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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - August 25

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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000801

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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 25

Lead Story
----------
1. Over the weekend Peruvian President Alan Garcia suggested in an
interview that Chile and Bolivia had some type of secret agreement
to provide the latter with access to the sea. In this context,
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano
Fernandez denied the existence of any such agreement. Fernandez
said Chile "does not sign agreements under the table" (Conservative,
independent, La Tercera, 8/25).

U.S. Sailor Released
--------------------
2. Yesterday, the Valparaiso Court released American sailor Lester
Santiago Galvez, member of the USS Makin Island. The sailor was,
however, ordered to leave the country and was banned from returning
to Chile for the next three years. The sailor was arrested in a
hotel in Valparaiso with a 15 year-old girl last Sunday during a
routine police check of alcohol permits. The minor said she had been
called by an adult to provide sexual services. The owner of the
hotel was charged with facilitating prostitution of minors, which
means the investigation will follow its due course (Conservative,
influential newspaper-of-record, El Mercurio, 8/25)

3. In his deposition, the U.S. sailor said he was unaware that the
woman was underage. As there was no consummation of sexual activity,
the judge agreed to the conditional suspension of procedures against
Santiago, but ordered his expulsion from the country and banned him
from returning for three years (La Tercera, 8/25).

4. The fifteen year-old women caught with U.S. sailor Lester
Santiago in a hotel in Valparaiso says she was recruited by a woman
to accommodate "foreign clients." The owner of the hotel where the
sailor and the woman were found was charged yesterday with
facilitating child prostitution. The hotel is located across another
facility where the Investigations Police recently dismantled a child
prostitution network. The prosecution is therefore investigating
possible ties between that investigation and this new case
(Conservative, afternoon La Segunda, 8/24).

U.S.-Related News
-----------------
5. Ford-Chile's Loan Division will leave the country. Its
operations will be left to the Forum Financial Services, owned by
BBVA bank (Financial daily Diario Financiero, 8/25).

U.S.-Colombia Agreement
-----------------------
6. Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez met yesterday with
President Bachelet. Reportedly, Bachelet reiterated that Chile's
position at UNASUR with regard to the U.S.-Colombia military
agreement will be to respect Colombia's political decisions
(Government-owned, La Nacion, 8/25).

7. President Bachelet gave Colombian Foreign Minister Bermudez her
support with regard to the U.S.-Colombia agreement by issuing a
joint statement reiterating the principle of non-intervention in
internal affairs (El Mercurio, 8/25).

SIMONS

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