Cablegate: Media Reaction; Virginia Tech Massacre; South American
DE RUEHBU #0764/01 1101301
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201301Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7908
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000764
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE; SOUTH AMERICAN
ENERGY SUMMIT; 04/19/07; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
The most important international topics today include the Virginia
Tech massacre; and the South American Energy Summit, which,
according to daily-of-record "La Nacion" and liberal "Buenos Aires
Herald," "ended without conclusive developments regarding the main
items on the agenda."
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "What this doesn't show"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" (04/19) carries an
opinion piece by contributor James Neilson, who penned "... The
initial reaction to Monday's Virginia Tech massacre was equally
tendentious. No sooner did the word get out that 32 people had been
shot dead by an as yet unidentified gunman, much of the world press
started churning out articles painting the US as an extremely
violent country overrun by Kalashnikov-toting lunatics who are only
too willing to mow down anyone who is unfortunate enough to cross
their path. It was also agreed that school-room or campus massacres
are a US specialty...
"... In any event, once it became known that the Virginia Tech
killer was not a brutish redneck in thrall to the National Rifle
Association but a South Korean student it, became slightly harder to
assume that the slaughter told us something terribly sinister about
the US way of life or even about the folly of allowing sophisticated
firearms to be sold over the counter with a minimum of paperwork.
Perhaps Cho Seung Hui would not have done what he did had it not
been for those permissive gun-laws, but if an individual with murder
on his mind wants to get hold of a deadly weapon he will probably do
so no matter what the law says...
"... For those whose primary goal in life is to denounce the
failings of the US, almost everything that happens will be grist to
their mill. This being the case, they are most unlikely to let the
mere fact that the Virginia Tech massacre was the work of a foreign
resident stand in their way."
- "Virginia and the tragedy posed by armed civilians"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (04/19) "The Virginia University
massacre has understandably shocked the entire world and revived the
debate on the danger posed by the culture of owning arms in the
"The US has a wide spread culture of owning arms, which have sparked
countless episodes of violence, among them the Virginia massacre.
This is why, there is mounting controversy over the freedom to
purchase and carry weapons...
"Latin America should not observe the problem posed by weapons in
the hands of civilians as a problem affecting others... There has
been an increasing tendency in Argentina during the last few years
to carry weapons as a reaction to the country's prevailing lack of
safety... In other Latin American countries, the problem is even
"Therefore, the Virginia massacre should lead us not only to watch
the cultural drama in the US, but look at our own problems in this
regard as well. In order to avoid murders as a consequence of gun
violence, it is crucial to improve the living standards of the
groups most affected by the problem and especially to expand
policies to disarm civilians."
- "Unproductive energy summit"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" (04/19) editorializes "The First (South
American) Energy Summit, which was held in Venezuela, showed once
again the prevailing differing views in the main countries of the
region not only regarding energy issues but the essential role
institutions play in promoting countries' economic development.
"... The joint final statement included the energy problems of the
hemisphere in general terms and ratified regional energy integration
as a tool to promote social and economic development and poverty
eradication. In the framework of differing views between Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, who hosted the event, and Brazilian President
Lula on the development of ethanol as a substitute for oil, the
presidents agreed to a statement without real definitions although
it acknowledges ethanol as a viable option for the regional energy
"There was only agreement over vague issues such as changing the
name of the South American Community of Nations and promising the
creation of an energy regional council. However, no agreement was
reached on the creation of Banco del Sur... or on a regional
association of gas exporting countries...
"... The summit ended without definitions on the main items of the
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: