A Chilean official announced that his government does not condone spying.
In responding to a letter of protest from Peru over an espionage case between the two countries’ naval forces, Chile’s secretary general declared that his government “does not accept or sponsor espionage.”
The complete response from the Chilean government was sent to Lima on Tuesday. Peruvian President Ollanta Humala has said the response was “unsatisfactory,” and is said to be evaluating his government’s next move.
The print edition of Peruvian newspaper, La Republica, featured on its cover today the picture of the alleged spy Chilean spy, a navy lieutenant named Francisco Calvanese. Calvanese was identified by Johnny Philco, one of three Peruvian sailors charged with treason two weeks ago.
Calvanese’s identity was confirmed in the public register of Chilean naval officers. The record also notes that Calvanese works in naval intelligence.
There is currently “a very high level of distrust” between the two countries, according to Peru’s former top military commander, Jorge Montoya. Chile’s congress called Humala’s statements an “escalation.”
Last year Peru won a moderate victory in an international court decision over a maritime border dispute, in which Peru gained over half of the 38,000 square kilometers of disputed fishing grounds. Both countries accepted the decision.
Peru and Chile have had tense relations ever since the War of Pacific, in which Chilean forces occupied Lima for two years. In the treaty ending the war, Chile gained the former Peruvian territory of Arica.