Saturday, February 21, 2015
Peru Accuses Naval Officers of Spying for Chile
Two Peruvian naval officers have been charged with giving Chile sensitive military information. A third officer is under investigation. The scandal comes just as the two countries were improving their relations and leaving their territorial disputes in the distance. Last year, the nations complied with a ruling of the International Court of Justice that granted Peru a larger piece of the Pacific. The thaw was a welcomed development for Chile's government, which is dealing with a much more hostile dispute with Bolivia. Besides the political fallout, the spying case could also impact Chile's strategic vision. The government of President Michelle Bachelet is hoping to forge closer ties with Peru, the same way Chile did with Argentina years ago. Argentina now stands as a model of successful diplomacy. Once bitter rivals, the neighboring nations are now allies. They've formed a joint peacekeeping force and both militaries cooperate extensively. That's allowed Chile to reduce its defenses along the Argentina border. Bachelet's hope is to someday have the same detente with Peru, and earn a peace dividend. There's been other spying cases in the past, usually involving Peruvians or Bolivians spying for Chile.