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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - August 12

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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000776

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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 - AUGUST 12

Lead Story
----------
1. The holding company responsible for HidroAysen, the largest
electricity generation project in the country, will launch a
nationwide campaign on television, Internet, and radio to inform the
public of the project (La Tercera, conservative, independent, 8/13).


Honduras
--------
2. The USG was yesterday more specific on Honduras. Department of
State spokesman Philip Crowley said the United States "fully
supports" the OAS mission to Honduras, hoping it can "persuade the
de facto regime to resign and allow ousted President Zelaya to end
his term in office and to closely follow the steps outlined by the
San Jose Agreement" (Government-owned La Nacion, 8/12).

3. President Zelaya's foreign ministry asked the Bachelet
administration a few weeks ago to remove the accreditation of
Honduran ambassador Francisco Martinez, who defended the Micheletti
government and criticized OAS action in favor of Zelaya in an
interview with a local newspaper. The Foreign Ministry has not
acted on the request, although it has said that Chile does not
recognize any Micheletti government official. Meanwhile, Zelaya's
communications Minister said that the ousted President has plans to
visit Bachelet shortly. Nor the Foreign Ministry or La Moneda have
information about this visit (El Mercurio, conservative,
independent, newspaper-of-record, 8/12).

Terrorism
---------
4. Two explosive devices detonated yesterday in two different sports
gyms in eastern Santiago. One device was located by the entrance of
Sportslife in the area of Los Dominicos and the other by an empty
pool of the Balthus gym in Vitacura. No one was injured. The first
device detonated at 9:20 pm and the other an hour later. Both
artifacts were manufactured with gun powder, a gas tank, and a clock
detonator (El Mercurio, 8/12).

Narcotics
---------
5. Local law enforcement agencies have seized 3.5 billion doses of
cocaine this year. The statistics show that 80% of these drugs were
seized in Chile's far north, from Arica to Tocopilla, therefore
confirming that the northern border is the port of entry for hard
drugs (El Mercurio, 8/12).

Indigenous Mapuche Conflict/FARC
--------------------------------
6. The Public Ministry has evidence that at least six leaders of
the radical Mapuche organization Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM)
traveled individually to Colombia from 2005 to 2007 for periods of
two to four months. One of them, under arrest for ambushing a
prosecutor, entered Colombia from Bolivia using a forged passport.
Intelligence sources said they received ideological and operations
training with Colombia's FARC (El Mercurio, 8/12).

7. Based on immigration regulations, the Investigations Police
(PDI) banned six foreigners - Spanish and French - from reentering
Chile in a border crossing with Argentina. The individuals have ties
to Askapena, the political arm of Basque terrorist organization ETA,
and in July met with radical Mapuche leaders. They posted
information about these meetings on their webpage (El Mercurio,
8/12).

Editorials
----------
8. Editorial:"The support that Chile has given Colombia with regard
to its agreement with the United States... contradicts Chile's
principle of multilateral cooperation in the area of security.... In
objective terms, Colombia is a net exporter of violence to the
region... but the terms of the use of the military bases are not
clear. In the recent past, the United States has demanded immunity
for its contingent in those countries that are recipients of its
military cooperation.... Given the human rights violations in Iraq
and other parts of the world where the United States has had
military participation, plus the fact that the U.S. is reluctant to
acquire a legal commitment with international human rights treaties,
it does not seem accurate to say that Colombia's decision is a
sovereign decision or that it does not affect peace and relations in
the region" (El Mostrador, 8/12).

9. Editorial: "There have been doubts and questions about Unasur
since its creation last year.... President Bachelet contributed to
the organization acting as a moderator and preventing the
organization from turning into the echo chamber of hotheaded leaders
in the region... and her efforts paid off at the Summit of the
Americas when Obama explicitly acknowledged Unasur as an
interlocutor. But the organization is far from being
consolidated... and what just happened in Quito... only strengthens
the doubts that have existed about the organization since its onset"
(Conservative, afternoon daily La Segunda, 8/11).

10. Editorial: " The Unasur meeting in Quito did not include in its
final resolution... the use of Colombia's bases by U.S. Armed
Forces.... It's not easy to find a solution to the sense of mistrust
and suspicion that this issue has created.... In this context,
Brazil has presented an audacious proposal: That President Obama
himself clarify questions about the agreement with Colombia....
Chile's role is to support Brazil... because although Bachelet's
policy has been to respect other country's sovereignty, it is no
less true that she shares Lula's uneasiness with regard to the
geopolitical impact of such a significant increase of U.S. military
presence in the subcontinent.... As Lula said in Quito, the region
must be at peace to recover lost time and to develop, but the
presence of foreign forces does not contribute to that purpose" (La
Nacion, 8/12).
SIMONS

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