Rio Protocol

Last updated
Rio Protocol

Protocolo de Rio.jpg

The signing of the Rio Protocol
Type bilateral treaty
Signed 29 January 1942 (1942-01-29)
Location Rio de Janeiro city, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ratifiers Ecuador

The Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries between Peru and Ecuador, or Rio Protocol for short, was an international agreement signed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 29, 1942, by the foreign ministers of Peru and Ecuador, with the participation of the United States, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina as guarantors. The Protocol was intended to finally resolve the long-running territorial dispute between the two countries, and brought about the official end of the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War of 1941-1942. Nevertheless, the Protocol was incomplete, and war broke out between Peru and Ecuador twice more, in 1981 and in 1995, before the signing of the Itamaraty Peace Declaration which brought final resolution to the dispute.

Rio de Janeiro Second-most populous municipality in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, the second-most populous metropolitan area in Brazil and sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. The capital is Brasília, and the most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

Peru republic in South America

Peru, officially 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, and 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.



In May 1941, as tensions at the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border mounted and war was imminent, the governments of the United States, Brazil, and Argentina offered their services in aiding in the mediation of the dispute. Their efforts failed to prevent the outbreak of hostilities on July 23, 1941, but the diplomatic intervention led to a definitive cease-fire being put into place on July 31. Despite this, limited skirmishes continued to occur through the months of August and September in the Ecuadorian provinces of El Oro and Loja, as well as in the Amazonian lands. Ecuador accused Peru of continuing its advances into the highland province of Azuay.[ citation needed ]

El Oro Province Province in Ecuador

El Oro is the southernmost of Ecuador's coastal provinces. It was named for its historically important gold production. Today it is one of the world's major exporters of bananas. The capital is Machala.

Loja Province Province in Ecuador

Loja Province is one of 24 provinces in Ecuador and shares its southern border on the west by El Oro Province, on the north by El Azuay, and on the east by Zamora-Chinchipe. Founded on its present site in 1548 by Captain Alonso de Mercadillo (Spanish), the site had been previously moved and rebuilt from La Toma due to earthquakes. It also is named as "Cuxibamba Valley", from the Quichua language, which means the "Smiley Valley".

Azuay Province Province in Ecuador

Azuay, Province of Azuay is a province of Ecuador, created on 25 June 1824. It encompasses an area of 8,309.58 square kilometres (3,208.35 sq mi). Its capital is Cuenca. It is located in the south center of Ecuador in the highlands. Its mountains reach 4,500 m (14,800 ft) above sea level in the national park of El Cajas.

On October 2, with military observers from the three mediating countries serving as witnesses, Ecuador and Peru signed the Talara Accord, which created a demilitarized zone inside the provinces of El Oro and Loja, pending the signing of a definitive peace treaty. Diplomatic efforts continued, with the mediating countries being joined by Chile.

Peace treaty agreement between two or more hostile parties which formally ends a state of war

A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, which formally ends a state of war between the parties. It is different from an armistice, which is an agreement to stop hostilities, or a surrender, in which an army agrees to give up arms, or a ceasefire or truce in which the parties may agree to temporarily or permanently stop fighting.

With its recent entry into World War II, the United States was eager to present a united American continent.[ citation needed ] At the third Pan-American Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the United States encouraged a settlement between the two countries.[ citation needed ]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

On January 29, 1942, on the final day of the third Pan-American Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, the foreign ministers of Ecuador and Peru, Julio Tobar Donoso and Alfredo Solf y Muro, signed a "Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries", known as the Rio de Janeiro Protocol. The observers from the United States, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile co-signed the document, becoming "Guarantors of the Protocol". [1] The Rio Protocol was subsequently ratified by each country's congress on February 26, 1942.

Alfredo Solf y Muro Peruvian politician and Prime Minister

Alfredo Solf y Muro was a Peruvian politician. He was the Prime Minister of Peru from 8 December 1939 until 3 December 1944. Solf y Muro also served as foreign minister.

By the terms of the Protocol, Ecuador agreed to withdraw its long-standing claim for rights to direct land access to the Marañon and Amazon rivers; Peru agreed to withdraw Peruvian military forces from Ecuadorian territory. An area of 200,000 km2 (77,000 sq mi) of hitherto disputed territory in the Maynas region of the Amazonian basin was awarded to Peru, which had been established to be the de facto possessor of the land since the end of the 19th century. The status quo line defined in the 1936 Lima Accord was used as the basis for the definitive border line; the previous border recognized current possessions, but not sovereignty. Relative to the 1936 line, Ecuador ceded 18,552 km² of previously possessed territory to Peru, while Peru ceded 5,072 km² of previously possessed territory to Ecuador. [2]

Amazon River longest river in South America

The Amazon River in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and by some definitions it is the longest.

Sovereignty concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.

During the 1960s, the Ecuadorian government alleged that the Protocol was invalid, because it had been signed under coercion while foreign troops were stationed on Ecuadorian soil.[ citation needed ] This stance was modified by subsequent governments, but was never officially reverted until the resolution of the dispute in 1995.[ citation needed ]

The intended goal of the Rio Protocol was not fulfilled until the signing of the Itamaraty Peace Declaration in 1995. Between the signing of the two treaties, the Paquisha Incident and the Cenepa War rekindled the dispute.


( English Translation )


The Governments of Peru and Ecuador, desiring to settle the boundary dispute which, over a long period of time, has separated them, and taking into consideration the offer that was made to them by the Governments of the United States of America, of the Argentine Republic, of the United States of Brazil, and of Chile, of their friendly services to seek a prompt and honorable solution to the program, and moved by the American spirit that prevails in the Third Consultative Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, have resolved to conclude a protocol of peace, friendship, and boundaries in the presence of the representatives of those four friendly Governments. To this end, the following plenipotentiaries take part:

For the Republic of Peru, Doctor Alfredo Solf y Muro, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and

For the Republic of Ecuador, Doctor Julio Tobar Donoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Who, after having exhibited the respective full powers of the parties, and having found them in good and due form, agree to the signing of the following protocol:


The Governments of Peru and Ecuador solemnly affirm their resolute intention of maintaining between the two peoples relations of peace and friendship, of understanding and good faith and of abstaining, the one with respect to the other, from any action capable of disturbing such relations.


The Government of Peru shall, within a period of 15 days from this date, withdraw its military forces to the line described in article VIII of this protocol.


The United States of America, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile shall cooperate, by means of military observers, in order to adjust to circumstances this evacuation and retirement of troops, according to the terms of the preceding article.


The military forces of the two countries shall remain in their new positions until the definitive demarcation of the frontier line. Until then, Ecuador shall have only civil jurisdiction in the zones evacuated by Peru, which remain in the same status as the demilitarized zone of the Talara Act.


The activity of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile shall continue until the definitive demarcation of frontiers between Peru and Ecuador has been completed, this protocol and the execution thereof being under the guaranty of the four countries mentioned at the beginning of this article.


Ecuador shall enjoy, for purposes of navigation on the Amazon and its northern tributaries, the same concessions that Brazil and Colombia enjoy, in addition to those that may be agreed upon in a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation designed to facilitate free and untaxed navigation on the aforesaid rivers.


Any doubt or disagreement that may arise in the execution of this protocol shall be settled by the parties concerned, with the assistance of the representatives of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, in the shortest possible time.


The boundary line shall follow the points named below:

A)-In the west:

The mouth of the Capones in the ocean;

The Zarumilla River and the Balsamal or Lajas Quebrada;

The Puyango or Tumbes River to the Quebrada de Cazaderos;


The Quebrada de Pilares y del Alamor to the Chira River;

The Chira River, upstream;

The Macará, Calvas, and Espíndola Rivers, upstream, to the sources of the last mentioned in the Nudo de Sabanillas;

From the Nudo de Sabanillas to the Canchis River;

Along the whole course of the Canchis River, downstream;

The Chinchipe River, downstream, to the point at which it receives the San Francisco River.

B)-In the east:

From the Quebrada de San Francisco, the watershed between the Zamora and Santiago Rivers, to the confluence of the Santiago River with the Yaupi;

A line to the outlet of the Bobonaza into the Pastaza. The confluence of the Conambo River with the Pintoyacu in the Tigre River;

Outlet of the Cononaco into the Curaray, downstream, to Bellavista;

A line to the outlet of the Yasuní into the Napo River. Along the Napo, downstream, to the mouth of the Aguarico;

Along the latter, upstream, to the confluence of the Lagartococha or Zancudo River with the Aguarico;

The Lagartococha or Zancudo River, upstream, to its sources and from there a straight line meeting the Güepí River and along this river to its outlet into the Putumayo, and along the Putumayo upstream to the boundary of Ecuador and Colombia


It is understood that the line above described shall be accepted by Peru and Ecuador for the demarcation of the boundary between the two countries, by technical experts, on the grounds. The parties may, however, when the line is being laid out on the ground, grant such reciprocal concessions as they may consider advisable in order to adjust the aforesaid line to geographical realities. These rectifications shall be made with the collaboration of the representatives of the United States of America, the Argentine Republic, Brazil, and Chile.

The Governments of Peru and Ecuador shall submit this protocol to their respective Congresses and the corresponding approval is to be obtained within a period of not more than 30 days.

In witness thereof, the plenipotentiaries mentioned above sign and seal the present protocol, in two copies, in Spanish, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, at one o’clock, the twenty-ninth day of January, of the year nineteen hundred and forty-two, under the auspices of His Excellency the President of Brazil and in the presence of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Republic, Brazil, and Chile and of the Under Secretary of State of the United States of America.



Signed at Rio de Janeiro, January 29, 1942.

Approved by the Congress of Ecuador, February 26, 1942.

Approved by the Congress of Peru, February 26, 1942.

(L.S.) Alfredo Solf y Muro

(L.S.) J. Tobar Donoso

Signed) Sumner Welles

Signed) E. Ruiz Guiñazú

Signed) Juan B. Rossetti

Signed) Oswaldo Aranha

Related Research Articles

Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also known as the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, or the Madrid Protocol, is part of the Antarctic Treaty System. It provides for comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.

South America A continent in the Western Hemisphere, and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics.

Cenepa War

The Cenepa War, also known as the Alto Cenepa War, was a brief and localized military conflict between Ecuador and Peru, fought over control of an area in Peruvian territory near the border between the two countries. The two nations had signed a border treaty following the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War of 1941, but Ecuador later disagreed with the treaty as it applied to the Cenepa and Paquisha areas, and in 1960 Ecuador declared the treaty null and void.

Rio Group

The Rio Group (G-Rio) was a permanent association of political consultation of Latin America and Caribbean countries, created in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 18, 1986 with the purpose of creating a better political relationship among the countries. It was succeeded in 2011 by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

Zamora-Chinchipe Province Province in Ecuador

Zamora Chinchipe, Province of Zamora Chinchipe is a province of the Republic of Ecuador, located at the southeastern end of the Amazon Basin, which shares borders with the Ecuadorian provinces of Azuay and Morona Santiago to the north, Loja and Azuay to the west, and with Peru to the east and south. The province comprises an area of approximately 10,456 km² and is covered with a uniquely mountainous topography which markedly distinguishes it from the surrounding Amazonian provinces. Zamora-Chinchipe is characterized and largely identified by its mining industry; indigenous ethnic groups with a rich archaeological legacy; its biodiversity; and its niche and tourist attractions, which include a number of waterfalls well-noted for their beauty. The province takes its name from the bureaucratic fusion of the Zamora and Chinchipe cantons. The provincial capital is the city of Zamora.

José Paranhos, Baron of Rio Branco Brazilian politician and academic

José Maria da Silva Paranhos Jr., Baron of Rio Branco was a Brazilian diplomat, geographer, historian, monarchist, politician and professor, considered to be the "father of Brazilian diplomacy". He was the son of statesman José Maria da Silva Paranhos Sr. The Baron of Rio Branco was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, occupying its 34th chair from 1898 until his death in 1912. As a representative of Brazil, through his diplomacy, he managed to peacefully resolve Brazil's border disputes with its South American neighbours.

Ecuadorian–Peruvian War South American border war fought between 5–31 July 1941 between Ecuador and Peru

The Ecuadorian–Peruvian War, known locally as the War of '41, was a South American border war fought between 5–31 July 1941. It was the first of three military conflicts between Ecuador and Peru during the 20th century. During the war, Peru occupied the western Ecuadorian province of El Oro and parts of the Andean province of Loja. Although the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War occurred during World War II, it was not part of the conflict; Ecuador and Peru were neither affiliated with nor supported by the Allies or the Axis.

Aguarico River river in Ecuador and Peru

The Aguarico River is a river in northeastern Ecuador. It is the main river of the Sucumbíos province. In the last part of its course it is the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. It empties into the Napo River. It has a length of 390 km (240 mi), of which the last 50 km (31 mi) of its course extend along the natural border between Ecuador and Peru. The lower course of the Aguarico River was finalized and legally fixed as part of the long-disputed Ecuador-Peru frontier according to The Rio de Janeiro Protocol of 1942. Ecuador unilaterally denounced the protocol in 1960, however a new agreement was signed in 1999 validating the pre-existing protocol.

Jamil Mahuad 45º President of Ecuador

Jorge Jamil Mahuad Witt is an Ecuadorian lawyer, academic and former politician, he was the 39th President of Ecuador from August 10, 1998 to January 21, 2000.

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 precisely 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, Colombia and Venezuela would follow the borders of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, and 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 officially 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, which was the sparsely inhabited and entirely 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.

Paquisha War 1981 war between Ecuador and Peru

The Paquisha War was a brief military clash that took place between January and February 1981 between Ecuador and Peru over the control of three watchposts. While Peru felt that the matter was already decided in the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941, Ecuador did not agree with the Rio de Janeiro Protocol. Later in 1998 the Guarantors of the Rio Protocol ruled that the border of the undelimited zone was indeed the line of the Cordillera del Cóndor, as Peru had been claiming since the 1940s.

The Treaty of the Triple Alliance was a treaty which allied the Empire of Brazil and the Republics of Argentina and Uruguay against the Republic of Paraguay. Signed in 1865 after the outbreak of the Paraguayan War, its articles prescribed the allies' actions both during and after the war.

ABC countries the trio of South American countries Argentina–Brazil–Chile

ABC countries, or ABC powers, refers to the South American countries of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, which are seen as the three most powerful, most influential and wealthiest countries in South America. The term was mostly used in the first half of the 20th century, when they worked together to develop common interests and a coordinated approach to issues in the region with relatively little influence from outside powers, in contrast with the Cold War governments.

Chile–Peru relations

Chilean-Peruvian relations refers to the historical and current bilateral relationship between the adjoining South American countries of the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Peru. Peru and Chile have shared diplomatic relations since at least the time of the Inca Empire in the 15th century. Under the Viceroyalty of Peru, Chile and Peru had connections using their modern names for the first time. Chile aided in the Peruvian War of Independence by providing troops and naval support.

Ecuadorian–Peruvian territorial dispute of 1857–60

A territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru took place between 1857 and 1860. The dispute began when Ecuador attempted to sell Amazon basin land claimed by Peru in order to settle a debt with British creditors. When diplomatic relations between the two countries broke down, prior to the fragmentation of the Ecuadorian government into several competing factions, the Peruvian government ordered a blockade of Ecuador's ports in order to force the cancellation of the sale, and the official acknowledgement of Peruvian ownership of the disputed territories. By late 1859, control of Ecuador was consolidated between General Guillermo Franco, in the city of Guayaquil, and a provisional government in Quito headed by Gabriel García Moreno. Peruvian President Ramón Castilla sailed to Guayaquil with several thousand soldiers in October 1859, and negotiated the Treaty of Mapasingue with General Franco in January 1860. The signing of the treaty indicated Ecuadorian compliance with all of Peru's demands, and temporarily marked the end of the territorial dispute between the two countries. However, in September 1860, the forces of the provisional government, commanded by García Moreno and General Juan José Flores defeated Franco's government at the Battle of Guayaquil, ending the civil war in Ecuador. The new government disavowed the Treaty of Mapasingue, followed shortly afterwards by its Peruvian counterpart; this re-opened the territorial dispute.

This is a summary of the history of Ecuador from 1925 – 1944.

Argentina–Peru relations

Argentina–Peru relations are foreign relations between Argentina and Peru. Both countries established diplomatic relations on July 10, 1822. Argentina has an embassy in Lima. Peru has an embassy in Buenos Aires, 3 general consulates and 2 honorary consulates.

Boundary Treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina Boundary Treaty between Argentina and Chile, signed on 23 July 1881

The Boundary Treaty of 1881 between Argentina and Chile was signed on the 23 July 1881 in Buenos Aires by Bernardo de Irigoyen, on the part of Argentina, and Francisco de Borja Echeverría, on the part of Chile, with the aim of establishing a precise and exact borderline between the two countries based on the uti possidetis juris principle. Despite dividing largely unexplored lands, the treaty laid the groundwork for nearly all of Chile's and Argentina's current 5600 km shared border.

Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1904) peace treaty signed between Chile and Bolivia in 1904

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1904 between Chile and Bolivia was signed in Santiago de Chile on October 20, 1904 to delineate the boundary through 96 specified points between Cerro Zapaleri and Cerro Chipe and to regulate the relations between the two countries 20 years after the end of the War of the Pacific.

The military history of Ecuador spans hundreds of years.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2005-11-22.
  2. Julio Tobar Donoso, La Invasión Peruana y el Protocolo de Rio. Antecedentes y Explicación Histórica. Quito, Banco Central del Ecuador, 1982 (1st Ed. 1945). P. 462.