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Cablegate: Santiago Sept. 17 Meda Report

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R 172049Z SEP 09
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UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000886

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STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Sept. 17 Meda Report

Lead Story

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1. All dailies report on the array of events that
the municipalities and the government are preparing in different
parts of Santiago for the September 18-19 Independence Day holiday.

U.S.-Related News

-----------------------

2. After inaugurating the Bicentennial and a series of events
related to Chile's Independence Day, President Bachelet will travel
to New York to speak at a U.N. session on climate change and attend
the Clinton Global Initiative annual event. During her visit, The
Council of the Americas will distinguish Bachelet for her
administration's management of the financial crisis. Bachelet will
also travel to Isla Margarita in Venezuela for the Second Summit of
Heads of State and Government of South America and Africa (La
Tercera, 9/17).

3. President Obama will open this year's Clinton Global Initiative
annual event and will host a reception at the Metropolitan Museum.
President Bachelet will attend both events (Conservative, afternoon
daily La Segunda, 9/16).

4. Bank of America will reopen in Chile through Merrill Lynch. The
bank left the country twice before -- first directly, and then in
2006 when it sold Bank Boston to Banco Itau. It will now reopen
with business and investment banking and stock market brokerage
(Financial Diario Financiero, 9/17).

Unasur

---------

5. International analysts said that the Unasur meeting of defense
and foreign affairs ministers in Quito on Tuesday bordered on
failure. The reason was Colombia's decision not to release
information regarding its agreement with the United States.
Venezuela and Bolivia had their usual outbursts and Brazil insisted
on demanding a written guarantee that the agreement would not
affect other nations. The discussion heated up again when
Colombia's defense Minister Gabriel Silva said on a radio interview
that Bogota would withdraw from Unasur if the discussion continued
to focus only on the agreement with the United States and not on
other issues of importance for Colombia, such as weapons and
narcotics trafficking, and organized crime. But Chilean Foreign
Minister Mariano Fernandez was more optimistic and said that there
had been progress at the summit, noting that the final declaration
included the principle of non-extraterritoriality. This means that
no country can militarily intervene in another country to control
subversive organizations (Government-owned La Nacion, 9/17).

Local Politics

----------------

6. Chile's Radio Association (Archi) has organized a presidential
debate for October 9, at 8 am. Unlike the September 23, TV debate,
four journalists rather than just one will question the candidates.
The general public can submit questions to www.debateradial.cl (El
Mercurio, 9/17).
SIMONS

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