JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Today, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome back what we like to call a local boy done good.
Because-- a former student at Cayuga Heights Elementary School. And I think the rest is history.
But a few a few moments of that history-- Ambassador Einaudi served as Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States also Acting Secretary General of the OAS. He has received honors, and awards, and decorations personally from two American secretaries of state, three American presidents, and four heads of state of other governments.
Across his illustrious career, one notable achievement was his role as a US Special Envoy to the peace talks that led to the comprehensive settlement in 1998 between Ecuador and Peru that ended their centuries old territorial conflict about which I believe we will hear more today. Welcome, as always, and welcome back, Ambassador Einaudi.
LUIGI EINAUDI: Thank you very much Jonathan, Professor Kirshner, for that very elegant introduction. Thank you, [? Repi, ?] for being here at the institute name for you in the center named for my father. And thank all of you, friends, faculty, students for being here this morning.
In 1494, a papal bull named for the Spanish town of Tordesillas divided the newly discovered lands outside of Europe between Spain and Portugal, which where then the two big maritime nations attempting to settle this new world. And we have noticed that certain Americans are geographically challenged. But we should say that it comes therefore as no surprise that the pope was geographically challenged.
The first bull of 1493 divided the meridian like this, Portugal on this side, Spain on this side. I think the Portuguese were fairly smart and probably had had some discoveries coming before then. So they protested. And in 1494, an amended bull was put out.
And bull still showed they didn't know too much, but something. Is was like this-- 350 leagues west of the Canary Islands. And this was Portuguese. And this was Spain.
Spain built its viceroyalties centered on Mexico City and Lima, Peru on the coast here on the other side on the west. And from the west, the Andes created an incredibly formidable barrier to penetration. But in the west, there were two fantastic river systems, one the La Plata. But the main one that interests us here is that of the Amazon.
And in the technology of the day, the best way to move forward was to use the rivers and to just flowed upward. Therefore it is not totally surprising that instead of being here, Brazil wound up there, against, in effect, the Andes where you could no longer float up.
Now colonization in those days was urban and largely coastal. Knowledge of geography was certainly approximate. Not knowing where your borders were really is often a source of conflict. But nobody cared over what was seen as potentially obscure conflicts in unoccupied wilderness.
That of course, as an Indian leader in Ecuador pointed out to me, is a very European and urban way of looking at the world. Since as far as the Indian tribes of the Amazon were concerned, they were the occupants of the area. But in any case, people didn't worry about it.
Now Brazil was very smart. And under the Baron of Rio Branco, who was a great, great-- I'm going to have accelerate, because I can already tell this is a three hour marathon. So I have to cut it back--
--a great, great diplomat. He entered into treaties. Brazil has 11 neighbors. And he entered into treaties to settle its boundaries by even before World War I.
Not everybody was quite as far seeing. And in the case of Peru and Ecuador, a royal bull from the Spanish crown had in 1802 divided administrative responsibilities between the Viceroyalty centered on Lima and the Audiencia centered on Quito in what was to become Ecuador.
Now the different interpretations of that bull were, in this massive continent, of little interest. But they actually covered an area more or less the size of Spain or France, and certainly much bigger than Italy. And these differences carried over into an independence. And effort was made, many efforts were made to resolve the differences. They weren't.
In 1936, negotiators from the two sides actually reached a line which was similar to the line there was reached by the Brazilians based on the principle of [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]-- where you possess, where you own, where you are present, there you are, and it's yours. And so on that line-- on that basis, a line was agreed to in 1936. But Ecuador refused to accept it ultimately, the results of its negotiation.
And so things went on like that until 1941, when suddenly some border incidents flared up in the one part of the area that was actually settled here along the coast. Because this area remained pretty much wilderness except for the Indian tribes. And Ecuadorian military resistance collapsed.
And Peru just-- Peruvian military entered at will. And they entered, I think, with a vengeance. Because they could still remember the Great War post-independence in which Peru used to run all the way down to here, and Bolivia ran all the way down to here.
And in 1879, the war between Chile, and Peru, and Bolivia-- Chile defeated both of them roundly, actually wound up occupying Lima. And Peru lost all this land. But more importantly, Bolivia became landlocked. So Peru was a loser militarily-- had been a loser military until it managed to squash poor Ecuador.
The timing for Ecuador could not have been worse, 1941. Nobody wanted to be bothered with a South American conflict. And in fact, a meeting of foreign ministers had been scheduled for Rio. And different-- the fighting between Peru and Ecuador was tacked on to that.
And to the Brazilian foreign minister, a very illustrious gentlemen who would be an Ambassador to the United States, a friend of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, presided over this and basically decided that the 1936 line was the line that has to be settled. And the Peruvian military withdrew from southern Ecuador, particularly along the coast.
Now the decision was probably a reasonably fair one. It was seen as a fair one by everybody concerned except for Ecuador. It was seen is fair, because after all, it did follow a [SPEAKING SPANISH] principle. As it turned out, the oil lands all remained with Ecuador. And no populations, at least non-Indian populations, were moved in any way.
But Ecuador felt mutilated. And if you look at the geography and you look at the Amazon River, which proved to be of such an asset to Brazil, you can see that its headwaters, some of its headwaters, arise up in the area of Ecuador. And the Ecuadorians had long felt that they were the discoverers of the Amazon or that Spanish explorers starting from Quito had discovered the Amazon.
So the idea that suddenly they were cut off was one that went very badly, went against the Ecuadorian soul. In fact, until 1999, and it's still there on the walls of the Congress, the slogan was, Ecuador was, is, and always will be an Amazonian country.
So the Ecuadorian delegation went to Foreign Minister Aranha of Brazil and said, you know, you can't do this. International law isn't meant to be imposed on us like this. And Aranha looked down his long aristocratic nose at the Ecuadorians and said, well, with its lack of military capacity, Ecuador is not a problem for international law.
So demarcation proceeded under the guidance of a Brazilian military geographer. And it proceeded for several years. And it was going really, very well. More than 90%, in fact, all but about 50 miles of the border was fully demarcated, marked off, proper boundary markers set in place, and so forth. And so, in a sense, the net was closing on Ecuador from an Ecuadorian standpoint.
Now the geography knowledge thereof was still pretty approximate. And the State Department geographer who was asked to look at all of this reported that wherever the boundary was, it crossed lines where no human foot had trod up in the tops of the Cordillera del Condor, the mountain range in that area. And in fact, the US was an important source of technical support for the demarcation process. The US Air Force actually lost three planes and 14 men in taking aerial photographs to help the boundary process be developed.
And suddenly, in 1948, Ecuador stopped work. It declared that the boundary was [SPEAKING SPANISH], incapable of being executed, because, they said, that the American photography had revealed features that were not mentioned in the written outline of the boundary contained in the protocol line of 1942. So they were-- after that, nothing happened. But again, far away from major population centers, nobody cared.
There were flare-ups. And the Ecuadorian military tentatively build a little base over on sort of its side of the border and then start crossing over and so forth. The Peruvians would figure this out and would chase them away.
Peru actually-- Peru has an Air Force Academy that is about a dozen years older than the American Air Force Academy. Just because you're poor and in South America doesn't mean you can't start to develop institutionally. It is interesting, however, that of the class of 1936 from the Peruvian Air Force Academy, not one person survived because of airplane accidents and other things.
But they had some daredevils. In fact, that's how they got the original class-- was made up of people that were being expelled from the Army for being too risk takers. And some them were very good.
There was-- it shows on this map. Yeah, right here is a place called Leticia. Leticia is a place where, as you notice, it's very close to the border between Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. And the Colombians, devil's that they are, sent a ship through the Panama Canal, all the way around, up the Amazon to Leticia to attack the Peruvians.
And a Peruvian daredevil with a small plane flew in and dropped a bomb straight down the smokestack of the Colombian vessel. And it didn't go off.
In any case, the Peruvians were good in the air. And so they, whenever the Ecuadorian stuck their noses the Cordillera del Condor, they would just send a plane and bomb them. And excuse me now, if there's anybody here who is Ecuadorian. I'm not being hostile. The Peruvian vision was the Ecuadorians then ran like rabbits. So the Peruvians, in spite of their losing military record, were very arrogant, and proud, and sure of themselves.
In 1992, President Fujimori of Peru, for the first time in history as Peruvian president, went and visited Quito-- and a state visit to the president of Peru to the president of Ecuador. In the course of this private conversations with the president, with President Duran Ballen, he told him that he was getting ready to close on the Sendero Luminoso and on the guerrilla warfare that was then taking place in Peru, and that as a result, he was going to withdraw some of the patrols from the disputed border area, or the area that Ecuador disputed. From the Peruvian standpoint, everything was settled in any case.
And that he hoped that Ecuador would understand this, and that really, peace should not be disturbed, and that it could bring greater dividends for both countries. And then Fujimori went back to concentrate on the war against-- of course, like all good presidents, Duran Ballen had military aids. And the military aides understood what President Fujimori was saying. And Ecuador started to concentrate on that disputed area.
Two years later, the newspaper headlines, to the extent that they paid attention to Latin America in this country, were about the fact that President Clinton had finally decided to meet with his fellow president's-- finally, from the standpoint of the Latin Americans-- in a summit meeting in Miami. Well, just as everybody was meeting in Miami and getting ready to proclaim grand new integration and economic connections in life, the reduced Peruvian patrols started running into Ecuadorian positions in the Condor chain.
And by early January, fighting broke out and rapidly escalated. Now previous incidents, as I noted, had ended rapidly. This time was entirely different. The Ecuadorians made very good use of technological advances, modern weapons, advice from among others Israeli technicians, who are very good at the refitting of old equipment and dealing with the defensive techniques needed by small countries to survive in this world. And Ecuador had developed some very good professional military leadership.
So what they had done is they had built not only outposts into what the Peruvians considered their territory, but also suppose a supporting logistical system. And they had garrisoned their new outposts with special forces troops and armed them with a variety of anti-aircraft weapons including missiles. The high ground, which historically have been a disadvantage had become now an advantage for Ecuador. Whereas the low ground that enabled Brazil, Peru, et cetera just to float up to the mountain ranges now became a disadvantage for Peru.
They did not have roads or heliports on their side. They just weren't prepared. Of course, they were sure the Ecuadoreans would turn and run as soon as they sent their Air Force against them.
In the air, the results were disastrous for Peru. Not only we're repeated sorties, in some cases a dozen or 16 a day, unable to dislodge the Ecuadorians. But Peru repeatedly last aircraft-- by one count, three helicopters and four military jets, an A-37, a Canberra Bomber, to Soviet built Sukhois.
On the ground, the results were very mixed. Both sides claimed victory, particularly at Tiwintza, which was a small outpost more or less in the center of the Cenepa valley where most of the fighting was taking place. Ecuadorian forces generally held. But Peru's special forces managed to penetrate the area and, in a couple of cases, established substantial points behind the Ecuadorian lines.
With the fighting escalating and no result in sight, both sides ordered general mobilization. And armored units were deployed to the populated coastal areas along the border. Now you can imagine what a terrible shock this was to the nice, diplomatic, pro-democracy, full of dreams of integration Inter-American system. And nobody wanted really to be bogged down.
The first meetings that took place were called by the Brazilians as chair of the old protocol. And the first meetings took place. And the American assistant secretary, who led the US delegation at that point, wound up shaking his head, came back to Washington, and said, this is going to take forever. We need somebody with some patience.
Why don't we get Einaudi to accept this? Having been Ambassador to the OAS, he has learned to sit and listen to these Latins speak boringly forever. So why don't you do it, they said to me?
Now I didn't know everything about all this, though I have always had my scholarly pretensions. What I did know was that I did not want to be associated in another ceasefire or separation of forces that would only lead to a further break-out a couple of years down the road. I wanted to solve the problem, not to manage it.
And I made a second condition. I said, you know, we State Department people aren't exactly thought to be the most important or powerful people. The Latins have gotten very used to dividing us. If you don't mind, the first call I'm going to make is to General McCaffrey, the head of Southern Command, so that I could work out getting US Military support for this effort.
And in fact, my conditions were both accepted. And a guarantors' committee was set up, of which I-- I at that point was deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff, which is a nice position but not exactly a super position. My counterparts from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, the other-- the four of us were the guarantors of 1942 Rio Protocol-- were all vice ministers.
This later had its implications, because the vice ministers had a lot to do. I, as a policy planner, could always forget about policy and certainly about planning and therefore they could work on my peacemaking efforts. After a month of fighting and a couple of weeks of meetings, the two parties agreed to a ceasefire. And Ecuador formally stated that it accepted the Rio Protocol treaty while still objecting to the Protocol line and claiming that it needed to be adjusted and fixed.
The guarantors made one basic decision. Since the two parties were entwined an engaged, they would put together military observation force, which came to known as MOMEP. And I don't have the time to tell you how much trouble I had getting authorization for some US soldiers and helicopters to go into this area.
The Defense Department wanted assurances that if they went into wild areas where there were dangerous red Indians, the Americans would at least be armed with tactical nuclear weapons to defend themselves. The White House was saying, my God, you want to put American troops into the Amazon? We just got out of Somalia with our noses bloodied. What are you thinking of?
So finally, things were worked out. But the NSC put a 90-day limit on what was obviously was going to take a hell of a lot longer than that. But you're only authorized to have US forces in there for 90 days.
OK, the observers-- 10 officers from the United States, 10 from Brazil, 10 from Argentina, and 10 from Chile, with their own independent logistical support, and a unit of four US Black Hawk helicopters, set up base and started to try to take stock of the area. And when they first approached it, they found the situation was really a nightmare.
There were some 6,000 special forces soldiers from the two sides jammed into this 60 by 30 mile valley at about 5,000, 6,000 feet of altitude at the bottom of the valley in mountainous terrain covered by triple canopy jungle. An interesting footnote is that the US had sent a military helicopter to observe back in 1981 during one of these border clashes that had taken place. And the helicopter and its three person crew had been lost in that jungle and to this day have never been located.
And the general who was head of American Special Forces at the time worldwide came back. And he reported to me, he said, my God, it's worse than Cambodia, a 12 on the difficulty scale of one to 10. Nobody was ready. The two local forces didn't want to concede defeat. The soldiers were-- they were hungry and armed to the teeth.
And they hated each other even though, as President Fujimori later told me, we you looked at the corpses, you had to check the epaulettes to distinguish who was Peruvian and who was Ecuadorian. You know, they were all local people from on both sides. So there were minds. There were mortars. It was-- they couldn't do anything.
And when the observers first flew in an American helicopter Black Hawk, the electronics they saw, they had been painted by somebody on the ground with a missile capacity. And they fled immediately. And General McCaffrey called me and said, what do we do now? You go ahead. Because they're not going to dare shoot. They may paint you, but they're not stupid.
So they flew. They drew a set of lines around the area. And then they realized they couldn't tell where anybody was. So they asked the two sides to give them an order of battle. Who do you have where? And then they plotted it.
And it is absolutely extraordinary. I looked for the transparency on which I had this plotted to project for you today, and I couldn't find it anymore, which tells you how time passes, and history passes, and memories fail. But it showed the little dots, two different colors, one for each country, were all totally intertwined.
And it was a nightmare to think about getting them out. Because to get out, anyone's forces had to go by-- next to other forces. And it was-- really to try to set off the mines, all the problems they had.
It took three months to demobilize and separate the forces. And there was no losses on either side, no further losses on either side. We lost nobody, thank heavens. And then things turned to the diplomacy.
Let me, on the military note, give you two other little characteristics of this. It took six months to complete the demobilization of the general mobilization on both sides. We wound up immobilizing 140,000 men.
And we also did something-- and this was, like several things that happened here, were in fact my invention. I knew that the two sides absolutely hated each other but also didn't trust us, and that therefore, the observers were an instrument to disentangle. But they weren't an instrument whose presence was necessarily to be trusted.
And so what I asked and obtained support from my guarantors was to invite Peru and Ecuador to assign general officers to the observer mission, bring the two sides into the observation force. I had very little doubt that it's going to make them love each other. In fact, my expectation was that they would put intelligence officers in and use it as intelligence operation but that that would create confidence, because they would discover that we weren't really out after anything in particular other than our mission, our job there.
So the military situation stabilized. And at that point, we ran into the fact that Peru said, there's no problem here. Rio Protocol solves it. The line's there. What are we talking about?
And it took an entire year to get to the point where Peru accepted that we could discuss what we, with the art of diplomacy, called [SPEAKING SPANISH], remaining problems. The next key step was to change the debate. Because Ecuador was fixed on its territorial line. We want our land. We want-- et cetera.
And it took a year and a half later before we got to the point where the agenda was broadened to include navigation on the Amazon, to include economic integration, to include security, in other words, to include a lot of issues that could be win-win, not win-lose. And at this point, a key, key problem arose.
I remember, it was a Venezuelan president saying to me-- and my grandfather was president of Italy and never left Italy while he was president. Hard to believe-- but I came upon Venezuelan president who bared his forearm me and said, never as long as there is blood in these veins will I leave Venezuela. Well, the Ecuadorians, not only did not turn like rabbits and run, they started burying their dead at Tiwintza in the middle of the disputed area where it had been fought over, but in land that, clearly according to be Rio Protocol, was Peruvian.
And if ever you want a deal breaker, that's it. Because how-- Peru is not going to settle giving away that land. And Ecuador's pride, having been restored by the fact is they had fought Peru to a draw, nonetheless, they could not abandon their dead. So, you know, these were debates and arguments that went on over a long period of time.
And finally, it came to me-- and I found a good legal adviser-- but maybe the issue was, let's find-- or could be reduced-- this part of the issue, the deal breaker could be reduced to a square kilometer within which the Ecuadorian graves were located. Then what do you do with that? And the formula that we reached was that it would become Ecuadorian property under Peruvian law with two provisos, one that Ecuador could not sell or otherwise dispose of that private property.
It was just stuck with that private property forever. And to ensure that was so, Peru would give up the right to expropriate it. Because obviously, the state has the right to expropriate property within its boundaries. So suddenly you created a one square kilometer of land that Ecuador could say, basically was its own and Peru could say, well, it wasn't.
Now at this point, us technocrats like to think that we've solved everything. Let me tell you, luck, or you could call it the proper alignment of stars, worked out. The President of Peru was Alberto Fujimori. Now he was cordially disliked by lot of people, particularly the old bloodlines of Peru who felt that he was some sort of a dirty foreigner.
In fact, my friend Fernando Belaunde Terry, who was president of Peru twice, when I went to interview him on this is as I was trying to take stock of the situation, said to me, you know, he's not even a Peruvian. I am sure that when I came back to Peru in 1938, after getting my MA and architecture at the University of Texas Austin, not only were his parents, but he as a baby, were all in the balls of the tramp steamer I came back in.
He was born in Japan. He has no dog in this fight. Of course he's ready to betray Peruvian interests and make a peace settlement with Ecuador. On the Ecuadorian side, much instability, but in May of 1998, Jamil Mahuad was elected president, a man of Lebanese antecedents, one of whose chief fund rollers and supporters was Ivonne Baki, who herself was intimately tied to Lebanon and whose motivations were very simple. They did not want to see their new homeland turn into a Lebanon.
And with those two presidents and with this resolution coming, the two sides named foreign ministers who were imaginative and brave. And at that point, a problem comes up. Peru can't allow itself to say it's agreed to something like this. And Ecuador doesn't want to admit that it is ready to, having shed blood, to see the old line go back in place.
Now a lot of things had been sugared in the sense that-- I used, as a representative of the American empire, I know very well what the old formulas are. And in the case of Panama, we had for the canal snookered them with the formula that we would have control over it as if sovereign, which meant that we weren't really sovereign.
So we found a formula that told Ecuador that it could have a port on the Amazon. As it were, it would survive as if sovereign, which meant that it wasn't. But it still had four, in this case, the renewable 99 year periods it could have a port near Quito on the Amazon so that it not only was that losing its soldiers that had buried, but it also wasn't losing its Amazon dream.
And excuse me, it was an Amazon dream. Because hidden behind the wall of the Andes there, no Ecuadorian president had ever sailed on the Amazon. So, you know, it was a question of, as another friend of mine said, a management of symbols. But that's very important in peacemaking and in doing this.
So they couldn't agree to this. Or we even had-- we then stuck to-- we inserted this little quarter in an ecological park, which had equal territory on both sides of the line. You still had the line, but then you can forget about the line once you have the line. And you get a park that is equal territory from Peru and equal territory from Ecuador. And it has free access, free transit to everybody who is of Indian origin so that the local Indians would all be happy.
So it was all worked out except that they still couldn't bring themselves to agree to this. So that's why the guarantors are important, not just for having held them together, separated them, helped to work out the thing, but now to become the scapegoat. And the president of Brazil took it upon himself, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, a great man and really the man who set the stage for Brazil's emergence, agreed to talk to the other guarantor presidents, Argentina, Chile, the United States, to have us as guarantors issue a letter, as guarantors, telling Peru and Ecuador what the solution was, which they had already secretly agreed to in advance.
Now guarantor presidents aren't foolish. And they did not want to be put in a situation of making another pronouncement which would then be denounced as another imperial imposition, or mutilation, or something. So we made a condition-- yes, the guarantor presidents would issue this letter if both congresses voted to ratify it sight unseen.
OK, it happened. It happened. The letter was issued, not until-- the Peruvians they were very antsy about this. And Fujimori may have been a Jap, but he still wanted to be considered respectful of Peru's interests. So he insisted on coming to the United States and seeing Bill Clinton personally to reassure him that this was really going to happen and to be able to reassure back home that everything was under control.
And of course, this is where the National Security Council, the same people that had said to me, you only get these soldiers for 90 days, and whose head after this had all happened, which changed the ball game in South America militarily, said to me, I will never forgive you for conning me on those 90 days. Because we actually ultimately kept troops in there for three and half years, actually four years by the time they left, only after the full demarcation was done.
But you can come into the bureaucracy of things, and the politics, and everything else, and where individuals do ultimately matter. And I will say that this time, Bill Clinton, though he was totally destroyed by that Lewinsky affair at that point, never seen a man look more down and destroyed than when I went to see him to help prepare for the Fujimori visit.
The NSC said, he's the President of the United States. He can't not know what you worked out and what he's going to put his name too. Fujimori's position was, for God's sakes, if it is known what the content of this is in advance and that it's really coming from me and the others, you know, I won't be able to survive.
So the NSC, when we had the pre-debriefing, I was forced in the position of telling-- I had told Fujimori, all right, they're insisting. And what I will work out is that if the President of the United States insists that he must know, you can go over to that corner, and I'll keep everybody else away. And you can just tell him.
We got to that moment, and the president had been briefed that he had to ask. And he looked at me. And he said, it's his country. It's OK. So Bill Clinton gets an enormous plus for being a very practical and sensible politician helping to break all of this.
And in October of 1998 in Brasilia, the Presidents Mahuad and Fujimori, in the presence of the presidents of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, and a representative of the President of the United States, a high ranking Vatican cardinal resplendent in red with a gigantic cross, and the King of Spain and Queen, all came together to sign this.
Because of course, what we also wanted to give the impression of is, hey guys, you may not like this or that, Peru and Ecuador. But look, the world is United. The Pope is-- in fact, the presidents' letter said that Pope John had been informed and had congratulated us of our decision. So we had worked everything out like this. And we were all hanging around, as you always do, like in a green holding room before it goes.
A Venezuelan friend of mine, very Venezuelan, went up to Queen Sofia and dragged me along and said, Queeny, uh, this man is-- knows more about us than we do. So she looks at me, and she takes my arm, and she brings me over to King Juan Carlos. And she says, Kingy, this guy has a message for you.
All right, I picked up my hearing aids, and my glasses, my teeth from the floor, looked, and I said, sire, your presence here is entirely appropriate and completes the stage because you realize that this dispute began under Spanish rule. And then the devil got a hold of me. And I said, and do you realize that it took a Jap and a Turk to solve it?
The Brazilians behind me were saying, [SCREAMING], you've thrown away our chance to got a metal. What are you doing? All right, OK, the methods-- patience is number one. Really, patience, willing to listen to the sides in the dispute and figure out what their interests are, what they really want.
And then there were five operational rules for me-- to maintain unity. And among the guarantors, it's essential, because the two countries were each trying to divide this all the time. But you have no idea that the biggest problem is maintaining unity within the US government, to maintain the support of the Defense Department, to maintain the support of the CIA with its analyses-- and they never thought we would succeed-- to keep the NSE happy, to have the State Department move off its manage the issue to a mentality that, yes, we can maybe solve this, it's absolutely incredibly difficult. And I had to set up a special inter-agency group to do this.
Second, maintain-- ensure that you have military support for the diplomacy. Because if they're giving the secret signal, oh, it doesn't really matter. And we'd much rather have cozy relations with you, and you don't have to go through this, it's dead from the beginning. Remember that you've got to put the parties out front.
And even though I told you that at the final breakthrough, the guarantor presidents had to sort of take the responsibility, so they were, in a sense, put out front-- but in fact, at all times, the lead was in the hands of Peru and Ecuador. And all we could do was advise. Because we had under the treaty, no arbitral rights.
Fourth, and this four Americans is I think critical, because we never think about it anymore unfortunately, although our history should suggest that we're better than that-- use the law. Use the law. The law creates the rules to which are neutral and to which all sides must adhere. And we used the Protocol. We used special status of force agreements that we had to negotiate as when we started with the operation, everything.
And finally, you know these things get very messy. And if you don't keep your sights high and you don't find a way to elevate other people's sites, then the freezing mud or the tropical heat will get you. You know, Ecuador did not get very much for its sovereign territorial claims. But it got a long negotiating process where its claims were listen to with great care.
In fact, we had a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice chairing that particular committee. We had leading American geographers involved, et cetera. So they got dignity out of that. They got respect for its dead. They got commercial access to the Amazon. And they got, ultimately, border development.
Now I'm already 10 minutes over, so let me simply, and very, very fast-- in the peace-making world, we're accustomed to orphan agreements. You know, the first time I tried to get people to see President Clinton, the NSC would say, oh, you're never going to get a settlement. Why should he associate himself with a losing proposition? And then it became, oh, you've already got an agreement. Why should we waste our time with that?
Why should we waste our time with that? And it's interesting. This was not an orphan agreement. We tried to orphan it. We never came through with the aid we sort of implicitly promised.
But the local people of the border area are the ones who provided the impetus. Peru-Ecuadorian trade went up five times in three years. And I don't know where it is now-- much higher.
There was upset. There still is upset in Iquitos and some of the areas where Peru had to give something up. But basically, it was successful. And we've had changes of government. We've had nationalists, et cetera. And nobody has raised this issue anymore.
And that's why I suggested this may have been the last conventional war. I really should have put a question mark there. But the fact is that it's certainly ended the arms race in South America, the aerial arms race.
These military jets cost as-- the wrath of God, as the Italian phrase would say, [SPEAKING ITALIAN]-- the amount that they cost. And as long as Peru and Ecuador were going at this this way, that gave the excuse for the Brazilians to feel they needed better arms. After all, they were the big country on the block-- still are, et cetera.
Brazil already needed to replace its fighter aircraft in 1995. They only reached the decision last year on the new planes to buy. And even then, it's a deal with the Swedes that will require much to be built in Brazil. But the point is, it slowed it way, way down, restored things to some kind of proportion.
Unfortunately, border disputes are vitamins for bad politicians. And often when people have difficulties at home, they can create a ruckus abroad. And there is one issue that we in the states don't think of very often. And we're lucky, we've not had big border problems with either Canada or Mexico. And we were able to solve some problems with Mexico in a virtually invisible fashion.
Maritime boundaries-- maritime boundaries, as the oceans become more and more penetrable, become more and more important. Whose property is that down there? And-- which brings me to another reason to be pessimistic.
The United States has never ratified the Law of the Sea treaty. So there isn't law and rules to govern that. And we live in an era where international law has gone straight downhill. I, you know, will not expand on my rage at the clumsiness-- and that's the moderate formulation-- with which the United States dealt with the Security Council on the war against Iraq, flaunting the one base for international law that we have.
And then finally, we live in a world where the state system is itself under challenge all the time. It's even under challenge from the United States. I mean, we had a Secretary of State recently who spent much of her time worrying about dealing with NGOs as the source of the world's progress rather than thinking about statecraft and the state system.
So as we see the rise of even individual terrorists, we have to wonder where the next sources of conflict are going to come from and whether the state system as currently constituted is going to be able to resolve them. I apologize for having gone way over.
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Questions--
LUIGI EINAUDI: Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH: Just a word of praise-- that was a really wonderful talk. And I wonder if you have a written version of it. I love the intricacies of diplomacy as an alternative to war. And I think war should be evaluated and studied.
LUIGI EINAUDI: Well, nobody has patience for diplomacy. Yes, there are intricacies. I-- actually, in preparing for this talk, I realized I've never-- certainly never told it this way. Because when I was closer to it and before I had gotten into my retired mode, et cetera, I never had talked about the nature of the presidential letter and the politics of that or about the way in which the square kilometer was arrived at, et cetera.
So that's why this has been recorded at my request. And I hope to get a transcript and do something. There is a long piece, which I did write, for the US Institute of Peace in a book called Herding Cats, which I almost withdrew my-- I almost withdrew my article from it when I saw the title. Because--
--I find it a fundamentally disrespectful title. And since my world is built on respect and inducing respect, if it's not there-- and that's another peacemaking trick. Still, in that book, you will find an article that gives some of this and certainly gives names, and dates, and some of the stories about the difficulties, including maybe there a story I did not tell you about-- how at one stage, somebody I had brought into the inter-agency group, who was on loan to the NSC from the CIA, thought that I and the State Department were getting along too well with the military and therefore that he had uncovered a rogue operation designed to keep American troops in definitely in the Amazon, sort of like the American troops have remained indefinitely in Cyprus. So it isn't as crazy from a Washington perspective as it might seem.
But no, thank you. It's a complicated business. And one has to have-- I mean, it took three and a half years. I was very lucky. Involved in Central America, they were purging of the leadership every six months or a year And so we were always turning people over and never able to get ahead of the simple political curve.
And so one needs-- luck is a very important part about this.
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Right.
LUIGI EINAUDI: Yes, sir.
SPEAKER 1: OK.
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Uh--
SPEAKER 1: No, go a head.
LUIGI EINAUDI: I'm sorry.
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Who's running this show anyway?
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: All right.
SPEAKER 1: Also, in a way, Luigi-- and that was just marvelous.
LUIGI EINAUDI: Oh, thank you.
SPEAKER 1: It was just wonderful to have you here. In a way, I think you just responded to a question I had. So let me pose a different one very quickly, which is I think implicit in your concluding remarks about what made this happen. But I wonder if you have an additional word or two about what strikes me as important to this, and that is empathy, an ability perhaps on the part of the two presidents, in particular toward the end, to put themselves into the shoes of the other.
Or would you say that empathetic understanding was not key, and that it was really their perceived self interests that caused them to do it?
LUIGI EINAUDI: That's a very good question. I guess I would have to say that their perceived self interests were dominant. However, I would add that in my view, you cannot identify what self interest is unless you're empathetic.
And that's why I was poking fun at one of your speakers who had all these round circles of data. And I was saying that if I had been around, I would have found a needle the pop all those balloons, all those circles. Because the circle is missing in empathy.
And you have to know-- I mean, I have a Latin American friend who years ago said to me, you know, it is astounding to come to the United States, to come to your universities, to your research centers, to your libraries, and to discover that you know so much more about us than we do about ourselves. And then we can be reassured. Because you've got all the facts, but you don't have a clue as to what they mean.
SPEAKER 2: OK. I just wanted to follow up the point you made about getting ahead of the political curve. And looking at these two countries, you know, one thing that jumps out is that all of the presidents you're dealing with there are de facto independent political figures. I mean, Fukimori, [? Jaron ?] [? Ballen, ?] and Mahuad-- not only does the political party that Mahuad belongs to-- but essentially, they're all independent figureheads who are not really rooted in strong political party organizations.
And I'm just wanting to address the domestic politics of this then. Were these leaders unusually unconstrained by domestic political institutions? To what extent did you find public opinion or other-- these are countries with pretty weak, basically democratic regimes of non-oligraphs in the Peruvian case. You don't have real strong institutional checks and balances on the rulers.
But to what extent did you find domestic political institutions or public opinion either facilitating agreement or constraining these rulers in their ability to try to negotiate an accord?
LUIGI EINAUDI: That's a great and fascinating question. And I could take another three hours.
One of the big issues in peacemaking is that you cannot really deal with weakness. Because weakness leads to accords that really become orphan and that can be forgotten or violated immediately. So you do need a moment of relative stability or strength to be able to conclude them.
And to go back to where you started, the opening, a point about getting ahead of the political curve, we actually were behind the political curve an awful lot of the time. You will remember when the Sendero Luminoso captured the Japanese embassy. Well, one of the people in that was the Peruvian foreign minister with whom we were negotiating the treaty. That came-- brought everything to a stop until he was rescued.
In Ecuador, President Bucaram was impeached right in the middle of things. So we had a lot of problem. And that's where we had to use one of the great, I think, diplomatic wiles is keep the ball in the air. Never let an inconclusive meeting end without announcing the next meeting with a specific date so that you can keep the ball in air, keep the movement going.
Now Fujimori was very weak, because, as you said, quite, quite, quite correctly. He really basically had no party. And in fact, that was the source, really, of his condemnation by so many people on human rights matters and other things. He was a prisoner of letting Miro Montesinos, the chief of military intelligence-- no, actually he was a cashiered army officer who was one of the most arrogant men I've ever known and who had then figured out that he could run the world, and starting with Peru-- and really ran things, and ran the murder squads.
And Fujimori was living-- literally living in the presidential palace, sleeping near his office-- I mean, in his office. It was an awful, awful business there.
So what happened was, ultimately on the Peruvian side, that the army had feared so badly by being tied by Ecuador, and it was being weakened already from within by Montesinos. And there was corruption and all kinds of things-- that it was neutered.
And public opinion was in favor of peace so long as Peru didn't lose anything. And it's interesting, the vote in the Peruvian Congress was won partly because one of the leaders, a friend of mine who was running for president, called me up. And she was in the opposition. And she said, you know, do we lose territory by what's about to come out? And I said, no, you don't.
Well, she later became known, because she endorsed it. And then the Tiwintza portion, which wasn't losing territory technically, but was still letting-- she became known as Miss Tiwintza in the nasty interplay of Peruvian politics. But there was enough support. There was enough tiredness over it all that it could come off.
In Ecuador, hats off to those who were, in a sense, the perpetrators, the military. Because they began their strengthening and in fact of positions on the Condor and I think maybe the first armed clash also without even informing the president. In other words, they were acting as the autonomous military force in defense of their country.
And it was they, under the leader, under Paco Moncayo, who was their supreme commander, who came to the conclusion that they had no way out. And Moncayo told me that the alternative to making the peace was to engage in a spending program to try to keep up with Peru and Peru's mobilization. That would bankrupt Ecuador and force a government that was seated on bayonets.
And he and his fellow officers were not prepared to do that. So they had no choice but to go along. It's interesting, Moncayo, in one sense gained enormously by that decision. He became later Mayor of Quito and was the man who organized the recognition of Quito as a UNESCO protected site and a million things.
But his son, who, as often happens in these situations, had followed him into the army and had been on the front lines with him, and had trained, and you know-- his son came to him and said, you sent us to war for this? And he resigned his commission.
So the party of peace must always be organized. And I mentioned in passing the two foreign ministers, Fernando de Trazegnies Peru-- spectacular lawyer, brilliant man who is the one who understood the business of the need to manage symbols and was willing to go along things. And Paco [? Ayala, ?] Ecuador's I think most distinguished diplomat, wanted peace desperately. He actually campaigned in Ecuador from town to town trying to sell the agreement.
And his rival to be the best diplomat in Ecuadorian history, [? Diego ?] [? Cordovez, ?] was always very angry. He had said to me, I was going-- that it would take 40 years. And that meant I would be dead. So there was no chance of getting an agreement.
So you have to identify-- you have to identify the party of peace and the party war, isolate the one, and bring in the other. And by the skin of our chinny chin chin and some luck in terms of authorities-- I mean, you go back to-- you have to give credit to Fujimori. You have to give credit to Mahuad. You have to give credit to Fernando Henrique Cardoso. You have to give credit to Bill Clinton.
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: Well, thank you so much for sharing with us.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about this request.
Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) and Acting Secretary General of OAS, reflected upon the challenges and success of international diplomatic efforts to end the Peru-Ecuador War. The event was part of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies brown bag seminar on Feb. 5, 2015.