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Cablegate: Santiago Oct. 21 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Oct. 21 Media Report

Lead Story

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

1. Hooded individuals carrying shotguns intercepted and
burned two trucks in the Region of Araucania, where indigenous
communities are reclaiming ancestral lands (All dailies, 10/21).

U.S.-Related News

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

2. Chilean ambassador to the U.S. Jose Goni hosted a meeting
in honor of the presidents of the Chilean Senate and Chamber of
Deputy Jovino Novoa and Rodrigo Alvarez. Former U.S. ambassador to
Chile Craig Kelly, OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and
former Ministers Alejandro Foxley and Jaime Ravinet attended. The
main topic of discussion became Honduras, because Insulza was
receiving continuous reports on the situation in that country
throughout the evening (Conservative, influential El Mercurio,
10/21).


3. Kenneth French is the head of a team of financial advisors
that many consult, including President Obama. "Many of the U.S.
administration's proposals are aligned with ours," said French in a
conference organized by Universidad del Desarrollo and Capital
Advisors on future financial regulations (El Mercurio, 10/21).

4. The Third International Forum for Mining Industry Suppliers
began successfully yesterday in Santiago. The forum has become an
important venue for entrepreneurs and investors who are looking for
new business opportunities. Approximately 70 companies from the
United States, Australia, Germany, Israel, and Italy, among others,
are participating (Government-owned La Nacion, 10/21)

Local Politics

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

5. President Bachelet named Carmen Andrade minister of the
National Women's Service. Andrade will replace Laura Albornoz who
resigned yesterday to join Eduardo Frei's campaign (La Nacion,
10/21).

Salitre Exercise

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

6. Front page photograph: Chilean, U.S, and European air
forces take to the skies today in "Salitre" exercise in northern
Chile (La Nacion, 10/21).

Poll

-----

7. The October CERC poll (Centro de Estudios de la Realidad
Contemporaneos) on the presidential election confirms Sebastian
Pinera's lead with 40% support. Eduardo Frei and Marco
Enriquez-Ominami are tied at 20%. In a runoff, Pinera is 16% ahead
of Frei (49% versus 33%) and just 9% ahead of Enriquez-Ominami (45%
versus 39%). The poll was face to face nationwide and has a 3%
margin of error (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 10/21).

Indigenous Conflict

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

8. A group of hooded individuals carrying shotguns intercepted
and burned two trucks yesterday on the road connecting Angol and
Collipulli in the Region of Araucania. The assailants fired at the
police who arrived to the scene. Mapuche spokespersons claim that
one of the individuals was killed, although it has not been
impossible to confirm this information because indigenous
communities refuse to turn in the alleged body. Radical Mapuche
organization CAM (Coordinadora Arauco Malleco) sent Radio Bio Bio
an e-mail claiming responsibility for the attacks. It also
declared "war against the state of Chile" and the territory south
of the Bio Bio River "an autonomous Mapuche nation." A June 2009
Department of State report warned about the increase in CAM
activities (La Tercera, 10/21).

9. Minister of Interior Edmundo Perez-Yoma said that any
Mapuche community protecting the "criminals" responsible for the
recent burning of trucks or armed attacks would not be eligible to
receive land under the government programs (El Mercurio, 10/21).

10. Interceptions of telephone conversations among individuals
under surveillance for their participation in recent violent
incidents in the Region of Araucania revealed that there was a plan
to bring down police helicopters patrolling the area of conflict,
said the police yesterday. This would include the use of automatic
weapons. On October 5, individuals fired a 9mm weapon at a police
helicopter, forcing it to conduct an emergency landing (El
Mercurio, 10/21).
SIMONS

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