Peruvian cyber-guerillas attack Chile

Three days before the Nov. 7 opening of the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago, a hacker broke into the website of Chile’s presidency and planted the flag of Peru, leaving the site inoperable for some 18 hours. AP reports the intruder left a message—”Long live Peru,” followed by “an expletive.” Chile’s less squeamish Noticias 123 identifies the full epithet as “Viva el Perú, mierda” (Long live Peru, you shit). AP helpfully informs us: “The Santiago daily El Mercurio on Monday reported that officials believe the hacker was a Peruvian.” (No, ya think?) The move comes as officials are taking steps to redress Peru’s long-standing grievances against its southern neighbor. BBC reports Nov. 7 that Chile has returned 3,778 books—many dating back to the 16th century—to Peru’s national library, which was pillaged by Chilean soldiers during their 1881 occupation of Lima. BBC smarmily notes, “there was no talk of a fine.” Peru lost territory to Chile in the 1879-83 War of the Pacific, and Bolivia lost access to the sea.

Peru-Chile tensions escalated in 2005 when Chilean authorities arrested former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori—and refused to extradite him to Peru to face corruption charges. The Chilean Supreme Court finally approved his extradition in September, and Peruvian prosecutors are currently seeking a 30-year term for the former president on charges including murder and kidnapping. Prosecutor General Jose Pelaez also demands that Fujimori pay 33 million dollars in damages for the death of 25 people during paramilitary raids in 1991 and 1992 on a Lima’s university and working-class neighborhoods. (AFP, Nov. 6)

See our last posts on Peru, Chile, and the politics of cyberspace.