2009 Chile–Peru espionage scandal

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The 2009 Chile–Peru espionage scandal was a diplomatic crisis that occurred when a Peruvian court ordered the arrest of two Chilean military officers over allegedly bribing Peruvian air force officer Ariza Mendoza.[1] The charges against the Peruvian air force officer were: revealing national secrets, espionage and money-laundering.[2] The Mendoza was purportedly receiving between $5,000 and $8,000 per month in return for reporting national secrets to Chile.[3]

Peruvian President Alan Garcia left Singapore just before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in order to return home to deal with the crisis.[4]

The American ambassador in Lima, P. Michael McKinley, wrote in a leaked cable that the "Peruvian reaction seems exaggerated given the relatively limited scale of the espionage, and suggests political opportunism along with an instinctive reaction to any problem involving Chile."[5] Ambassador McKinley further stated that the timing of the scandal was unfortunate because Peru had "begun to more seriously focus on defeating Shining Path narco-terrorists in the Apurimac-Ene River Valley".[5]