Mr. Dudley to Mr. Hay.

No. 977.]

Sir: A repetition of the Angotera incident, of which I wrote the Department in my No. 849, of January 28, 1904, appears from telegrams received here yesterday to have occurred on the 28th ultimo, on the Aguarico, in the northeastern border land between Peru and Ecuador.

The decision of the general question of the proper boundary between the two countries is expected soon to be undertaken by the Crown of Spain, envoys having been already sent to Madrid by the litigant Governments to request its consent to act as arbitrator under the treaty of 1887, recently revived under circumstances already reported to the Department. (See p. 681.) In the absence of a modus vivendi border conflicts were to be apprehended pending the decision.

In this instance, as in the Angotera episode, Peru accuses Ecuador of wantonly invading Peruvian territory. The following official version of the facts as understood at Lima has been given out by the foreign office:

By telegram received from Tquitos by way of Manaos, it is learned that on the 28th ultimo the Ecuadorian departmental chief of Aguarico, Señor Rivadeneira, proposed officially to the head of the Peruvian garrison established at Torres Causano, composed of 40 soldiers, that he evacuate the territory as far as the mouth of the Curaray. The Peruvian chief refused, and in view of the instructions and powers possessed by the Ecuadorian commissary, Commander Bravo, entered into an agreement with him that neither the Peruvian nor the Ecuadorian forces should advance until the arrival of the prefect of Loreto. Notwithstanding this, at 2 p.m. on this same 28th day of the month, Rivadeneira, with 80 men and artillery, unexpectedly attacked the Peruvian garrison at Torres Causano, which they reached by trail, being guided by an Ecuadorian named Peñafiel and placing the artillery on the opposite shore.

* * * * * * *

The encounter was hard fought and lasted three hours, at the end of which the Ecuadorans retired with some losses.

Of the Peruvian garrison there were 2 dead and 4 wounded.

This official telegram, which is referred to as received from Iquitos via Manaos, must have been sent by ship to the latter place, a journey usually of nine days, and thence transmitted by telegraph to Lima. The absence of telegraphic connection between Manaos and Iquitos [Page 683] and between Iquitos and the Aguarico explain why the earliest intimation of the attack upon the Peruvian garrison to reach the capital was received twenty-three days after the occurrence, though the most rapid means of communication available were doubtless employed.

I have, etc.,

Irving B. Dudley.