The signing of peace with Peru – which took place 20 years ago – allowed Ecuador to close its “open wound” and work on the definition of its border lines that made it 5.3 times more extensive, although not on land, but in the sea
On October 26, 1998, Presidents Jamil Mahuad of Ecuador and Alberto Fujimori of Peru signed the Brasilia Act, a definitive peace agreement after going through a long territorial controversy that generated two wars, the one of 1941 and the Alto Cenepa, in 1995.
The peace not only that ended these confrontations, because the two countries renounced the threat and use of force, “as well as any act that affects peace and friendship”, but favored the bilateral dialogues in a process that it was delayed until 2010, when the publication of the IOA 42 Nautical Chart, in the United Nations (UN) completely closed the border with that country.
And, in 2016, they were finalized with Costa Rica and Colombia.
But the country of the ‘half of the world’ continues to define its margins. The percentage, is 16% land and 84% sea. At present it has an extension of 257.217 square kilometers (km²) land and 1’092.140 km² maritime; in total, 1’349.357 km².
And until 2022 it is expected to increase 9.083 km² in the sea, showing that the submarine mountain ranges that extend from the Galápagos -Colón and Los Cocos- belong to the islands, with which it would reach 1’358,440 km² maritime. To occur, between land and sea will add 1’615.657 kilometers.
In this task, the captain of the ship Humberto Gómez, general director of Maritime Interests (Digeim) of the National Navy, is concentrated, who believes that Ecuadorian society, especially children and adolescents, must be told the “new reality” bordering.
“With peace we started to what was missing: the adjustment of the maritime limits. If we did not solve the problem, we did not solve the problem of the sea, because when there are no problems with your neighbors, anything you do at sea will have an answer, “explained Gómez.
There was always a sea, and “we did not see it”, and its existence will allow the State to plan the use of living and non-living resources. Now, the country is the second “largest in South America”, after Chile.
The future goal is for Ecuadorians to know their borders. Therefore, the Digeim promotes a training campaign together with the Ministry of Education, which started with the creation of a virtual course that was delivered last year, to 18,000 teachers, through the Conscience Maritime module.
In 2019, the plan is to dictate it to the 165,000 teachers. And in the school textbooks the new geography will be introduced.
“In 2021 the school generation should know that in the north we limit ourselves to Costa Rica and Colombia; to the south and east, with Peru; and to the west with the Asia-Pacific basin. When I hear an Ecuadorian student say that, I will shout: We succeeded! “, Gómez emphasizes. (I)