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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - August 18

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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - AUGUST 18

Leading Stories
----------
1. Chile's Police Force officially supported the special unit agent
indicted for the death of an indigenous activist in last week's
clashes; new drop in stocks prices shakes global financial markets;
President Obama's healthcare reform faces strong criticism in the
United States.

U.S.-Chile
--------
2. Short interview with U.S. speaker Doug Arent, Strategic Planning
Director of Energy Analysis at the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory(NREL) who is visiting Chile this week. Arent highlighted
the numerous projects on energy efficiency in the United States and
the advances given by the Obama Administration to the lab's
research. (El Mercurio, conservative, influential, 8/18)

Local
----------
3. President Michelle Bachelet enacted the new General Education
Law (LGE) that modifies the highly criticized Education Organic Law
(LOCE). The new legislation incorporates principles such as quality
and equity in education, a comptrollership entity in charge of
overseeing the use of financial resources, and new requirements for
upholders. In spite of the consensus reached after over two years of
debating, differences still exist. Few party members attended the
ceremony. (El Mercurio, 8/18)

4. John Podesta, Director of the Center for American Progress,
participated in a dialogue on progressive governments hosted by
President Michelle Bachelet at La Moneda Palace. (El Mercurio,
8/18)

5. American wine consortium Constellation -owner of brands such as
Robert Mondavi and Jack Rabbit-- seeks to enter the local market and
use Chile as a platform to access other markets such as Colombia and
Brazil.(La Tercera, 8/18)

Indigenous Mapuche Conflict
---------------------------
6. Sources at Chile's Police Force (Carabineros) high command gave
official support to the special unit officer who was arrested and
processed for the death of Jaime Collio, the Mapuche indigenous who
died in a clash with the police last week. Police sources noted
that the officer rolled on the ground several times while he was
being shot with rifle shotgun pellets. (El Mercurio, 8/18)

7. Under Secretary of the Interior Patricio Rosende called on the
Military Justice to speed up the probe on the death of the Mapuche
who died in last week's clashes. Forensics ruled out that the
activist had been carrying a rifle when he was shot to death. (La
Tercera, conservative, independent, 8/18)

Easter Island
-------------
8. The group of approximately 50 Easter Islanders (Rapa Nui) who
were blocking the airport in the island for the past two days
withdrew from the landing strip after dialoguing with central
government officials. Under Secretary of the Interior Patricio
Rosende will travel to the island next week to discuss their demands
of creating 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.
(El Mercurio, 8/18).

Environment
-----------
9. The Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD)
approved Chile's environmental policies and management, which is an
important step in becoming a member. OECD Environmental Assistant
Director Robert Visser noted that the institution has "a positive
opinion on how Chile is complementing and planning all of the
requirements." (La Tercera, 8/18)

SIMONS

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