Perú withdraws ambassador to Chile in espionage row

March 8, 2015

LIMA, Perú — Peru announced Saturday it has withdrawn its ambassador in Santiago to protest alleged espionage by Chile.

Relations soured between the two countries late last month after Perú claimed Chile paid three members of the Peruvian navy to spy on their own nation.

Perú’s foreign ministry announced the withdrawal of the ambassador in a statement, saying he would not return until Chile provided necessary assurances over the incident.

Lima recalled Ambassador Fernando Rojas Samanez on Feb. 20 after it made the claims against Chile and detained the alleged spies.

In a first protest note, Perú claimed the military members were paid for spying by Chile between 2005 and 2012.

The letter demanded a prompt investigation into the spying and called for assurances that the espionage not be repeated.

In a second letter of protest issued Saturday, Perú said it “reiterates its firm rejection and deep concern” over the “actions of espionage by Chile.”

“This is Perú’s sovereign decision to make” if it so chooses, Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz said.

“We cannot comment (about Perú’s diplomatic notes). After reviewing them, we will comment at the appropriate time.”

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said that her ambassador to Lima, Roberto Ibarra, would stay in Chile’s capital for a few days “to respond to this new (diplomatic) note.”

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