Thursday, November 27, 2008
Loose Lips Cause International Spat
Chile's government and its neighboring countries maintain cordial relations, but every once in a while there's a reminder of festering hostilities. The latest case occurred this month, when a video clip on YouTube showed the head of Peru's army making mortal threats against Chileans. In the video, Gen. Edwin Donayre talks of preventing Chileans from entering Peru, and if they do, they'd be sent back home "in a box." If there weren't enough boxes, they would return in plastic bags, he continued. Peruvian President Alan Garcia apologized; Donayre did, too. After the diplomatic mess, Donayre appears to be retiring a bit sooner than planned. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has said she considers the matter settled. Update: Chile turned back Peru's naval commander and a Peruvian frigate from the Exponaval trade show, citing the Donayre controversy. Donayre retired Dec. 5, as originally scheduled, and many Chileans want him punished in some way. At his send-off, the general was full of bravado and was carried on soldiers' shoulders. Peru's defense minister may punish the soldiers, but there's no apparent reprimand in store for Donayre.