U.S. apologizes to Peru over WikiLeaks cables


By Jorge Riveros Cayo

U.S. apologizes to Peru over WikiLeaks cables
So far nine cables out of 1,388 originated from the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru have been disclosed. There is yet more to come. (Photo: RPP)

Washington D.C. apologized to Peru for leaked diplomatic cables about the country, reported Monday the Washington Post.

Arturo Valenzuela, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs said to RPP radio service that he and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with Peruvian officials about the matter.

Valenzuela said Monday that the State Department is "looking at how to turn the page so this does not affect our relationship."

So far nine cables have been disclosed of a total of 1,388 documents originated from the U.S. Embassy in Lima, generating turmoil in Peruvian political circles.

Among these cables is document 88101 written by former U.S. Ambassador to Peru between 2004 and 2007, James Curtis Struble, offering a detailed description of president Alan García’s personality.

“One aspect on which there is near universal agreement is that García has a colossal ego, which can blind him to the merits of good ideas and alternatives that he himself has not generated,” says the cable.

García said he was not offended by the cable contents but he did say the U.S. documents reflect “low-quality diplomacy” based on “cocktail gossip.”

Another cable numbered 196642, written by former U.S. Ambassador to Peru between 2007 and 2010, Peter Michael McKinley, titled “Alleged Army Corruption – A Perspective” suggests that “remnants of the Montesinos narco-corruption web still exist within the [Peruvian] military.”

General Paul Da Silva, General Commander of the Peruvian Army, mentioned in the cable denied having links to drug trafficking.

Da Silva said the cable was “an infamy” and threatened to sue McKinley who is currently posted as ambassador in Bogotá, Colombia.

Other cables include the description of a rescue operation of five stranded Peruvian soldiers kidnapped by Shining Path terrorist organization in September 2009, and Peru’s National Intelligence Director briefing about Shining Path plans and collaboration with the narcotics trade.

The first disclosed WikiLeaks cable originated from Lima was number 220949, about Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s official visit to Peru in July 2009.
The document focused on Lieberman’s first official visit to Peru as part of an extended tour through South America to “strengthen ties with friends and partners in the region,” and to “raise awareness of the growing Iranian presence in Venezuela and Bolivia,” says the document.