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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - December 12

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R 121832Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
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INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3668
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RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1179
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001092

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STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - DECEMBER 12

Lead Stories
------------
1. Headlines report that the Ministry of Health has been unable to
notify 512 public hospital patients who tested positive for HIV.
Dailies continued to highlight the suit filed by the Economic
Prosecutor against the three largest pharmaceutical chains for
conspiring to overcharge consumers.

Local
-----
2. The President of the PPD, Pepe Auth, said there is ample support
in the party to rebuild a PS-PPD axis. This alliance would allow
both parties to proclaim OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza
as their presidential candidate to run in the Concertacion's
primary. Meanwhile, PRSD Jose Antonio Gomez met with Insulza and
confirmed his intention to also run in the primary. The DC bloc,
led by Gutenberg Martinez, will proclaim Eduardo Frei for the
primary (El Mercurio, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record,
circ. 129,000, 12/12).

3. The PS is pressing Insulza to announce his candidacy soon, but
he has warned that before making that decision the PS and the PPD
must strike a deal to present just one candidate (La Tercera,
conservative, independent, circ. 101,000, 12/12).

4. President Bachelet appointed attorney Patricio Rosende as the
new Interior Ministry Under Secretary. Rosende was Director of the
Political and Institutional Relations Bureau of the Ministry
Secretary General to the Presidency. Politicians from both the
Concertacion and the opposition underscored Rosende's negotiating
skills (El Mercurio, 12/12).

5. The PPD was not happy with Rosende's appointment. The reason is
that although the new Under Secretary belongs to the party, he does
not have strong ties to its leadership. The view is that his
appointment is a gesture from Bachelet to punish the party for a
series of "disciplinary" issues. For example, the PPD voted in
Congress against the Executive's salary adjustment, which forced
Bachelet to increase the adjustment to a two-digit figure, and it
voted against the Education Law (La Tercera, 12/12).

Chile - Other Countries
-----------------------
6. The United Nations appointed Chilean General Ricardo Toro as the
Deputy Force Commander of the multilateral organization's
stabilization mission in Haiti, where Chile has a contingent of 514
soldiers and police officers. This appointment is in recognition of
Chile's role in the process to bring stability to Haiti (La Nacion,
government-owned, editorially independent, circ 4,200, 12/12).

7. Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley inaugurated the U.N.
Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, which
supports the peace process in the Middle East: "Chile supports the
right of the Israeli and Palestinian people to create their own free
and sovereign states, as established in the 1947 General Assembly.
But we regret that this resolution has only been partially
fulfilled... and that in spite of the time that has elapsed, the
creation of an independent Palestinian state is still an unreachable
objective. It is also time for the people of Israel to be able to
live in peace without the threat of destruction" (La Nacion, 12/12).


8. The government is closely observing the latest events in Cuba,
because Bachelet will be traveling to Havana in February. Plans for
the Chilean President's visit could encounter complications if some
type of incident, such as those that took place in December, occurs
during her visit. "Informative Bridge," a website directed by a
Chilean journalist in the United States, reports that on December 8,
Cuban authorities cracked down on human rights activists to prevent
the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Human Rights
Declaration (La Segunda, conservative, afternoon, circ. 33,000,
12/11).

SIMONS

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