Cablegate: Media Reaction: Chile On Colombia-Ecuador Conflict
DE RUEHSG #0216 0671123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071123Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2875
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 1975
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0218
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0839
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1682
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR LIMA 5487
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1219
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1822
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000216
STATE FOR IIP/G/WHA, INR/R/MR, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL PTER VE CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: CHILE ON COLOMBIA-ECUADOR CONFLICT
REF: A) Santiago 209, B) Santiago 207
1. Summary: Chile's media has given prominent coverage to Foreign
Minister Foxley's comments and efforts to find a peaceful solution
to the Colombia-Ecuador conflict. While he echoed President
Bachelet's emphasis on the sanctity of respecting borders, Foxley
also condemned terrorism and guerrillas trespassing borders to
conduct activities in third countries. The media also focused
attention on two Chilean Communists photographed with the FARC
leader three days before his death. The Communist Party
acknowledged that the two Chileans, who visited the FARC camp in
Ecuador, had returned safely to Chile. These actions may help
confirm the authenticity of the data on the FARC leader's computer.
Foreign Minister's Op-Ed
2. Foreign Minster Foxley has been vocal about the Colombia
military operation against FARC leader Raul Reyes in Ecuador. On
March 6, "El Mercurio" published Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley's
op-ed titled: "Chile in the Regional Conflict."
3. "Chile is working actively with other countries in the region so
that the crisis between Ecuador and Colombia can be resolved soon
and dialogue between the two countries can be reestablished....
4. "We insist that those who wish to contribute in this matter...
must only help to contain the conflict.... Chile has been
extraordinarily clear in stating that it is essential to respect,
under all circumstances, the principle of sovereignty and
territorial integrity, avowed by international law and stated in the
OAS Charter. It is a principle that we will always strongly defend
and one that we have reiterated this time with our explicit support
5. "But we have stated with the same determination that we condemn
terrorism and reject any act associated with it.... And in the case
that today affects the region, we strongly reject the incursion of
the guerillas into another country and we condemn the
6. "Chile has underscored that the insurrection of irregular forces
can only make Colombia's challenge to find peace more difficult and
threaten efforts underway in Latin America to join forces through
concrete cooperation and integration....
7. "Chile said at the OAS that it is necessary to reestablish trust
and generate the conditions to find a solution to this situation,
which affects a founding principle of the Inter-American system....
We have the highest desire to facilitate an understanding and will
be cooperating with a positive attitude with the parties involved."
Chilean Communists Visited FARC Leader
8. A Chile connection to Reyes has generated interest in Santiago
dailies, including the FARC's longtime relationship with Chile's
Communist Party. Conservative "La Tercera" (circ. 101,000)
published on March 6 an article about two Chileans whose photographs
reportedly were found on a computer belonging to the dead Colombian
9. "The Colombian press published a photograph of Raul Reyes with
Chileans Valeska Lopez and Manuel Olate next to him. The Chileans,
both Communist Party members, were with Reyes three days before his
deaths. Both had traveled to Ecuador for a Bolivarian conference.
During that same trip, they took the opportunity to visit a
Colombian guerrilla base in Ecuador, along with a delegation of
Peruvians, Mexicans, Bolivians, and other Chileans." Communist
Party Secretary General Lautaro Carmona indicated that the two are
not part of any armed group and had returned to Chile on Tuesday."