Where Now For Peru and Chile After Spying Allegations Edge Closer to Fact?

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At the beginning of this month, Chile responded to a second note of official protest from Peru after a senior Chilean intelligence official appeared to acknowledge in a leaked conversation with his Peruvian counterpart that the country had snooped on its South American neighbour.

Chile continues to deny the accusations. Peru’s President Ollanta Humala stated on March 31 that Chile must take responsibility and apologise, or face sanctions.

Humala has been in an abrasive mood since the conversation between the two officials, hosted on the messaging application WhatsApp, was leaked by a leading Peruvian journalist at the end of last month. The scandal — which dates back to the arrest of three Peruvian navy officers on espionage charges in February — has spilled over into Peru’s lively domestic politics, where Humala is on the back foot.

The Peruvian officers, accused of having sold sensitive information to the Chilean navy, are currently being investigated by a military court.

When news of Chile’s confession via social media first appeared at the end of last month, gossip brewed that it could be a smokescreen to obscure alleged corruption cases involving people connected to President Humala from the media spotlight.

If that was the government’s intention, it seems to have worked: Peruvian media is trawling over the espionage story and the Peruvian blogosphere has also focused its attentions on the incident.

In his blog, Cesar Gutiérrez says Peru’s Humala..

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