Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 18 Media Report
DE RUEHSG #1238/01 3521956
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181954Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0466
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
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SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 18 Media Report
Former President Frei's death - FBI lab tests
1. "Why didn't the FBI detect mustard gas in 2005, when
Justice Madrid claims there are (traces of it)?"
At the end of 2004, the judge investigating the death of former
President Eduardo Frei Montalva, Alejandro Madrid, requested the
FBI's assistance to confirm if the exhumed remains belonged to the
president and to determine if the samples taken from those remains
contained traces of toxic elements. The FBI's tests were released
at the end of 2005 and confirmed that the remains belonged to Frei,
but also that "there are no external chemicals to explain his
death." This contradicts reports by Chilean forensic experts which
state that the samples have traces of thallium and mustard gas.
2. Inquired about the results of the FBI tests in 2005, the
U.S. Embassy said the results "were negative for the presence of
biological agents or toxic chemicals." The explanation is based on
an official document submitted by the Armed Forces Institute of
Pathology, of the Department of Defense, which says that the test
results "were expected given the length of time since the time of
death and the poor conditions of the samples." This conclusion is
incompatible with Justice Madrid's ruling this month that this is a
3. Forensic expert Laura Borgel claims that pathologists from
the Armed Forces conducted the tests and not the FBI. She said the
pathologists in question had told her they had run a mitochondrial
DNA test to confirm the president's identity and an alkaline
extraction to detect drugs such as morphine, cocaine, or heroine.
Asked why the tests were conducted by Armed forces pathologists and
not the FBI, Borgel said the Investigations Police had directly
contacted the FBI (Conservative, afternoon La Segunda, 12/18).
Chilean Presidential Election
4. In last Sunday's presidential election Sebastian Pinera
obtained 44.05% of the votes, just six percent from the 50%
majority needed to win. A breakdown shows that while Pinera
obtained a majority vote in 75 of the 345 communities nationwide,
Frei obtained the majority in 7 (Conservative, influential El
5. Headline: "United States and China make gestures that
bring back hope of an agreement on climate change"
Subheadline: Washington offers US$100 billion assistance fund for
emerging countries and Beijing says it will allow an investigation
of its emissions.
6. At the Copenhagen climate change summit, Minister of the
Environment Ana Lya Uriarte expressed Chile's commitment to lower
gas emissions 20% by 2020. "We are willing to contribute to a
global mitigation effort... largely financed with our own
resources," said Uriarte (El Mercurio, 12/18).
7. Headline: "Failure foreseen in Copenahagen due to
U.S.-China dispute - U.S. Secretary of State Clinton commits US$
100 billion for fund (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 12/19).
8. "If the mechanisms of limited development, barter (forests
for CO2), and of a ceiling for emissions are implemented, Chile and
many other countries will be receiving considerable resources, and
most importantly, will be able to keep the wealth of their native
forests intact (Raul Sohr, government-owned La Nacion, 12/18).