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Peru to withdraw ambassador from Chile because of alleged military espionage

Monday, March 9th 2015 - 07:59 UTC
Full article 32 comments

Peru said it was withdrawing its ambassador from Chile, amid an intensifying diplomatic spat that was sparked by accusations of military espionage. The Peruvian government is prosecuting two non-commissioned officers in its navy and investigating a third for allegedly spying for neighboring Chile. Read full article


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  • ilsen

    Everybody spies on everybody else, (if they have the means to do so).

    Peruvian officials just need to 'grow-up' a little.

    I am glad to see the Chileans are taking the classic British response of 'I couldn't possibly comment'.
    Brilliant response by Heraldo Munoz, (see above).
    “In as much as we will not comment on the sovereign decision of other countries, we don't accept that other countries pass comment on sovereign decisions our country might take.”

    Sir Humphrey of 'Yes Minister' would by so proud of having 'advised' his Minister to respond in such a manner (quick nod to ChrisR, who am sure is a fan?)

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Diplomacy is about surviving until the next century - politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 08:38 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    Nicely put, ilsen!

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 09:00 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ilsen

    @2 Thank You Troy T.
    Ar you a fan of 'Yes, Minister' also?

    If not, I suggest you YouTube it, or whatever the young people say/do these days!

    I think you might like it.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 10:14 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. It's worth remembering that 'British' relations with Chile extend at least as far back as the 16th century when Queen Mary I of England was also Queen of Chile. Britain's Lord Cochrane was, of course, the first commander of the Chilean navy.,_10th_Earl_of_Dundonald#Chilean_Navy
    It's difficult to know, with such excellent examples as 'Yes, Minister' and 'Yes, Prime Minister', Chile let's itself be forced into actions by argieland.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 11:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Brasileiro

    A fantastic alliance!

    United States only know how make advertising.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 11:53 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    This no simple little diplomatic spat. We got our hands caught in Peru's cookie jar and sanctions are on the horizon unless we accept blame.
    Chile has enourmous investments in Peru. LAN Peru, Jumbo supermarkets, Fallabella and much more. Chileans normally keep a stiff upper lip, but the forthcoming evidence is embarrassing. Peruvians strongly distrust us already.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 12:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Philippe

    Chile is surrounded by three banana republic/failed-states. Therefore, one must not be surprised, when for one “reason” or another, there is a sudden explosive crisis in one of Chile's borders. Mr. Ollanta, Peru's “president” is a highly uncivilized character (of the Kirchner/Morales sort) who can extract from his hat the silliest initiative. He is now persuaded that Chile is spying on Peru! What he doesn't know is that anybody, just through the Internet, can learn that Peru is engaged, right now, in huge arms acquisition programs!
    It's obvious that Chile doesn't need amateurish spies in the present circumstances.


    Mar 09th, 2015 - 01:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 1 Ilsen
    “quick nod to ChrisR, who am sure is a fan?”

    Oh, yes.

    This from 'Yes Prime Minister“

    Check out 2.10 for one of the best Sir Humphrey 'clarifications'!

    @ 6 Chicureo
    ”and sanctions are on the horizon unless we accept blame”

    Have you thought of bombing them? At least then they would have something to moan about?


    Only joking!

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 02:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Despite being Peruvian, Admiral Miguel Grau is one of my favorite historical naval heroes. Their officers corps that I've had the pleasure to interact with are also generally admirable. Their determination to rebuild their navy to rival both the Brazil and Chilean navies is absolutely frightening.
    We have a mutual defense pact with Ecuador and it is not beyond the real mod thinking we could end up in another Pacific war. They are aggressively upgrading their warships and they already have the largest Latin American submarine force, which is well maintained by their German builder. (Nothing like Argentina)
    There is a legitimate reason to conduct intel regarding their operations, however in the past 20 years, Chile has become economically integrated in Peru's economy.
    We tread on very thin ice. Close to my office in Providencia are two massive bronze Lions that were sacked from Lima during the War of the Pacific. They still want them back...
    Bottom line: our defense strategy is to be ready to fight simultaneously with Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Where do we draw the line on intel aquisition? Very complex...

    Chris R
    We don't have the armament, our capacity is for specific targeted threats. Four or five missiles delivered to Lima would make no change except to anger them even more.
    They're already p*ssed off that we stole their Pisco denomination for brandy.

    The reality is that Peru is NOT a failed “banana republic”
    Yes, yes, they are a backwards socialist oriented majority indian population, but they are doing economically successful nation that Chile has heavily invested into.
    We have to keep a close eye upon, without angering them.

    Finally, the information Chile sought was not available via the Internet and there was a reason for gathering it, but you're not supposed to be caught...

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 03:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    “Despite being Peruvian, Admiral Miguel Grau is one of my favorite historical naval heroes. ”

    Hear hear! ;)

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 03:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Read about Grau and you will understand.

    Our problem in Chile was when A-2 was integrated into the ANI.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 04:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    Grau pretty much accounts for the first stage of the war. Brilliant man, and one with honor. He stands out in an otherwise dark story.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 06:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Agreed. It was a class act on his part on what he did for Prat's widow.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 06:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker


    I'm not being funny, but in the scheme of things in the continent where you live, I can't imagine a but of espionage matters much. What the hell are Peru going to do, have a rain dance and wear a plucked feather hat for a day.

    What the hell have they got worth spying on anyway?

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 08:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    To politely answer your question: a great deal.

    Despite its image, they could easily take a dramatic territorial change, as they did in the 1940's with Ecuador. Chile's northern territories could easily be reclaimed during a weak socialist administration. Our army with their formidable dominance, needs substantial air support, which we currently have. Unfortunately, they have been upgrading their Russian air offensive capability and they have made substantial upgrades to their navy. Within 5 years, they could make a surprise attack. Currently Chile's navy ranks #4 in the Americas, behind the USA, Canada and Brazil. That could easily change.
    As Ronald Reagan once said: “Peace through strength.”
    Meanwhile, we have substantial investments in Peru. We don't want a conflict.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 08:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    Actually I can see your point, I have just been comparing your navies and air force, it does seem that Peru have been beefing up their war machine. I would question what for, but it seems clear it can only be for conquest as opposed to defence.

    I would say that they probably have the edge on you for hardware, especially their guided missile frigates as you don't appear to have any. However, they are inexperienced in warfare and you have 39 F16's in good working order.

    Sometimes you have to fight for what is yours.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 09:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    #16 Brirworker
    Please refrain from using Wikipedia for your information.
    There is a saying in France: “ As rich as Peru” which is so true. They have incredible reasources.
    Our army is far superior and our other forces are well armed, but Chile has the philosophy to be able to defend ourselves simultaneously against Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. They could easily a theat in the future and therefore is why they've received attention. The ANI screwed up, that's the simple analysis.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 10:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    “...Chile has the philosophy to be able to defend ourselves simultaneously against Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.”

    School of Hard Knocks. Spanish Royalist troops from Peru/Alto Peru during the Patria Vieja, Santa Cruz's Confederation, The Alliance with Bolivia in the Pacific War, and more recent incidents and posturing require it. ;)

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 10:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Exactly. We are a nation with less than 17 m, defending ourselves against three nations that have little affection for our territory.

    You would think that Chile, with it's well trained Prussian style army armed with Leopard tanks, as well as an equally skilled airforce with F16 fighters and a very traditional British oriented navy with well maintained warships, which includes 4 highly capable submarines of which 2 happen to be the deadly Scorpène-class would scare them off, yet we remain very concerned about Peru. For any leader, a defeat of Chile by Peru would elevate them to sainthood. Their ground forces don't intimidate us, but their upgraded airforce and navy has us unsettled.

    Saying all that, we really can't afford to p*ss them off as we have major investments in their economies.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 11:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Chicureo. Couldnt agree more about Grau. His letter to Prats widow belongs to an age of chivalry long gone. But expect some gollum like behavior from Peru.
    “I want the Huascar back -its mine”

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 11:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro


    His kindness is obvious, and not to be dismissed, but what moved me most about the man was his rescuing of Chilean sailors and securing their safety from his own countrymen, and removing them from danger. Like I said, he stood out in an otherwise dark story.

    Mar 09th, 2015 - 11:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • dsullivanboston

    19 Sorry to hear that about Chile and Peru. My wife is Peruvian and I spent last Dec in Lima and north of the city. Very hardworking simple people. Hope nothing comes of this tiff, no one needs the foolishness I am sure.

    PS Santa Ema Reserva is one of my favorites..

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 12:10 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    At our academy, Prat was revered. But in history classes it became easily clear that A Scottish lord was the true hero of Chile.
    Grau kept Chile from a quick victory. Perhaps as much as 6 months...
    Anyway, my interaction with Peruvian officers has been very positive. Well educated, well trained and reasonable.

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 12:15 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro


    I always found Prat more interesting for what he did before his last battle. Like you say, Grau was a delay for what happened. I do hope your countries can maintain peace. There can be no doubt that both would benefit. ;)

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 12:55 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    You are a fortunate man with very good taste in both women and wine.
    Not to take anything away from Prat, especially his sacrifice to my country, but Grau really set the bar quite high. The again, we have the “Seawolf”...,_10th_Earl_of_Dundonald

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 10:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    Funny that Cochrane is an inspiration for the Aubrey-Maturin novels. ;)

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 02:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ilsen

    4 Conqueror (& others...)
    Cochrane - Britannia's Sea Wolf
    by Donald Thomas
    -Cassell Military Paperbacks (1978, 2001, 2002 reprinted 3 times)
    ISBN 0-304-35659-X
    Highly recommended, if you haven't perused it already!

    Chicureo - Thank you for all the insightful comments.

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 05:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Yes Cochrane founder of four navies including the Brazilian who I understand didnt pay him for his services so he took some of their ships unilaterally in lieu of payment
    In his old age during the Crimean War he proposed to lead a fleet up the Baltic to defeat the Russian fleet and capture St Petersburg. Had he done that he might have met his match in Admiral Stephan Makarov whose actions, carreer and thinking were very similar to Cochranes own.
    Admirals of the Blue and Red. The Spanish had an unofficial admiral of the Buff, Pascual Cervera y Copete. After his ship had been sunk at the battle of Santiago in the Spanish American War he was recued and subsequently piped aboard the American flagship with full honours in spite of the fact he was stark naked having divested himself of his uniform so as to swim better

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 05:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 28 redp0ll
    “he was recued and subsequently piped aboard the American flagship with full honours in spite of the fact he was stark naked having divested himself of his uniform so as to swim better”

    Did he “stand to attention” or was the water too cold?


    Mar 10th, 2015 - 07:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    29 Ha ha. No i think he had struck his pennant and had no more tackle to hoist his colours

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 09:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • PictonNuevaLennox

    The Peruvian president has a 22 percent approval rating and all of the sudden there's an issue with CHILE? what a surprise!!!! What is funny about all of this is that even today the year 2015 Peruvian “intellectuals” are afraid of a possible Chilean invasion. I'm not kidding just visit a random Peruvian news site and there will be a editorial about the subject. Bolivians are the same.

    As for the Chilean Government response they're just quietly giggling trying not to look like they're laughing out loud.

    Finally if any Peruvians think I'm ridiculing them i'm not. Your current president and the paranoid navy is a different story.

    Mar 11th, 2015 - 10:27 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    I see Conq. cannot bear to say that Cochrane was Scottish. Somewhat of a dichotomy here On one hand he never includes Scotland in Britain...he is quite vociferous in this - but quite happy to claim Scots such as the Scots Guards and Cochrane as British when it suits him.
    Just thought that I would stir it !!!!
    Captain Cook's father was Scottish so we can claim 50% of him as well !

    Also for Hornblower.

    Mar 11th, 2015 - 12:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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