Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 22 Media Report
DE RUEHSG #1246/01 3561751
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221749Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0473
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001246
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 22 Media Report
1. The results o the National College Admissions Tests confirm
once again the gap that exists between private and public schools
(Conservative, afternoon La Tercera, 12/22).
2. Forensic expert Laura Borgel, owner of the Servitox
laboratory, explained how it was that the US Army pathology
laboratory assisted in the investigation of the death of former
president Frei. Borgel says that in May 2007, US Army scientist
Jose Centeno attended a conference on toxicology and chemical
safety in Chile. In the context of that conference, Centeno met
with Justice Alejandro Madrid and Borgel. Borgel says that Centeno
concurred with her that it was "necessary to study heavy metals"
and offered to cooperate, but with Borgel's direct participation.
The test to detect heavy metals was done in July 2007, in addition
to a DNA test, said Borgel (Conservative, influential El Mercurio,
3. In January 2005, Justice Madrid asked Borgel to look for Sarin
gas in the Frei case. But Borgel said that Frei's clinical record
did not reflect the use of this gas and that she then began looking
for mustard gas and thallium. She concluded that the samples
contained traces of both. She handed her report to Justice Madrid
in December 2008 (El Mercurio, 12/22).
4. Borgel explains that she decided to conduct additional tests
on her own. She personally took samples to the US Army pathology
and toxicology laboratory for tests. She did the same with
Canada's Public Health Laboratory and two others in Europe. She
claims that they all confirmed her results that the samples
contained thallium and upholds her theory that Frei was injected
thallium. A laboratory in Sweden, however, did not reach the same
conclusion. (El Mercurio, 12/22).
5. Asked if the US Army laboratory would confirm her results,
Borgel said it would not because it had worked with samples she had
submitted. Borgel insists that although she had "overseen" the
lab's work, the tests constitute an "independent" study. She said
the lab "did not draw conclusions because they are chemists and not
toxicologists." In 2005, however, the US laboratory conducted an
independent investigation of Frei's body tissues and concluded that
"there were no traces of biological agents or toxic chemicals" in
the former president's body (El Mercurio, 12/22).
Chile - Regional Affairs
6. In his annual revision of Chile's foreign policy, Foreign
Minister Mariano Fernandez labeled relations with Peru "normal."
He admitted, however, that Chile "cannot be very creative" in its
approach to Peru, because of the suit Lima has filed with The
Hague. Fernandez also talked about Honduras and said the election
in that country "is not enough to say that democracy has been
consolidated or restored." He also highlighted the progress in
relations with Argentina and the state of relation with Brazil,
Colombia, Uruguay, and Paraguay. He especially underscored ties
with Bolivia. "We are fully satisfied with the work we are doing,"
said Fernandez (Government-owned La Nacion, 12/22).
7. Foreign Minister Fernandez said that the change of government
in Chile should not hurt OAS Jose Miguel Insulza's chances for
reelection as secretary general of the organization. The OAS has
not yet established a date for the election, but Chile is hoping
that it will take place before the new government of Chile takes
office. The United States and Venezuela are among the countries
that would prefer to postpone the election until other candidates
emerge, if they do. Insulza has now 12 of the 17 votes needed to be
elected (La Tercera, 12/22).
8. The Chamber of Deputies approved a provision that sets a
system to judicially denounce IPR violations on the Internet. The
chamber, excluded, did not pass the provisions that set a system
that would grant a court authority to remove content that violates
IPR from the Internet. Attorney Rodrigo Velasco says this puts
Chile in a situation of non-compliance with regard to the
Chile-U.S. FTA (Diario Financiero , 12/22).