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November 17, 2009
APEC summit brings Chile-Peru tensions to the fore

An old man in Chinchero, Peru. Photo: Flickr user VautrinBaires

One of the more surprising outcomes of the Asia-Pacific summit meeting in Singapore this past week had nothing to do, as might have been expected, with Barack Obama or his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

Instead, Peruvian President Alan Garcia raised tensions with neighboring Chile by choosing to complain publicly about an espionage case in which a Peruvian intelligence officer has been charged with sending military secrets to Chile.

Historically, relations between Chile and Peru have had their ups and downs (they’ve gone to war or have been on the brink more than once).

Recently, the countries have an ongoing disagreement about their maritime borders – a case that was brought to the International Court of Justice. Part of the disagreement is whether or not they have a dispute in the first place.

Peru filed the complaint at the world court, but Chile says it has no problem and accepts international treaties on the boundary. That’s a little like the confusion that came up after Garcia’s comments at the Asia-Pacific summit.

Peru has arrested a Peruvian Air Force intelligence officer, Victor Ariza, saying that Chile gave him a monthly stipend over the last five years for passing along military secrets.

Garcia raised the issue with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet during the Singapore summit; Bachelet denied the spy charge and complained about Garcia having raised the issue in the first place.

The implication was that Peru wanted to embarrass Chile at the world meeting – especially since Ariza had been arrested two weeks earlier.

Garcia stormed out of Singapore a day earlier than planned, canceling meetings there, while Bachelet’s spokesperson declared “Chile doesn’t spy.” Garcia, for his part, has described the espionage case as “repugnant.”

Ordinarily, a good person to calm tempers and mediate would be the head of the Organization of American States. But the OAS secretary general, Jose Miguel Insulza, is Chilean.

Insulza was in Santiago over the weekend, on the campaign trail with his friend Eduardo Frei, a candidate in Chile’s upcoming presidential election. In any case, it’s not clear that the Chilean government will be able to turn down the temperature on its own.

Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez reiterated Monday that his country was not conducting espionage against Peru. “Chile has nothing to do with this case,” he said, implying it was an internal Peruvian problem.

“We ask above all that the Peruvian authorities get to the bottom of this and stay calm so that the public can be told the truth about what has happened, as I say, among officials of the Peruvian Armed Forces.”

– Peter Eisner

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There are many question that regards our attention give the gravity of this issue. Let us not forget that peruvians and chileans had fluctuating arguments as far as boderlines it concerns, but accusing a neighboring country of spionage is a very serious charge.

I wonder how many among us could messure the level of hypocracy within the perimeters of diplomacy between the countries since one waited the end of the summit to storm out of that country and the other denied the charges so abruptly without any given evidance.

We need to consider the time frame in which things are happening; the Haya trade, the fact that chile is invisting more than six billion dollars on weapons, and then peruvian intelligence found a spy that were giving delicate info to chileans.

There isn’t yet any military personnel to be link to such accusations, but there is the possibility that the chilean was using an alias rather than his/her own name.

I just hope this doesn’t elavate to greater level in which lives might be put at risk just because of the coolateral stupidity of neighboring nations.


Ernesto : that guy in the picture looks like the Peruvian president. Ja ja ja
es una broma creo te tienes razón la foto esta totalmente fuera de constecto. Any way so the Chilean inteligence page there spys throug western union? Ja ja ja


What has to do the picture in the news with the conflict?? Who does not know peru would directly believe that average inhabitans of Peru only look like that man.It was made on purpose??yes, because that picture was selected among others. Again, The picture is totally unrelated to the news.


Why is Peru blaming Chile, when it should be asking why is one of it’s own Peruvian military officers wanting to share information on Peru?

That certainly makes me wonder what is Peru doing? Especially, when all this was made political at the Summit, for all to hear, rather than to just ask Chile in the first place.

I see this involving money, because the summit is about the deals, for which both Peru and Chile will profit selling off their natural resources.

Of course if both Peru and Chile were to join together, life would be best for both, but can you hear in each others ears, the soft sounds of Chinese agents spreading hatred for each other, thus insuring the need for arms, to which both Peru and Chila can waste their money upon, fighting each other, while China profits with both their natural resources!

In the end, both Peru and Chile suffer, for their stupid blind greed and corruption.

It’s amazing how the sound of money, lead by the Obama illegal TPPA campaign can hope to improve the economy, under these actions.

Under what authority is the Obama administration negotiating U.S. entry into the TPPA?


[…] One of the more surprising outcomes of the Asia-Pacific summit meeting in Singapore this past week had nothing to do, as might have been expected, with Barack Obama or his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. Instead, Peruvian President Alan Garcia raised …Read Original Story: APEC summit brings Chile-Peru tensions to the fore – Worldfocus […]


Garcia’s media strategy to portray Peru as the victim of its southern neighbor aims at swaying the ICJ regaring the maritime border disagreement. Considering the alleged spy had been arrested and charged before the APEC meeting, however, make Garcia’s attempt at embarrassing Chile before the international community disgraceful at best.

Peter Eisner is an editorial consultant with Worldfocus and a 30-year veteran of international news. He has been an editor and foreign correspondent at The Washington Post, Newsday and The Associated Press. He co-authored “The Italian Letter,” which details fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. He was founder and president of Newscom, an international online news service, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

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