While US President Donald Trump‘s proposed Mexican border wall has garnered much international attention, another controversial wall has sprung up further south.
It stands between Ecuador and Peru, and, even though it only spans one kilometre, the Peruvians are not happy.
On Monday, Peru recalled its ambassador to Ecuador in protest, saying the construction violated a 1998 peace treaty.
Ecuador said it is a flood precaution while Peru argues that disrupting the water flow could raise the flooding risk on its side.
Ecuador said it lamented Peru’s decision to recall its ambassador and said Peru had not responded to its request last week to discuss the dispute in a high-level meeting.
“Ecuador believes that dialogue is the valid mechanism to overcome any divergence between sister countries, and therefore reiterates its willingness and openness to address these issues immediately,” the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
The border between the two countries runs over more than 1,500 Kilometres, but the new wall spans a tiny stretch between Huaquillas in southern Ecuador and Aguas Verdes in Peru.
It stands under 13 feet high, running alongside a canal.
The dispute marks a rough start to bilateral relations between Ecuador and Peru under centrist Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Ecuador’s socialist President Lenin Moreno, both of whom took office in the past year.
In the 1990s, territorial disputes led to a three-year war between the two countries, which share a 1,529 kilometer-long (950 miles) border.