Peru recalls ambassador from Chile over case of alleged espionage



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SANTIAGO, Chile — Peru's government announced Saturday it is recalling its ambassador from Chile, demanding a response to allegations that the neighboring nation has been spying on it.

The statement by the Peruvian Foreign Ministry comes more than two weeks after the government said that three members of Peru's navy were under investigation for allegedly leaking military information to Chile.

It issued a diplomatic note on Feb. 20 demanding an answer, and President Ollanta Humala complained on Monday there had been no answer, saying the case threatens to damage relations between the countries.

"We hope there will be an official response from Chile because not giving a response is a response," he said.

Chile's Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz promised a quick reply and said Chile "does not promote or accept acts of espionage in other states or its own territory."

The two countries are generally on friendly terms, but there is lingering tension rooted in the 1879-83 War of the Pacific in which Chile gained its three northernmost provinces by winning territory from Peru and Bolivia.

The United Nations' International Court of Justice last year settled a maritime boundary dispute between the two countries, giving Peru a bigger piece of the Pacific Ocean while keeping rich coastal fishing grounds in the hands of Chilean industry.

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