Although the 1995 Cenepa war between Ecuador and Peru was the first military conflict in South America in more than five decades, the Ecuador-Peru relationship might be characterized as one of enduring rivalry—punctuated by the threat of armed combat.

In the context of this history of recurrent crises, Herz and Nogueira analyze the mediation process that followed the 1995 war.

The authors first consider the place that the ongoing rivalry occupied in the construction of the national identity of each country; they then explore the reasons that the 1995-1998 mediation process succeeded. The most significant factor in that success, they argue, was increasingly engaged mediators who worked to ensure that not only the objective, but also the subjective aspects of the conflict were addressed to the satisfaction of both parties. Stressing that the strategies employed allowed for (and encouraged) the redefinition of identities and interests, they discuss the significance of the mediation process for the present Latin American security environment.

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