A small war: the Zarumilla campaign

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1966

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The dissolution of the Spanish Empire in America left the question of the boundaries of the new nations unanswered. The founders of the new states established the principle of the utl possidetis of 1810 as their basis for national boundaries. But there had been jurisdictional and territorial changes in the last days of the Spanish period and the boundaries were not clear. Ecuador and Peru were plagued by a border problem since the day of their independence. In trying to settle the border conflict, Peru invaded Ecuador twice during the nineteenth century; once she was defeated and the second time she captured Guayaquil. On neither occasion was the border settled. The two nations also tried to settle their dispute by diplomacy, but neither the conversations nor the treaties that were signed led to any permanent settlement. By 1940, Peru had once again decided that the issue could only be settled by force of arms. [...]

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