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Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 10 Media Report

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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 10 Media Report

Lead Story

1. President Bachelet will celebrate the International Human
Rights Day today with a visit to Talagante, the location where the
first victims of the military regime were found in 1978. Bachelet
and presidential candidate Eduardo Frei have been highlighting
human rights in the final portion of the presidential campaign
(Conservative, independent La Tercera, 12/10).

U.S.-Related News

2. Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela will travel to
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay next week as the region
stands divided over the election in Honduras. In fact, the four
countries that Valenzuela is visiting don't recognize the results
of the election in Honduras and still consider Manuel Zelaya its
president. Valenzuela will speak today to the foreign media on U.S.
policy toward Latin America and Secretary Clinton will deliver a
speech tomorrow on the same topic (Conservative, influential El
Mercurio, 12/10).

3. Chile was excluded from Valenzuela's first trip to the
Southern cone. Valenzuela will arrive to the region amid division
over the recognition of the election in Honduras (La Tercera,
12/10).

4. All the countries that Assistant Secretary Valenzuela will
visit have left-wing regimes and, unlike the United States, don't
recognize the election in Honduras. However, they are not close to
the axis formed by Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. At the Summit
of the Americas, the United States announced a new stage in its
relations with Latin America, but as months have gone by, relations
have begun to deteriorate. That is why Valenzuela and Secretary of
State Clinton have the mission of explaining the goals of U.S.
diplomacy to their allies (Government-owned, La Nacion, 12/10).

5. Issues that separate the White House from the region: The most
recent impasse that has "poisoned" U.S. relations with the region
is the military agreement signed by Washington and Bogota. Both
the United States and Colombia have tried to explain the scope of
the agreement, which has been discussed in a wide number of forums
in the region. The agreement, however, has never been revealed and
this has hurt Washington's ties with some of its allies, such as
Brazil. At the latest Summit of the Americas, Latin America asked
the United States to lift the embargo on Cuba, but this did not
happen and relations between the two countries remain unchanged (La
Nacion, 12/9).

Chile-U.S.

6. At a conference with experts on cancer from several countries
including the United States, Undersecretary of Health Jeanette Vega
announced an agreement that would allow Chilean women with breast
cancer to receive experimental therapy in the United States
(Regional daily La Prensa Austral, 12/1).

Poll

7. The Centro de Estudios Publicos (CEP) released a "prediction"
on Sunday's presidential election based on previous polling
information: 44.1% for Sebastian Pinera, 31% for Eduardo Frei,
17.7% for Marco Enriquez Ominami, and 7.2% for Jorge Arrate (La
Tercera, 12/10).

Death of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva

8. Judge Alejandro Madrid ruled that the death of former President
Frei in 1982, "was caused by the gradual administration of
non-conventional toxic substances and a non-authorized
pharmaceutical product called 'Transfer Factor',' plus the
existence of an array of anomalous situations." Madrid believes
that the gradual application of Transfer Factor facilitated septic
shock (La Tercera, 12/10).

9. Forensic expert Laura Borgel said that the administration of
Transfer Factor was not decisive in Frei's death, because "the mix
of sulfuric mustard and thallium had already done their job."
Borgel said that the most conclusive results were drawn from Frei's
hair and were confirmed by foreign laboratories that she declined
to identify (El Mercurio, 12/10).

10. The analysis of samples of Frei's brain and hair confirmed the
presence of thallium and mustard gas in his body, which was exhumed
in 2004 for forensic testing. The samples were tested in Chile and
in the United States and led Doctor Laura Borgel to conclude that
Frei was repeatedly administered small amounts of both chemicals.
Borgel also studies blood tests taken from Frei before his death
during his stay at the hospital before his death and said these
were consistent with the use of the two chemicals in question.
Borgel also used infrared and other testing methods to confirm her
results. A source said that Borgel tested the samples at the U.S.
Army Laboratory in 2007, which detected the presence of thallium.
This occurred at the same time FBI tests ruled out the presence of
drugs in Frei's body (Conservative, afternoon La Segunda, 12/9).
SIMONS

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