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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - August 26

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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - AUGUST 26

Lead Story
----------
1. The sale of retail products increased 8.8 per cent in July. The
sale of clothing shot up 26.1 and shoes 17.4 per cent, spreading
optimism in the business sector (Conservative, independent La
Tercera, 8/26).

U.S.-Related News
-----------------
2. The Kennedy Amendment was the one issue that marked Ted Kennedy's
relationship with Chile and the reason why some admired and others
deplored him. The amendment froze U.S. arms sale to Chile during
the military regime and up to 1990. Kennedy visited Chile in 1986,
to meet with union leaders, politicians, and Catholic Church
officials. He had to be taken out of the airport on a helicopter,
because demonstrators against his visit had blocked the access to
the airport (Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record El
Mercurio, 8/26)

3. Photographs and article of the USS Makin Island in its visit to
Punta Arenas (Regional daily La Prensa Austral, 8/14).

4. The Council of the Americas will host a dinner for President
Bachelet on September 23 in New York during her visit to the U.N.
General Assembly (Afternoon daily La Segunda, 8/25).

5. Economist Rolf Luders said that Ben Bernanke's management of the
FED prevented the financial crisis in the United States from turning
into a new Great Depression. Economist Juan Eduardo Coyeman said
Bernanke's decisions generated confidence and helped consolidate the
role of the Central Bank in times of crisis (El Mercurio, 8/26).

U.S.-Colombia Agreement
-----------------------
6. In a meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez on
Monday, Colombian Chancellor Jaime Bermudez said that Bogota has not
yet made a decision on the reelection of OAS Secretary General Jose
Miguel Insulza. Colombia is in synchrony with the United States in
this issue; Some weeks ago Secretary Clinton wrote the Chilean
Foreign Ministry a letter saying that the U.S. final decision
depending on "Insulza's performance" (El Mercurio, 8/26).

Chile-Peru
-----------
7. Two days ago, Peruvian President Alan Garcia accused Chile and
Bolivia of having a secret agreement to give La Paz access to the
sea. Now Garcia said he would demand Chile and Bolivia to reveal
their bilateral agenda at UNASUR on Friday, on the grounds that any
decision involving territory that used to belong to Peru should
include Lima (El Mercurio, 8/26).

8. Colombia filed a formal complaint with the OAS against
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his criticism of the
U.S.-Bogota military agreement, which it considers an intervention
in Bogota's internal affairs (Popular daily it Las Ultimas Noticias,
8/26).

Honduras
--------
9. De facto Honduran President Robert Micheletti refused to yield
to the requests of the OAS delegation headed by Secretary General
Jose Miguel Insulza. In a defiant tone, Micheletti said he does not
fear international sanctions and will hold a presidential election
on November 29 (La Tercera, 8/26).

Ecuador
-------
10. In his meeting with President Bachelet, El Salvador President
Mauricio Funes endorsed Bachelet's stance in "condemning the
institutional breakdown in Honduras" (Government-owned La Nacion,
8/26).

Indigenous Mapuche Conflict
---------------------------
11. The Executive Office is reviewing an initiative it announced in
April of last year and that creates the Council of Indigenous
Peoples, a 42-member "indigenous parliament" representing all
indigenous communities in the country. Council members would be
elected for four years with the right to reelection and would be
responsible for approving the National Indigenous Policy, monitoring
governmental indigenous policy, reviewing all draft bills and
budgets related to indigenous affairs, among other things (El
Mercurio, 8/26).

12. Human Rights Watch-Americas Director Jose Miguel Vivanco
expressed concern over the role of military courts in the Mapuche
conflict. Yesterday, the Martial Court lifted charges against
Mapuche leader Luis Tralca for attempted homicide of a policeman.
Tralca, however, still faces charges for illegal possession of
weapons and for arson of private property and must remain in prison
(La Nacion, 8/26)


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