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Cablegate: Santiago October 6 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago October 6 Media Report

Lead Story

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1. Chile ranked first in Latin America and 44th globally
in the United Nations Development Program index on human
development. The ranking includes variables such as life expectancy
(78.5 years), per capita GDP, and access to health and education.
Social and gender inequity were two variables that undermined
Chile's evaluation. Norway ranked first (Conservative, independent
La Tercera, 10/6).

Salitre Exercise

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

2. Bolivian Defense Minister Walker San Miguel met yesterday
with his Chilean counterpart Francisco Vidal and Foreign Minister
Mariano Fernandez. One topic of discussion was the "Salitre"
exercise that the Chilean Air Force will conduct in the north at
the end of October with the United States, France, Brazil, and
Argentina. While Peru has labeled the exercise "offensive" and
turned down an invitation to send observer, the Bolivian minister
yesterday toned down the controversy. "All military exercises are
based on the theory of conflict, but the situation in the region
shows that we are today at a different moment in time and from that
viewpoint we see no reason for concern," he said. San Miguel also
informed his counterpart that Bolivia had accepted Chile's
invitation and would send observers to the exercise. "From the
viewpoint of mutual trust, these joint exercises with other
countries are positive," said San Miguel. The Bolivian minister
also marked a difference with Peru regarding an alleged arms race
in the region. "While for some there could be a restart of an arms
race, for us it involves renewal of material.... Bolivia is not a
threat for anyone nor feels threatened by anyone," he concluded (El
Mercurio, 10/6).

3. Bolivia will send observers to the "Salitre"
exercise, a notable difference with Peru. "We are moving forward on
a positive 13-point agenda that is beginning to yield its first
results," said Bolivian Defense Minister San Miguel. Chilean
Defense Minister Vidal commented yesterday, "From Chile's viewpoint
there is no controversy. The exercise will take place as
scheduled.... The goal is to prepare pilots to operate with United
Nations in peace operations anywhere in the world," said Vidal. He
also said that defense relations with Peru are "good" and that
proof of this is that both countries have conducted 40 joint air
force activities this year, which by December will have totaled 64.
As to the invitation, Vidal said, "We invited everyone ... as a
maximum sign of transparency" (Government-owned La Nacion, 10/6).

U.S.-Related News

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

4. A NASA delegation will arrive in Punta Arenas to start
gathering data on the ice sheets in Antarctica. This data is now
collected by the ICESat satellite, which will cease operations soon
and will not be replaced before 2014 (La Tercera, 10/6).

5. The U.S. Embassy is holding a video contest. The challenge
is to create a three-minute video that completes the phrase
"Democracy is..." The winner will travel to Washington, D.C., New
York, and Hollywood with all expenses paid (La Nacion, 10/6).

6. Harley Shaiken, of the University of California in Berkley,

said Chile has three key elements which give it a "unique
potential" to develop renewable energy: resources, the Atacama
Desert, and the political will and sophistication. Shaiken said
also that the Obama administration and the region should focus
their relations the development of renewable energy and ways to
fight climate
SIMONS

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