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Cablegate: Santiago Oct. 1 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Oct. 1 Media Report

Lead Story

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1. Jorge Navarrete, director of the local chapter of
Transparency International (TI), "Chile, Transparente," resigned
amid a controversy regarding the local organization's lack of
thoroughness and impartiality (All dailies, 10/2).

"Salitre" Military Exercise

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

2. Chile's Air Force invited its Peruvian counterpart to
participate as an observer in the 2009 "Salitre" military exercise
in Antofagasta. Yesterday, Peruvian Vice President Luis Giampietri
said that the exercise was "unnecessary." "We already know they
(Chile) are well armed. They don't have to show us this," said
Giampietri. He then called on Chile to cancel the exercise.
Peruvian Prime Minister Javier Velasquez said he did not believe it
was necessary to send observers and stated he would "rather make
joint efforts to relieve poverty." (Government-owned La Nacion,
10/1)

Honduras

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

3. In an interview, Roberto Micheletti said it was
"necessary" to restrict civil liberties and close two media outlets
"because Mr. Zeleya made a call to violence through the two media
outlets in question." OAS: He did not say why he expelled the OAS
delegation but underscored that his government had "officially
invited the OAS to visit Honduras on Friday." Brazilian Embassy:
"My government is committed to respecting the sovereignty of the
Brazilian embassy." Asked if he would step down if Zelaya agreed to
the November election, Micheletti said: "I will never be an
obstacle to the election or to the solution of this crisis. I am
willing to step aside if necessary, but all options must be out on
the table, except for the cancellation or non-recognition of the
November 29 election." Asked if his government maintains relations
with the United States, he said, "We are willing and hope to
continue having a dialogue with the international community, but
this exchange has to occur in the framework of mutual respect. Our
focus now is the November 29 election that will result in the
election of our next president and in the strengthening of
democracy" (Afternoon, conservative La Segunda, 9/30).

4. Congressmen and business leaders who initially
supported the coup are starting to disagree with Micheletti. On
Monday, congressmen of two political parties that supported
Zelaya's ousting asked Micheletti to lift restrictions on civil
rights. Opposition National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo condemned
the state of siege, and Adolfo Facusse, president of the National
Industrialists' Association, proposed to reinstate Zelaya
temporarily with the deployment of United Nations troops. "The
business sector is losing enormous amounts of money every day with
this adventure it believed would only last a few days," said
analyst Eduardo Bahr (La Tercera, 10/1).

Cuba

------

5. Cuba invited Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
Western Hemisphere Affairs Bisa Williams to Havana to meet with
Cuban officials and dissidents and to discuss the reopening of the
postal service between the two countries. While Department of State

spokesman Philip Crowley denied this was a step towards
normalization of relations with Cuba, Julia Sweig, of the Council
on Foreign Relations, said the trip marked a major change (El
Mercurio, 10/1).

Local

--------

6. The average unemployment rate in Chile for
June-August is 10.8%, which brings the total number of unemployed
to 784,590. The regions with the highest rates are Coronel
(18.75%), Valparaiso (17.7%), and Angol (16.8%) (El Mercurio,
10/1).

7. According to the report "Chile Transparente"
submitted to its headquarters, Transparency International (TI),
opposition presidential candidate Sebastian Pi????era was fined for
the use of privileged information when buying shares from a
commercial airline. This information was included in TI's global
report on corruption and cited by government-coalition candidate
Eduardo Frei in the presidential debate. Pi????era's campaign said
the report was wrong, because Pi????era had been fined for "failing
to
abstain" from buying shares and not for using privileged
information. "Chile Transparente" board members denied having seen
or approving the report, shedding doubts on the organization's
thoroughness. The controversy has also revealed that drafters of
the local report work for the Bachelet administration or are
closely involved in the presidential campaigns, which has brought
to the forefront questions about the organization's impartiality.
(Summary from all dailies, 10/1).
SIMONS

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