The Ambassador in Peru (Dearing) to the Secretary of State

No. 2291

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 2270 of October 24, 1932, concerning the trouble on the boundary between the Peruvian department of Tumbes and the Ecuadorian province of El Oro, and to report that border conditions remain disturbed.

On October 22nd reports from Tumbes, Peru, and Machala, Ecuador, indicated the dispatch of reinforcements by both countries to strengthen their respective frontier guards. Ecuador sent a detachment of rural police under Captain Bravo, and Peru a detachment of civil guards under Captain Vievra. A conference took place on October 27th between these two officers. The Peruvians manifested a formal claim to the island of Pocitos and stated that Peru will suspend its patrols at Pozo Verde, but that orders from Lima direct a continued occupation of Pocitos. The Ecuadorian officer made a formal objection to this occupation.

This is said to be the first time in many years that Peruvian armed forces have actually occupied Pocitos, although Peruvian farmers have grown tobacco on the island for several years. The military occupation of Pocitos is seemingly ill advised at this particular time and conducive to further irritation of the already inflamed feelings of the people on both sides of the border. About sixty Peruvians armed with rifles and machine guns are now on Pocitos, and an unconfirmed report states that a few days ago they forcibly ejected an Ecuadorian patrol of ten men which attempted to cross the dry bed of the Zarumilla.

According to the information of the Embassy, no progress has been made by the diplomatic negotiations leading to a peaceful settlement of this border dispute.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
William C. Burdett

First Secretary of Embassy