The past conflicts of Latin America are the beginning of understanding the configuration, territorial distribution and current disputes of the region.
Soldier in the middle of a confrontation. / Photo: Pixabay – Reference Image
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Sebastián Salguero
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In spite of the great efforts that are made, conflicts often cannot be resolved through the use of words. The experience of wars and the creation of institutions (such as the UN) do not seem to be sufficient to prevent armed conflict and the death of people. Whether due to its multiple causes, such as territorial, political or ideological, armed conflicts affect everyone.
It is important to emphasize that the development of armed conflicts explains much of the configuration of the world in which we live. For Latin America this situation is not different, and although the number is lower if we compare with Europe, it should be emphasized that after the time of colonization there were conflicts, many of which left lags between countries. These are some examples:
Pacific War or Saltpeter War
According to the article Pax castrense on the northern border. A reflection on the post-war Salitre: the conflict over Tacna-Arica and Tarapacá , written by Sergio González Miranda, sociologist and doctor in Latin American studies, the Salitre war was an armed conflict that pitted Chile against Bolivia and Peru in the years 1879 and 1884.
The conflict arises due to several factors: the violation of terms of the various treaties, disputes over problems in the definition of borders, diplomatic tensions and economic interests between Bolivia and Chile. After the Chilean invasion of Bolivian territory, Bolivia declared war on Chile on March 1, 1879.
Peru, who had interests with Bolivia and a secret pact of alliance with this country, could not declare itself neutral and Chile, on April 5, declared war on both nations. Later on April 6, Peru declared war on Chile on the occasion of an alliance with Bolivia.
The result had Chile as the winner, claiming territories of Peru and Bolivia. Among the most significant was the loss of the Bolivian coast, which was its only exit to the sea and source natural and geopolitical resources.
In its last attempt, Bolivia went to the International Court of Justice to which it requested that Chile had to negotiate with this country the access to the sea. The ruling of the Court, of 2018, held that Chile has no obligation to negotiate with the Bolivian government since there is no treaty or agreement that says otherwise.
Leticia War or Colombo-Peruvian War
It was the armed conflict between the Republics of Colombia and Peru between 1932 and 1933. It was carried out in tributaries of the Putumayo River and the city of Leticia, in Colombia.
According to Reynel Salas Vargas, in his book The Colombian-Peruvian conflict: Politics-War-Diplomacy , the cause of this war, among other things, arises from the lack of clarity in the definition of the borders between the Viceroyalty of the New Granada and the Viceroyalty of Peru, more precisely in the territory of Maynas . Given this legal vacuum, Peruvian troops took the Colombian military base of "La Pedrera", arousing interest in negotiating between the two nations.
In 1922 the Alberto Salomón and Fabio Lozano Treaty would be signed, by the name of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Peru and Colombia respectively, which limited the borders between these nations. However, in 1932, Peruvian military troops take Leticia to claim her as their territory. Before this there was a Colombian military escalation, which in parallel was accompanied by diplomatic negotiations backed by several countries.
The conflict would not come to an end until Peruvian President Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro died and his successor, General Óscar Benavides, agreed to meet with Colombian President Enrique Olaya Herrera to agree on the terms of peace, which arrived to be completed a year later in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in which it was agreed to respect the Solomon-Lozano Treaty.
The triple alliance war
In Uruguayan historiography about the War of the Triple Alliance. Traditions, traditions, resignifications ?, by Tomás Sansón Corbo, the Triple Alliance war is described as the conflict that confronted Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay against Paraguay in 1864 and 1870. The origin of the conflict arises when Uruguay is invaded in 1863 by a group of Uruguayan liberals, overthrowing the federal government, which was an ally of Paraguay.
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The invasion would have been prepared and with the approval of the President of Argentina and with the support of the Brazilian Navy. Given this situation, Paraguay comes out in defense of the deposed government and decides to declare war on Brazil and, later on, Argentina, which, although it had declared itself neutral, decided not to allow Paraguayan troops to pass through its territory.
Meanwhile, the government of Brazil, Argentina, and the newly arrived Uruguayan government signed the Triple Alliance Treaty in 1865. The result was devastating for Paraguay, which was structurally and socially damaged since it lost a large part of its male population. Likewise, Argentina and Brazil adhered a portion of the Paraguayan territory to theirs.
The Cenepa War
It was a warlike confrontation between Ecuador and Peru between 1994 and 1995. This was the last war seen between two countries in the region.
According to the article The territorial conflict between Ecuador and Peru over the Cenepa River (1995): Between a failed and a successful mediation by Paula Lekada Laban, mainly, the conflict originated in the interest of the two nations for territorial control between the Cordillera del Cóndor and Río Cenepa and for the differentiated interpretation of the peace treaty "Protocol of Rio de Janeiro" signed after the war of both countries in 1941.
After several failed diplomatic attempts by the presidents of Peru (Alberto Fujimori) and Ecuador (Sixto Durán), the troops of both countries had several clashes in the conflict zone, of which the death figures are not known, which They range between 120 and 500.