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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - September 2

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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000825

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - SEPTEMBER 2

Lead Story
----------
1. Presidential candidate Sebastian Pinera launched his candidacy
yesterday in an "Obama style" proclamation event in Santiago
(Conservative, independent La Tercera, 9/2).

U.S.-Related News
-----------------
2. The National Economic Prosecutor's office, FNE, said it would go
ahead and review a claim filed by the of Suppliers' Association
against Wal Mart. The U.S. company, which controls local supermarket
chain D&S, is using a new system with its suppliers that the
Association claims undermines free competition (Financial daily
Diario Financiero, 9/2)

3. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invited a delegation
of representatives from Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the
Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica to become acquainted with the
successful sanitary inspection and quarantine system applied by
Chile's Agriculture and Livestock Service, SAG, with the Association
of Fruit Exporters. The initiative is part of a U.S.-Chile
collaboration initiative (PAS placement, www.vendimia.cl magazine,
9/2).

4. U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Glenn F. Spears is pictured
with other participants at the Conference of Air Force
Commanders-in-Chief in Santiago (El Mercurio, 9/2).

Human Rights
-------------
5. Judge Victor Montiglio indicted 129 former members of the
military regime's National Intelligence Directorate, DINA, for their
responsibility in the human rights cases known as Colombo,
Conferencia, and Condor. Judge Juan Guzman left these three cases
unfinished. The indictments apply to retired personnel: 64 in the
army -including DINA Director Manuel Contreras-, 32 Carabineros
police, 14 in the Air Force, 11 in the Navy and 6 in the
Investigations Police, and 2 prison guards. Ministry of Interior
human rights attorney Boris Paredes said this shows a significant
progress in establishing "criminal responsibility" in these cases
and noted that it is also the first time that members of the armed
forces who witnessed the crimes, but did not denounce them have been
indicted (Conservative influential newspaper-of-record, El Mercurio,
9/2).

6. All those Montiglio indicted belonged to the DINA, which
detained and disappeared military regime opponents from 1974 to
1977. Approximately half of those indicted are retired petty
officers. This is the largest group of individuals indicted for
human rights violation at one time thus far. However, most of them
are already indicted for human rights violations (Conservative,
independent, La Tercera, 9/2).

7. In 2007 and 2008, the court began the indictment process for the
abduction and disappearance of the Communist Party's leadership and
the disappearance of 119 military regime opponents from 1975 to
1976. Both cases were later labeled Operacion Conferencia I and
Operacion Colombo, respectively. Now Judge Montiglio indicted
another 120 former DINA agents, but this time for the disappearance
of a second group of Communist Party leaders, called Operacion
Conferencia II. Most of them were indicted in Conferencia I and
Operacion Colombo (La Nacion).

8. In may 2007,Judge Montiglio indicted 74 former DINA agents and
in May 2008, another 98, all of them in the former Operacion
Colombo, which refers to the disappearance of 119 military regime
opponents (La Nacion, 9/2).

Indigenous Mapuche Conflict
---------------------------
9. The mayor of Ercilla, Jose Vilugron, met with UNICEF officials to
renew support programs in his community in the area of poverty,
intercultural issues, and child mistreatment. Ercilla is at the core
of the indigenous Mapuche agitation and studies show that police
raids in the area are having a negative effect in the community's
children. They mayor is attempting to revoke that impact with
psychological assistance (Government-owned La Nacion).

Local Politics
--------------
10. A survey conducted by the Gender Human Rights and Justice
Gender Center shows that among 1,287 women, only 12.2 per cent would
vote for Marco Enriquez-Ominami in the presidential election, while
27.7 would vote for Eduardo Frei, and 35.5 per cent for Sebastian
Pinera (La Tercera, 9/2).

SIMONS

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