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Cablegate: Santiago Nov. 18 Media Report

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FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Nov. 18 Media Report

Lead Story

1. President Bachelet said that Alan Garcia's remarks
over the alleged espionage case are "offensive and bombastic and do
not contribute at all to the integration and cooperation that
should exist among neighbor countries" (El Mercurio, 11/18).

Chile-Peru

2. In answer to a question about Chile and Peru,
Department of State spokesperson Ian Kelly said, "We are aware that
there is tension between the two countries. We call on them to
resolve this bilaterally." He then stressed that "neither have
asked" for (U.S.) mediation, adding that Washington does not
believe this is necessary. "This is an issue that both must
resolve" (El Mercurio, 11/18).

3. Defense Minister Francisco Vidal said that Chile
would publish the third "White Book of Defense" in a month. This is
a document that outlines Chile's military acquisition goals and
policy. "It is the most thorough, objective, and measurable proof
that Chile is not in an arms race," said Vidal (El Mercurio,
11/18).

4. Peru announced via its Foreign Minister that it would
request that Interpol review the information held against the
Peruvian officer arrested for allegedly spying for Chile. The
decision mirrors what Colombia did in 2008, when it handed Interpol
the computers seized from FARC leader Raul Reyes. Chile's
Executive Office believes that the two cases are not comparable
(Conservative, independent, La Tercera, 11/18).

5. President Bachelet's tone was harsher yesterday and
differs from that used by Foreign Minister Fernandez a few days ago
when he asked Peru for "serenity." The opposition privately
complained to Fernandez over his conciliatory tone (La Tercera,
11/18).

6. Columnist Alvaro Vargas Llosa says that the leak of
the information of the espionage case when President Garcia's was
at APEC "was a torpedo against civilians (in Peru) and shows that
the (Peruvian) Ministry of Defense has no control over its
military." Vargas Llosa adds that Garcia's statements "are a
concession to Peruvian nationalist sectors in that they strengthen
the anti-Chilean and anti-modernization trend pursued by those who
leaked the information to the media. Those such as Ollanta Humala
benefit from Garcia's words" (La Tercera, 11/18).

U.S.-Related News

7. U.S. Ambassador Paul Simons visited the
Arica-Parinacota Region where he met with regional Intendente Luis
Rocafull and the Foreign Ministry's representative to the region
Alvaro Zuniga. The ambassador also spoke at Universidad de Tarapaca
on "U.S.-Chile Bilateral Relations: The Future of Energy and the
Environment" (Intendencia webpage, 11/18).

8. Ambassador Simons is carrying out a series of
activities in the Arica-Parinacota Region, where he visited the
North American College to talk about energy and environmental
initiatives (Regional daily La Estrella de Arica, 11/17).

9. Atlanta Chamber of Commerce International Director
Jorge Gonzalez, Georgia Office representative Brian Wilson, and the
president of the Chilean Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, Alberto
Valenzuela, were among those who attended the seminar organized by
the State of Georgia entitled, "Georgia and Latin America: A World
of Opportunities for Chilean Businesses in the United States"
(Conservative, afternoon La Segunda, 11/16).

Human Rights

10. Human Rights Watch director for the Americas Jose Miguel
Vivanco said the region has problems in the exercise of freedom of
expression. He noted that these problems do not only occur in
countries such as Venezuela, but also in others such as Colombia,
where President Uribe reacts "aggressively" to criticism from the
media. Vivanco said that another pending issue in Chile and the
region is the negative impact of the concentration of media
ownership. "There are unacceptable cases such as Mexico, where two
television stations control 97% of the market," said Vivanco (El
Mercurio, 11/18).

Other

11. Anarchist organizations are holding a summit in Santiago
that continues until the 23rd. The locations of the events change
daily to avoid the press and the police. Yesterday's conference
took place in the "Casa de la Cultura Johnny Cariqueo" in the
community of Pudahuel. There the participants called to manifest
support for the two anarchists who were imprisoned for participated
in the attack a few months ago on a Homicide Brigade headquarters.
On Friday there will be a meeting to manifest "solidarity with
Mapuche political prisoners" (Government-owned La Nacion, 11/18).
SIMONS

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