Peru recalls ambassador from Ecuador to protest border wall

LIMA/QUITO – Peru has recalled its ambassador in Ecuador, Hugo Otero Lanzerotti, over a border wall row between two South American neighbors.

Peru’s move, announced by its foreign affairs ministry, came as Ecuador pushed on with building the new four-meter (13-foot) high barrier along of the western side of its southern city of Huaquillas.

Peru says building the wall will violate a 1998 bilateral peace accord because it comes too close to the Zarumilla Canal, which separates the two countries. The nation has also said the wall would hurt cross-border integration and could disrupt the flow of water in the canal, raising flood risks for Peruvian cities.

Peru’s Ambassador to Ecuador, Mr. Hugo Otero Lanzerotti.

The wall would physically separate the city from Peru’s town of Aguas Verdes, lying just across a river, despite Peru’s repeated demands that the work immediately stop.

Last month Peru asked Ecuador to stop building the wall and called for a bilateral meeting.

On the other hand, Ecuador says the wall is necessary to stop cross-border smuggling.

In 1995, Territorial disputes led to a three-month war – the so-called Cenepa war broke out over a disputed jungle area elsewhere along their 1,500-kilometer (900-mile) frontier – between the two South American countries.