Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT
This demonstrates a relatively high level of agitation among the
Peruvians. My main military contact in Chile has been downplaying this
issue strongly, saying it doesn’t matter, tha tensions between Peru and
Chile are no big deal and that the Peruvians are exaggerating all of it.
Bypassing WO as per Stick.
PUBLICATION: Not yet
SOURCE: AR 01 chatting with AR 516
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor Source
SOURCE placement : B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 3
He said well we talked a lot about the Peruvian officer, Chile spy case.
I asked what they thought/opinionated about that and his immediate
response was `well we have to by more arms.’ From there I asked him to
elaborate on that and explain how he arrived at this conclusion. And as a
result the following comments were made:
– First I asked how serious and credible this was. Was Peru 100% sure
that this guy was spying and be paid by Chile. He said that they were
more than 100% sure. He said that in Venezuela and Bolivia and sometimes
even in Argentina you’ll hear about all sorts of scandals or rumors or
exaggerated stories that should be taken with a grain of salt. He said,
however, that when it comes to Chile and Peru these things were taken
very seriously and as credible problems/threats.
– Peru is taking this scandal as a very big offense that, to an extent, is
being treated a bit like `the straw that broke the camel’s back’ in terms
of Chile-Peru tensions. He said that Alan
and the Frgn Min coming back shows just how serious the govt is taking
this issue and that they felt relations with Chile were put at a huge
risk. He said that while they haven’t officially broken off diplomatic
relations with Chile or recalled ambassadors, but that could be a
potential next step.
– He said this was shameful for Chile to finance such a spy project. He
said more importantly that Peru (at least the military) was absolutely
embarrassed and feels like they have
really been made the fool. He literally said at one point in the
conversation `somos los payasos.’
– At this point the recent diplomatic efforts by Peru to promote its pact
of non-aggression came up in the conversation. Again he said that Peru
looks foolish now for doing that and that they should not have believed
Chile saying `yeah not a bad idea.’ For him and the people in this
conversation and many in the military that diplomatic approach was over.
The idea of using diplomacy and believing in a possible agreement to
limit/control arms purchases is dead. Peru can’t afford to pursue that
any more and needs to make more assertive moves if it wants to be taken
seriously by Chile and not get so easily walked upon.
– He reiterated that Chile’s arms purchases were just way too much and
could not be justified by any means and for Peru it was clearly an
aggressive move that now can be interpreted no other way.
– He also said that the potential deal between Chile and the US was
particularly alarming. For them it signifies that the US has chosen to
side with Chile in any future Chile-Peru conflicts. They feel that Peru
can now not go to the US to buy weapons since its basically looks certain
that the US will be supplying Chile with arms.
– I asked if he knew how the Chile-US arms deal came about. If the US
started it or Chile. He said he didn’t know but that it didn’t matter
because a deal like that requires two very willing parties.
– They were also just very surprised in general that the US would side or
support Chile. According to him, the US has some DEA, anti-drug projects
in Peru and at least in this area, the military has always considered the
US a reliable and good partner. Betrayal is way to strong a word, but
perhaps snubbed or surprised describes some of their reactions/feelings to
the US possibly selling arms to Chile.
– Then came talk about what Peru would do. He said that Peru had to buy
weapons. I said they should only buy from the best and with the US not
being seen as an option, who was left. He said Israel and Russia were the
big, good, reliable arms suppliers out there for Peru to deal with. I
asked a bit of why for Israel since I
thought Israel purchased a lot of US arms. He said that Israel produces
some arms and that it has very good defense capability, both in equipment
and with the personnel. He also said that Peru has the money to make
large arms purchases should it so choose.
– I asked if the General or people were worried about things. He said the
general was not `preocupado’ but that he was certainly `consternado’.
They are all expecting a very tense week ahead and are waiting to see what
Garcia, the cabinet and governments do in the coming days.