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Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 15 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 15 Media Report

Lead Story

1. Minister Carolina Toha, the government's spokesperson,
resigned yesterday to head Eduardo Frei's campaign for the January
runoff election (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 12/15).

U.S.-Related News

2. Excerpts of an interview with U.S. Ambassador Paul Simons:
"One of President Obama's first priorities is to move forward on
the issue of climate change. Since his arrival to the White House,
he has taken a series of steps in that direction, starting by a
making a significant investment in stimulus programs.... The
President has also announced very ambitious goals to lower
emissions by 17 percent by 2020.... Developed nations cannot do
everything. The idea in Copenhagen is for all countries to
contribute (...) Awareness (of the importance of climate change)
exists not just among environmental groups. They play an important
role, but there is also wider and more global awareness among
students" (Conservative, independent, La Tercera, 12/15).

3. Article on Governor Tim Pawlenty's visit to the Biobio Region
headlined, "Minnesota offers business and academic opportunities -
Unprecedented coming together of the Biobio Region and the state of
Minnesota." Two geographically very different regions -- Minnesota
in northern United States and the Biobio Region in Chile's south,
launched yesterday an unprecedented relationship that was made
official with a sisterhood agreement signed by the highest regional
authority, Intendente Jaime Toha, and the Governor of Minnesota Tim
Pawlenty (Regional influential daily El Sur, 12/11).

FBI- Former President Eduardo Frei's death

4. In October 2004, the Investigations Police submitted a
request through the U.S. Embassy in Santiago for the FBI to conduct
forensic tests to determine if former president Frei had been given
chemical or biological elements that caused his death. Two months
later, Justice Alejandro Madrid reiterated this request and asked
for an additional test to confirm that the remains, from which the
body tissue for testing was taken, belonged to Frei. In February
2005, the FBI agreed to do the tests. Investigations Police
officials then delivered the tissue samples in the United States.
A week later, the FBI issued its report. The document, which was
sent to the U.S. Embassy for the Investigations Police, confirmed
that the tissue samples belonged to Frei. The report also ruled
out the presence of toxic biological or chemical elements. The
tests conducted in the United States were carried out in accordance
to legal procedures and the instructions issued by Justice Madrid.
Investigations Police officials brought Frei's tissue samples back
to Chile in October 2005. The Frei's family attorney, Alvaro
Varela, said at the time that the tissue samples handed to the FBI
were too small for the tests to be conclusive regarding the
presence of chemicals. Varela said that they would have to wait
for further tests requested by Justice Madrid from other Chilean
entities (El Mercurio, 12/14).

5. Forensic tests conducted by two experts in Chile
established the presence of thallium and mustard gas in Frei's
remains. This contradicts the FBI's report that ruled out the
presence of drugs in Frei's body. Doctor Patricio Silva, head of
the second operation on the former president in December 1981, has
been charged with homicide in this case. But the doctor claims
that the evidence is circumstantial and said he is considering
requesting a new study of Frei's remains (El Mercurio, 12/14).

Local

6. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) removed Chile from its tax paradise "grey list." The reason
is the recent approval of the Law on Access to Banking Information,
which the organization says shows that Chile is committed to
respecting international tax standards (Business and financial
daily Diario Financiero, 12/15).
SIMONS

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