Chile’s beefed up military presence worries Peru

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Chile’s ‘mass purchase’ of arms has Peruvian diplomats worried.
© U.S. Air Force

(LIP-jl) — Peru’s Chancellor Jose Garcia Belaunde expressed his concern over Chile’s ‘massive purchase of military arms’ and their proximity to the Peruvian border.

According to a report from Chile’s La Tercera newspaper, the Chilean Air Force incorporated 12 new F-16 warplanes into its forces located near its border with Peru and Bolivia, which is part of a large scale phase to improve it current military force.

"We have already expressed our concern over Chile’s large scale purchase of arms," said Garcia to reporters who also mentioned such acquisitions "undermine the region’s military balance."

The Chancellor assured the press that he has not received any type of conformation from Chilean authorities regarding the transfer of eight F-16 Fighting Falcon warplanes to Chile’s Antofagasta Air Base, as claimed by Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

Garcia plans on bringing up the topic of military spending during his next meeting with his Chilean counterpart, Alejandro Foxely, and with Defense Ministers from both countries.

He added that he briefly met with Foxley during the recent South American Energy Summit held in Venezuela, where he "openly and frankly talked about every important issue" with the Chilean Chancellor.

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Chile moves new F-16s near border with Peru (by LIP, 17 April, 2007)
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