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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - November 18

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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV OPRC PREL PGOV SNAR CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - NOVEMBER 18

Front Page News
---------------
1. The Association of Public Employees (ANEFE) rejected the
government's salary adjustment and extended the strike for another
day; The Minister of Public Works suspended six ministry officials
in the VI Region for alleged bribery.

U.S. Related News
----------------------
2. Representatives from U.S., Spanish, Canadian, and Danish
companies, among others, will attend the Fruit and Vegetable
International Investment Forum to discuss new business opportunities
in connection to a number of emerging varieties of fruits (Diario
Financiero, business and financial daily, circ. 30,000).

3. Wikipedia creator Jimmy Walker will be in Santiago tomorrow to
speak at Universidad Mayor and the Digital Communications
Observatory (El Mercurio, conservative, influential
newspaper-of-record, circ. 129,000).

4. Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the U.S Center for Global
Prosperity, will speak on the financial crisis and its effect in the
region in a seminar organized by the Union of Latin America Parties
to mark a new anniversary on Friday (La Tercera, conservative,
independent, circ. 101,000).

5. Chile bought the supertanker Andrew J. Higgins from the United
States to replace the Araucano tanker. The Higgins can carry both
oil and ammunition (La Cuarta, popular daily, circ. 142,000).

6. U.S. actor Edward J. Olmos was fined at the Santiago
international airport for not declaring apples and oranges he was
carrying in his luggage. Olmos is in Chile to attend the Via del
Mar International Film Festival that opened yesterday (El Mercurio).


7. U.S. policy expert Carol Hardy-Fanta said that Hillary Clinton's
defeat shows "that it's almost impossible to elect a woman President
in the United States." She adds that Obama's style of leadership is
similar to Bachelet's in "its warmth and assertiveness." Hardy-Fanta
will soon visit Chile to speak at the University of Chile's Gender
Studies Center on Women and Leadership in Public Affairs (La Tercera
Women's Magazine, 11/12).

8. The Arauco conglomerate closed the Patagual sawmill, which
produced 6,000 cubic meters of lumber a month for the U.S market.
This is the fourth sawmill the conglomerate has been forced to close
in the area of BioBio (El Mercurio).

Narcotics
-----------
9. A money laundering and counternarcotics investigation that began
in 2005, concluded yesterday with the arrest of Patricio Zepeda,
owner of money exchange office Zesal. The police raided Zepeda's
offices and confiscated goods. The investigation shows that Zepeda
laundered an average of $1billion pesos a year from international
narcotics operations. Trucks smuggled marihuana and cocaine to Chile
from Argentina through the Paso Los Libertadores in the Vth Region
and then collected the money in Zesal offices in Santiago. In some
cases Zesal employees traveled to Argentina to delivered the payment
in dollars (La Tercera).

Local
-------
10. The Association of Public Employees (ANEFE) rejected the 9%
gradual salary increase offered by the government and extended the
strike for another day. Union leaders called for a march in
Valparaiso, where they hope to meet with congressmen. The ANEFE is
demanding a 14.5% wage increase. The strike is affecting
municipalities, health services, the Civil Registrar's Office
--which is not registering deaths --, and international crossings
due to the absence of animal and plant health inspectors. Public
schools might have to extend the end of the school year for another
week (La Segunda, conservative, afternoon, circ. 33,000).

Human Rights
----------------
11. The medical examination ordered by Judge Victor Montiglio
concluded that General Sergio Arellano-Stark suffers from senile
dementia, prompting the judge to suspend the six-year prison
sentence pending on the general. Arellano- Stark was head of a
military delegation known as "The Death Caravan," which was
responsible for the death of a number of military regime opponents
in 1973. This was the same medical prognosis used to prevent General
Pinochet from facing charges in the same case (La Segunda).

SIMONS

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