Cablegate: Chile Media Report - August 17
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R 172043Z AUG 09
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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - AUGUST 17
1. After three years, President Bachelet will enact the General
Education Law this week. The new law answers some of the demands of
the 2006 student revolt (La Tercera, conservative, independent,
2. Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez said that in his
meeting with Thomas Shannon in Washington, he encountered
"willingness on the part of the United States to carry out a more
intense activity together to facilitate the mission of foreign
ministers and of (OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel) Insulza to
Honduras." Asked about Zelaya's call for the U.S. to take tougher
action, Fernandez said, "With Shannon we spoke about how to take new
measures with the OAS if we didn't have enough success"
(Conservative, influential El Mercurio, 8/17).
3. Interview with President Manuel Zelaya: "I have faith that as
other nations of Latin America, the United States will take tougher
penal and commercial action" against the de facto Micheletti
government (Government-owned La Nacion, 8/16).
4. Photograph of the USS Makin Island that arrived in Punta Arenas
and is due to sail to the port of Valparaiso (La Tercera, 8/15).
5. Declassified CIA files published today reveal that President
Richard Nixon plotted with Brazilian dictator Emilio Barrastazu in
the White House to oust Chilean president Salvador Allende. National
Security Archives Director Peter Kornbluh said Chile could ask Lula
da Silva for Brazil to open its files and clarify the events that
took place at the time (La Nacion, 8/16).
6. "Business Week" magazine says there is a growing pattern for U.S.
technology companies to invest in Chile for research and software
development. Among the reasons would be Chile's political and
economic stability and less competitive salaries (El Mercurio,
7. The first Latin American Intellectual Property Center for
Agriculture will be in Chile. The entity was created by the Ministry
of Agriculture with the support of the University of
California/Davis Public Intellectual Property Resources for
Agriculture (PIPRA). This is a network of over forty universities
and institutes in more than ten countries that develop patents (El
8. Foreign Ministry International Economic Relations Bureau
(DIRECO) figures show that since 2003, 92 percent of Chile's exports
have gone to those countries with which it has free trade
agreements. The trend has remained unchanged during the economic
crisis (Financial daily Diario Financiero, 8/17).
9. Interview with President Bachelet: "Most Chileans are
center-left and the Concertacion bloc represents that segment."
Asked if Zelaya should be reinstated in office, Bachelet said,
"There is no doubt about that. The events in Honduras were a serious
setback for democracy in Latin America" (El Mercurio, 8/16).
10. Interview with independent presidential candidate Marco
Enriquez-Ominami. On abortion he said women "own their sexual and
reproductive rights." He also said he is in favor of "all civil
unions," whether they are same sex or not. Asked about President
Hugo Chavez, Enriquez-Ominami disagreed with the expulsion of Human
Rights Watch Director Jose Miguel Vivanco from Venezuela and Chavez'
decision to cancel "a private TV station's" license to air. However,
he said that "the valuable thing about Chavez is that he has put
forth the concept that not everything that is good for the United
States is good for everyone else."
11. In the context of last Monday's UNASUR meeting in Quito and
President Hugo Chavez' remarks on the "winds of war blowing" in the
region, Chilean and Peruvian Foreign Ministers Mariano Fernandez and
Jose Garcia Belaunde agreed on the need to continue "exchanging
views" on the issue(El MercuriO, 8/16).
12. The president of Venezuela's Student Movement, David Smolansky,
visited Chile invited by local student leader Julio Isamit. He
spoke to student organizations in Santiago, Concepcion, and Vina del
Mar. "There is growing repression, persecution, and obstacles to
freedom of expression," said Smolanksy (El Mercurio, 8/16).
13. Socialist Party sympathizer Claudio Herrera, and former
Ambassador to South Africa, will travel to Caracas to take office as
ambassador to that country (La Tercera, 8/15).
14. About 50 Easter Islanders (Rapa Nui) have blocked the airport
in the island for the past two days. They are demanding the creation
an immigration office to restrict the number of tourists- both
Chilean and foreigners - who settle on the island. Reportedly, some
have a criminal record and have altered peaceful co-existence on the
island. There is also concern with the impact of tourism on the
island's patrimony and environment; every year approximately 7,000
Chileans and 25,000 foreigners visit the island. Governor Carolina
Hotu Hey reached a settlement with the central government to start
discussing some of these issues (El Mercurio, La Tercera, La Nacion,
Indigenous Mapuche Conflict
15. About two thousand members of Mapuches participated in the
funeral of Jaime Collio, the Mapuche killed in a clash with the
police last week. Several Mapuches at the funeral promised to
avenge his death. The press was photographed and forced to wait for
hours, facing the hill, at the wake. The only incidents occurred
when some members of the press were hit on their legs with sticks at
the cemetery. The Bishop of Temuco, Monsignor Manuel Vial, was
allowed to visit Collio's family (El Mercurio, 8/17).
16. Photo report by a journalist who spent a week in Temucuicui,
the area of greatest Mapuche conflict. The journalists "revealed how
violent Mapuche groups operate, how they invaded a private estate
they have set on fire three times before, cutting down trees owned
by a forestry company, and confronting the police." Yesterday,
hooded individuals burned a school in Angol and attacked the
prosecutor responsible for investigating the case as he was on his
way to the school (La Tercera, 8/16)
17. Some captions of the photo report: "Mapuches use horns to warn
others that the police is coming and to coordinate on what trees to
cut to with chainsaws to block-off the police; Mapuches cutting pine
trees planted by a forestry company; Since 2002, when the government
bought from the Alaska estate from Forestry Mininco, the Mapuche
have set their eyes on the 190 hectares owned by Raul Urban; The
Mapuches use stones and slingshots to fight the police during
eviction; 8 to 15 cut down trees in land owned by Forestry Arauco.
They all have chainsaws." Groups of four Mapuches guard their
communities. Anyone who is not of their community or is suspicious
is forced to leave (La Tercera, 8/16).
18. The government has spent approximately US$303 million since
1995 to buy land and transfer it to Mapuche communities. According
to the 2006 indigenous survey, 32.1 percent of Mapuches live in the
Region of Araucania among 1,851 different communities (La Tercera,