Peruvian former President Alberto Fujimori had bought them to invade Ecuador in 1996 but they were in poor conditions
A massive air attack to Ecuador planned in 1996 by the then Peruvian government headed by Alberto Fujimori had to be pulled out because the 36 Belarusian aircrafts bought to carry out the assault were in poor maintenance conditions, reports the Lima daily La Republica in its Sunday edition. According to the Peruvian newspaper, Fujimori aimed to negotiate in “better conditions” a definitive solution to the border conflict that had led both countries to a 22-day war one year before.
Peru and Ecuador went into war in 1995 to settle border differences in the Andean jungles of El Condor. Better equipped, Ecuadorians drew back Peruvian attacks and forced the battle into a stalemate until a multilateral mediation brought both countries back to the negotiations table.
However, the then President Alberto Fujimori, exiled in Japan since his surprising resignation in 2000, was decided to attack Ecuador by air in order to be better positioned to negotiate. As the Peruvian Air Force did not count with enough weaponry to carry out the operation, Lima spent about $400 million in 18 MIG-29 and 18 Sukhoi-25 bombardiers.
The aircrafts arrived in the South American country, but when the Peruvians were ready to attack in the winter of 1996, they found out that the fleet was in poor maintenance conditions and unfit for the operation. The attack was aborted and Peru finally signed a peace agreement with Ecuador in October 1998.
Secret reports quoted by the newspapers say that Peru aimed to destroy military targets in enemy's territory and to support the further advance of terrestrial and naval units.
The case is part of a comprehensive investigation filed in the Peruvian courts against Fujimori, who is accused by “treason to the state” during his controversial rule between 1990 and 2000. According to prosecutors, Fujimori and his collaborators were fuelling a war with Ecuador as a way to justify the purchase of weaponry.
Fujimori admitted that during the operation, some of his collaborators got bribes from arm dealers, but insists that the acquisition was necessary to discourage Ecuador of attacking Peru.
On the photo: Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori