Cablegate: Santiago Sept. 10 Media Report
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101737Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0015
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0006
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0006
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0006
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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000848
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Sept. 10 Media Report
1. A former Air Force officer stated that his brigade had
paid approximately US$3 million
to purchase spare parts for helicopters that were never received
and for maintenance services that were never conducted. An
investigation was opened for misuse of state funds (La Tercera,
2. Presidents, ministers, and business experts from 34 countries
will participate in the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Santiago
from September 27-29. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Locke will be
among the participants. It will be his first time in Chile
(Financial daily Diario Financiero, 9/10).
3. President Bachelet will inaugurate today the 2009 Annual
Progressive Summit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The summit is
organized by Fundacion Chile 21 with the support of the Friedrick
Ebert, Pablo Iglesias, and Jean Jaures foundations, and the U.S.
Embassy in Santiago (Government-owned, La Nacion, , 9/10).
4. The National Geographic Foundation will finance research
conducted by the Catholic University of Tarapaca to determine the
types of species and the ecosystem that existed 11,000 years ago
along 400 kilometers of Chile's northern coast (Conservative,
independent, La Tercera, 9/10).
5. In a forum organized by Telmex Foundation, former Chilean
President Ricardo Lagos urged Latin America to join efforts to
"speak with just once voice," in the international context on
issues such as climate change, immigration, the fight against
narcotics trafficking, and terrorism. He said that the region
needs this "one voice" to assure its input on the future rules that
will guide globalization. Lagos also criticized Hugo Chavez for
his recent policies regarding the press. "A basic rule of
democracy is to accept freedom of expression," said Lagos (La
6. The new draft bill to finance the Armed Forces does not include
a base budget, which means that the defense budget will be
discussed in Congress as part of the annual budget. However, once
approved by Congress the budget immediately becomes a direct public
debt (La Tercera, 9/10).
7. The Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces were unhappy with
the draft bill of the new mechanism to finance the military,
because it does not set a base budget. This means that Congress
will have to discuss the defense budget annually, which according
to the military increases the risk of politicizing military
acquisitions (La Tercera, 9/10).
8. The International Monetary Fund, IMF, made a positive
assessment of the cautious policy and fiscal stimulus plans applied
by Chile during the global financial crisis. It also suggested
Chile to maintain these stimulus plans until the end of 2010 (La
9. Chilean salmon exports to the United States dropped 25 percent
compared to the first semester of 2008. Canada has become the main
U.S. supplier. Norway increased its exports to the United States
by 234 percent (La Tercera, 9/10).
10. Chile is one of the few countries in Latin America that has
not yet chosen a digital television standard on which to operate.
However, it could begin airing high definition digital television
immediately and the majority of homes would be able to receive the
transmission, if the government were to choose the U.S. ATSC
standard, said Red Television Engineering and Operations Manager
Marcelo Pandolfo. The reason is that most television sets sold in
department stores are equipped with the American standard, he said.
But rumors are that the government is considering the Japanese
standard because it can provide a wider range of services, said
Catholic University Communications Deputy Director Sergio Godoy.
The standard that other countries in the region have chosen will
also weigh in Chile's eventual decision, said TV Channel 13
Engineering and Operations Manger Carlos Daza (Diario Financiero,
11. A bomb placed in a vehicle parked outside a Carabineros police
cafeteria in downtown Santiago detonated at 9 p.m. One policeman
suffered hearing loss and the facility suffered minor damages. Six
policemen were at the facility when the bomb detonated. No
pamphlets were found (La Tercera, 9/10).
12. The National Press Association has organized a presidential
debate on November 9 in Talca for the directors of all regional
newspapers (La Tercera, 9/10).
13. Maria Angelica Sanchez, vice president of the Pharmaceutical
Laboratories Industrial Association, Asilfa, supports the request
filed by laboratory Bago requesting information on five products
produced by foreign laboratories. Sanchez said this is a matter of
bio-equivalency, "to prove that a product is equivalent in its
effect," which is a method commonly used among local laboratories
(Business daily Estrategia, 9/10).