the Southern Division of the Colombian Army and Bolívar's most trusted military subordinate, came to Guayaquil, he was to take overall command of the new Patriot army, begin operations aimed at the liberation of Quito and the entire territory of the Real Audiencia de Quito. Bolívar's ultimate political goal was the incorporation of all the provinces of the Real Audiencia into Colombia, including Guayaquil, still undecided whether to join Perú or Colombia, with a strong current of opinion in favour of setting up its own republic. Time was of the essence, as it was vital to force the issue before General José de San Martín, still fighting in Perú, could come up to bring forward any Peruvian claims to the important port-city. Sucre's advance up the Andes began in July, 1821.
As had happened in the first campaign, after some initial successes, Sucre was defeated by the Royalist army on September 12, 1821, coincidentally at the same place as the previous battle. This second campaign came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Patriots and the Spanish on November 19, 1821. Back in Guayaquil, General Sucre concluded that the best course of action for the next campaign would be to drop any further attempt of a direct advance to Quito by way of Guaranda, in favor of an indirect approach, marching first to the southern highlands and Cuenca before wheeling north and advancing up the inter-Andean "corridor" towards Quito; this plan had several advantages. Retaking Cuenca would cut all communications between Quito and Lima, would allow Sucre to wait for the reinforcements that in the meantime San Martín had promised would come from Perú. A more progressive and slower advance from the lowlands up the Andes into the southern highlands would allow for a gradual adaptation of the troops to the physiological effects of the altitude.
Moreover, it was the only way to avoid another direct clash in unfavorable conditions with the Royalist forces coming down from Quito. At the beginning of January 1822, Sucre opened the new campaign, his army consisted now of 1,700 men, including veterans from the previous campaigns as well as raw recruits. There were men from the lowlands of the Province of Guayaquil and volunteers who had come down from the highlands, both contingents soon to be organized into the Yaguachi Battalion. On January 18, 1822, the Patriot army marched in the southern lowlands. On February 9, 1822, having crossed the Andes, Sucre entered the town of Saraguro, where he was joined by the 1,200 men of the Peruvian Division, the contingent promised by San Martín; this force was Peruvian recruits, with Argentinian and Chilean officers. Facing a multinational force numbering around 3,000 men, the 900-strong Royalist cavalry detachment covering Cuenca withdrew to the north, being pursued at a distance by Patriot cavalry.
Cuenca was thus retaken by Sucre without a shot being fired. During March and April, the Royalists continued to march northwards avoiding battle wi