The Amapá Question, known in France as the Franco-Brazilian Dispute (French: Contesté franco-brésilien) was a 1895 border dispute involving France and Brazil. The French intrusion into Amapá resulted in skirmishes between the two sides.[2][3]

French intrusion into Amapá

Death of Captain Charles-Louis Lunier during the invasion of Amapá, illustration published in 1912
Date15 May 1895
Result Brazilian victory
Brazil Brazil French Third Republic France
Commanders and leaders
Brazil Francisco Xavier da Veiga Cabral
  • French Third Republic Charles-Louis Lunier 
  • French Third Republic Lieutenant Destoup
200 soldiers and civil militia 300 soldiers
1 gunboat[1]: 204 
Casualties and losses
62 82

Border dispute


France did not recognize the Oyapock river as the border between French Guiana and the Brazilian province of Amapá, also known as "Brazilian Guyana", claiming for itself part of the territory of the province to the south of the river; a region occupied by French colonists. However, the Peace of Utrecht, signed in 1713 between France and Portugal, established the Oyapock as the border between both kingdoms in South America. Brazil alleged it had the right to exercise sovereignty over the region as "heir of the Portuguese Empire".



The French intrusion into Amapá took place on 15 May 1895, on the border between the Brazilian Amapá state and French Guiana, the culminating event of the territorial dispute known in Portuguese as the Questão do Amapá (Amapá Question). This event marked Captain Charles-Louis Lunier leading French troops in a invasion of Brazilian territory.[4][5][6] French troops advanced to the Araguari River, occupying approximately 260,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi) of Brazilian territory.

The invasion was repelled by the honorary general of the Brazilian Army Francisco Xavier da Veiga Cabral.[7]

International response


After the military confrontation, the territorial dispute was settled by an international court on 27 December 1897. The decision was favorable to Brazil, which maintained control over the disputed region.[1]: 204 

Walter Hauser, president of Switzerland, served as arbitrator. On 1 December 1900, Hauser issued a report favoring Brazil.[8]

See also



  1. ^ a b Donato, Hernâni (1987). Dicionário das Batalhas Brasileiras (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Editora Ibrasa
  2. ^ Rodrigues, Edgar. "O Contestado Franco-Brasileiro" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.
  3. ^ Campos, Luciano Rodrigues (21 April 2007). "O Arbitramento No Amapá". Archived from the original on 22 June 2008.
  4. ^ Bertout de Solières, François (1912). Les hauts faits de l'armée coloniale : ses héros : Annam, Côte d'Ivoire, Chine, Dahomey, Guyane, Madagascar, Maroc, Ouadaï, Sahara, Sénegal, Soudan, Tchad, Tonkin, Tunisie, etc (in French). Rouen, France.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ ""LE TERRITOIRE CONTESTÉ"" (PDF). l'Étoile du sud. 22 June 1895.
  6. ^ Meira, Sílvio Augusto de Bastos (1975). Fronteiras Sangrentas: heróis do Amapá. Belém, Brazil: Conselho Estadual de Cultura.
  7. ^ Bento, Cláudio Moreira. (2003). Amazônia Brasileira: conquista, consolidação e manutenção. (História Militar Terrestre da Amazônia de 1616 a 2003). [S.l.]: Porto Alegre/RS: Genesis, Academia de História Militar Terrestre do Brasil.
  8. ^ "O Laudo Suíço". Governo do Estado do Amapá (in Portuguese). 2011-09-17. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2022.