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Cablegate: Media Report December 25-28, 2009

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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Media Report December 25-28, 2009

Former President Frei's Death

1. The FBI's report has gained unexpected prominence in the
probe on the death of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva.
While the plaintiffs lack its validity, the defendants cite it as a
proof to delegitimize the thesis about his poisoning. The confusion
rests on the confidentiality with which its content has been
handled, especially from the FBI, since so far it has only released
information about the non existence of toxic elements in the
analyzed tissues. When the Chilean toxicologists (who examined the
remains of the former President) requested for the FBI's
specification on the toxic substances identified, they only found
the silence of the forensic investigator in charge: Kimberly Murga.
Dr. Murga is currently working at the Las Vegas Police Lab. She did
not reply to Que Pasa's inquiries. (Conservative, news weekly Que
Pasa, 12/25)

2. Story examining the series of conclusions reached by one of
the Chilean toxicologists who examined the remains of former
President Feri Montalva. Dr. Laura B????rgel's report noted that the
victim was exposed to thallium and sulphur mustard on three
occasions. The document revealed that they took blood samples from
President Feri's son, Jorge Frei Ruiz-Tagle, to compare the
results. (Conservative, newspaper-of-record El Mercurio, 12/28)

OAS Secretary General

3. Outgoing OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza is
seeking to advance the upcoming May elections to fill his current
position. Insulza seeks his reelection and at present does not have
a contender. The initiative, proposed by Colombia and strongly
supported by Chile, has been rejected by the United States and
Venezuela. The latter has been leading a proposal to run its own
candidate. Insulza's game, which is supported by Chilean Foreign
Minister Mariano Fernandez, is to narrow down any other eventual
competitor's chances. Sources close to Insulza believe that Chavez'
offensive aims at putting pressure on the current Secretary General
rather than on presenting a candidate in order to request more
guarantees in exchange for support. Within La Moneda there is a
similar idea in regard to Washington's stance. Reportedly, the
latter dismissed promoting Costa Rican Oscar Arias and is now
considering "drawing the line," and requesting that Insulza take a
tougher position on Caracas. Since June, when Insulza supported
putting an end to a veto for Cuba's reentrance to the OAS, his
relations with Washington have not been at their best. In late May,
in El Salvador, Insulza had a strong conversation with Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton. The Washington flank reopened again with the
Honduran crisis which raised criticisms in the U.S. over his
handling of the situation. (Conservative, independent La Tercera,
12/27)

4. Editorial column stating the inconvenience of moving
forward the election for OAS Secretary General: "Due to the fact
that the next Chilean government will be the one to interact with
whomever results elected --or reelected--, it is more convenient
to allow it to determine the way to face the election process for
secretary general... Not speeding up the schedule would give time
to discuss certain subjects prior to his eventual reelection. The
Chilean contending candidacy (opposition to the government
coalition) has been critical of the way in which the secretary
general has participated in the Chilean electoral process... A
first requisite for an eventual reelection should be to have
(Insulza) abandon such attitude that confuses his role and ends up
becoming a distraction to his job in Washington... The proposal to
move forward the election caused an unusual consensus between the
United States and Venezuela, whose ambassadors ruled out the idea
introduced by Colombia..." (La Tercera ,12/26

Chile-U.S.

5. The United States led foreign investments in Chile during
2009, mainly due to Wal-Mart's arrival. Since 1974, when
legislation protecting foreign investment came into force, the U.S.
has invested a total of $20 billion dollars, thus consolidating
itself as the major foreign investor in the country. (El Mercurio,
12/28)

Copenhagen

6. Column by international pundit Raul Sohr : "The Copenhagen
Disaster" "Only now one appreciates the depth of the debacle
experienced at the largest international conference in recent
years... There are no goals or stated commitments. Much less
control mechanisms and sanctions ... The lack of respect for
protocols reached unseen levels... From Obama's perspective, the
results were optimum: he did not assume commitments for the Senate
to revoke, and he made China and India adhere to a process led by
Washington... Beyond the considerations for U.S. domestic politics,
the happenings in Copenhagen are already bringing regrettable
consequences... Quite often several traffic accidents are needed
to prompt the installation of a traffic light. In this case,
several environmental disasters will be necessary in order to
consider the measures that should have been adopted at Copenhagen."
(Government-owned, editorially independent, La Nacion, 12/25)

Latin America

7. Editorial round-up column on international affairs: "At the
end of this current year and regarding peace in Latin America there
is not much to celebrate. On the contrary, violence and
instability are increasing in the region. Although not
interconnected, recent developments in Mexico, Colombia, and
Venezuela show this." (El Mercurio, 12/28)
SIMONS

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