On The Integration's Way
The first bike ride play that celebrated the signature of ecuador-Peru Peace Agreement.
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By Nelson Peñaherrera C
All photographs provided by Radio Nuevo Norte and distributed by FACTORTIERRA.NET
The pictures belong to the first edition of bike ride play on September
19th, 1999, and this is the first time they are released than any website before.
Above: Kmor Mile 0, Sullana City, Peru. Altitude: 60 m or 196 ft.
The starting point since the first edition on September 19th, 1999.Below: Km
25 or Mile 16, Valle de los Incas, near Tambogrande City, Peru. Altitude: 72 m or 236 ft.
MACARÁ INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE, Borderline between Loja, ecuador and Piura, Peru - It is another day among several days when buses cross over Macará River, the flow that after running towards the West, meets Catamayo River and forms Chira River.
Tourists, salespersons and people with mostly domestic agendas use the
path regularily and much easily just presenting their national IDs, an
Andean Card and perhaps a passport.
decades ago, such as that fluency was more restricted, and tedious when
political tension between Quito and Lima increased.
If South America
breathed new air after its emancipation from Spain, 14 years of
advancing and battles later, in 1824 when it is considered as the
consolidation of that process, what came was a series of skirmishes and
eventual wars among the just-born nations for adjusting their
In 1830, Great Colombia broke up into what we know today as Venezuela, Colombia itself, and Ecuador,
although this last country considers its consolidation started on May
24th, 1822, when a kind of South-American multinational force defeated
the Spanish one at Pichincha Volcano's Eastern slope, a process which
began on August 10th, 1809, when it set up to separate from Spanish
empire, actually its national anniversary.
On its side, Peru
established its birthdate on July 28th, 1821, when Argentinian General
José de san Martín declared the independence in Lima after almost a
year of a conservative military campaign, which had its corollary on
December 9th, 1824, in La quinua Plains, near Ayacucho, this time under
the command of Antonio José de Sucre and the strategic coaching of
years starting in 1830, ecuador and Peru had more disagreements than
consensus about their boundaries' definition, agravated in 1941
when both faced militarily. One year later, on January 29th, both
countries signed up a Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Limits in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, where it was mainly solved the issue of Tumbes and
Zarumilla, and all the territory bordered by Chinchipe, Marañón, and
Napo Rivers (actual Northern Cajamarca, amazonas, and Loreto
Northwestern portion, in Peru) those ecuador claimed as its. The
document ratified the Peruvian position that such spaces belonged it.
cartographic problem did not allow to close the
boundary on a 70-km or 44-mile section at Cóndor's Range
(borderline between Amazonas, Peru, and Zamora-Chinchipe, ecuador), an
Amazonian branch of Andean Range, which summit is just over 2900 meters
or 9500 feet altitude. New combats happened right there in 1981 and
Above: Km 50 or Mile 31, around El Repartidor in Las Lomas District,
Peru. Altitude: 239 m or 784 ft. A little break before going
ahead.Below: Km 77 or Mile 47, Las Lomas South entrance, Peru. Altitude: 242 m or 793 ft. The arc was under construction that time.
negotiations, Ecuador's President Jamil Mahuad and Peru's President
Alberto Fujimori signed up a definitive Peace Agreement in Brasilia,
Brazil, on October 26th, 1998, then an interchange government
development programme started on, especially focused in solving basic
needs of the population. Eventually, the zones in conflict generated
the interest of scientists who still discover and impresing flora and
fauna, maybe unique around the world.
How much of that
political tension involved the population? Despite the war and
diplomacy propaganda, the border zone between El Oro and Tumbes,
and Loja and Piura,
resented each time the international pass was restricted or closed
totally because the commerce was and is one of their most productive
activities. No mattered what currency was appreciated or depreciated,
ecuadorians as well as Peruvians crossed the line to be provided with
The ones who did
not live from commerce visited both sides of the international boundary
to meet and meet each other again: was it true that the enemy
was as bad as described? If that were true, how was it possible that
the same lastnames populated the territories of both river sides?
Much curious, it
began some touristic activity, which simply overflooded after 1998
Agreement. ecuadorians enjoyed the Piura beaches and Peruvians were
fascinated by Guayas shores and the Volcanoes' Avenue at the highlans.
or Mile 74, around Cachaquito in Suyo District, Peru. Altitude: 454
m or 1490 ft.
Right above: The elite squad is ready to reach the Peru-ecuador
Borderline, just a couple of meters or yards before Macará International Bridge.
Below: Macará International Bridge, over the same-named river, also
marks the limit between Peru (south) and Ecuador (north).
Altitude: 387 m or 1270 ft. All the bikers pose for the picture.
But what nobody
realized was developing other integrative activities as the sport,
until a Sullana, Peru-based radio station with a transnational range
thouht about a challenge that spoke about brotherhood not in romantic
or competitive terms but pragmatic.
"We thought a
bike ride play because it is a very popular vehicle, no polluting gases,
and because it was a sport that did not have much coverage yet, almost
20 years ago," Radio Nuevo Norte's producer James Ojeda, the creator and planner of Por las Rutas de la Integración
(On The Integration's way), remembers. It has been a call for Peruvian
cyclists to enter into ecuadorian territory celebrating the unity
of both nations. Ecuadorian-Peruvian descendant Ojeda was also an
amateur cyclist then.
borderline was opened and talking to ecuadorian Consulate in Sullana
(now inexistent), it was designed a plan of route that allowed to
connect the Piura's second largest metro area to Macará, just in one day. This last one is the capital city of Macará Canton in Loja Province, ecuador, and political-administrative equivalent to Sullana City, Peru.
"The first time
we had around 70 participants," Ojeda remembers. On September 19th, 1999,
conmemorating the first anniversary of Peace Agreement's signature, the
cyclists squad departured from Sullana City at 9:00 in the
morning and was arriving into Macará City around 5:00 in the
afternoon, after riding 133 km or 83 miles. The distance takes a little
more than 2 hours by car.
According to Peace Agreement, this is part of the Third Binational Axis Road.
Also it is about
a subtle upclimbing route, starting from 60 meters or 196 feet altitude
and arriving to 440 meters or 1444 feet altitude amid a valley and a
dry forest that begins to climb uphill the Andes abruptly, what is
noticed evidently after passing Las Lomas,
77 km or 47 miles NE away Sullana. Between that town and Sajinos
Detour, right side, Palo Blanco Mount is like one of the most notable
Also on the way
before arriving over Macará River (the international limit of Ecuador
and Peru), it passes over two tributaries of Chira
River: Chipillico before coming in Las Lomas, and Quiroz in the
last third of trail between that one and Suyo (Ayabaca).
Somewhere between Macará International Bridge and Macará City, already
in Ecuador. Just a couple of kilometers or miles to cross over the
Below: Km 133 or Mile 83 at Macará, ecuador. Altitude: 440 m or 1444 ft.
Mayor Carlos Bustamante and Mis Macará 1983 receive the Peruvian bikers.
After that first
edition, other five followed along 18 years being the most recent
on November 11th, 2017. Although all editions had Macará as the
destination, only one of them decided to finish in Zapotillo,
also in Loja, 185 km or 115 miles NNE away Sullana City, and
approximately 182 meters or 597 feet altitude, beside Chira River,
after riding the Peruvian districts of Marcavelica, Salitral de Sullana, Querecotillo, and Lancones, and crossing over Chira (just going out Sullana) and Alamor Rivers. The Alamor is tributary of the Chira.
According to Peace Agreement, that route is known as the Second Binational Axis Road.
THE SAME GOAL, DIFFERENT LEADERS
The bike ride play's crew has not changed muchly since it was launched in 1999.
The executive producer is José Carlos Carrasco and the field producer is James Ojeda.
The 2017 edition's associate producer was Joe Navarro.
However, what did change where the authorities in the departure city and the destination city as well:
- 1999: Sullana's Mayor was Jorge Camino and Macará's Mayor was Carlos Bustamante.
- 2004: Sullana's Mayor was Isaías Vásquez and Macará's Mayor was Aracely Carpio.
- 2011: Sullana's Mayor was Jorge Camino (2nd administration) and Zapotillo's Mayor was Ramiro Valdiviezo.
Sullana's Mayor was Carlos Távara and Lancones' Mayor was Power Saldaña
(it was the only one what did not go into Ecuador).
- 2016: Sullana's Mayor was Carlos Távara and Zapotillo's Mayor was Yuliana Rugel.
- 2017: Sullana's Mayor is Carlos Távara and Macará's Mayor is Roberto Viñán.
bigger satisfaction we have is that before Por Las rutas, the cyclist
practiced their sport lonely, and today there are even six or seven
groups of them - the event and the radio allowed them to meet,"
bike ride play, car races were also organized on that trail celebrating
thePeace Agreement's signature. Binational transportation routes
were implemented the next years. At least on the Macará International
Bridge, everyday cross over the services departuring from Piura City and arriving into Loja City, even Cuenca City, Azuay Province, ecuador.
In diplomatic terms, there are not longer skirmishes but joint meetings of both nationss' presidents and their ministerial
Of course, there
are stil issues to adjust like smuggling, drug trafficking and human
trafficking, those use Sullana-Macará route as a conduit, plus
relieving the ecologic mess caused by illegal mining in Suyo District
(Ayabaca), just beside Macará. However, the efforts to continue
securing the pacific integration processes of Peru and ecuador
seem not to stop but configurating as one of the few successful cases
aroun the world.
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