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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student

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Chile-Peru tension boils over with spying allegations

SANTIAGO, Chile - The countries of Chile and Peru have had issues in diplomatic relations for many years. However, just recently they were confronted with the most serious offense in decades.

Peru officials claimed that two Chilean military officials were found spying in Peru. This
accusation made the relations between these two countries even more constricted.

Even though Chile has denied all allegations and states that they are not involved in any way, Peru is taking action.

To deal with this issue, the Peruvian President Alan Garcia decided to cancel his meetings with the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as well as quit a regional summit a day early to return to Peru.

The president of Peru said he would wait until he returns to his country and learns of all the aspects of the case before making a statement about these accusations.

Meanwhile in Peru, they are working on completing the court proceedings against the accused Chilean officers.

The officers, Daniel Marquez Torrealba and Victor Vergara Rojas, were allegedly working with Victor Ariza Mendoza, an officer in the Peruvian Air Force.

Along with these accusations, it has been stated that Mendoza has been charged with money laundering, espionage and revealing state secrets. He may face charges of treason, which include 25 years in prison as the minimum sentence.

Reports have also said that there is the possibility that another Peruvian officer is involved in the case.

Peru Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde stated that this case of espionage was an “offensive act” by Chile, and he additionally requested a full
investigation as to “who in Chile gave the order.”

He also stated that Peru’s ambassador in Santiago would return to Peru for consultations during this time.

He also clarified that this movement did not signify that they were breaking off international ties with Chile at this point.

They will continue to look for more information in this case before making any major changes.

Peru has decided to hand over all the evidence connected with these allegations to Chile so that officials can explain the suspicious circumstances. The Peruvian President Garcia stated that the spying was a result of fear and the feelings of inferiority from Chile.

But the foreign minister of Chile, Mariano Fernandez, has continued to say that Chile is not involved in the case.

This case has caused even more conflict between these two countries. They have had difficult relations since the War of the Pacific in 1879. In this war, Peru lost access to valuable land and some of its ocean access.

They almost went to war again in 1975 when Peru wanted to invade Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet but ended up calling it off.

Because of these and many other past issues, the countries have had difficult relations for years.

This most recent case has only continued to escalate the negative feelings between these two nations.

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