|05SANTIAGO442||2005-02-28 22:02:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Santiago|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANTIAGO 000442
1. Summary. Chile has the political and economic stability,
modern infrastructure and security to serve as host of an
ILEA of Latin America. The idea has also been received
enthusiastically by various government agencies, but the GOC
has not committed to offering a physical site. The February
vacation month with most GOC ministries on skeletal staffing
has slowed top-level decisions. Post will press for a
definitive indication soon. End Summary.
2. Political Stability. Chile is a democratically stable
country with a cooperative government. The Transparency
International Corruption Index ranks Chile just behind the
U.S.. The Freedom House Survey rates Chile as fully free in
both political rights and civil liberties. The World Bank
Governance survey shows Chile above the 75th percentile in
every category measured, on par with the U.S. and the United
Kingdom. Post does not anticipate any change to the current
3. Economic Climate. Chile has enjoyed two decades of
exceptional economic growth. It has also resisted the
periodic financial crises that have affected many other
regions' economies. Standard & Poor's and Fitch and Moody's
designate Chile's credit rating as an A (stable) and A-
respectively. Labor disputes are not significant. The
recently implemented U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement further
deepens close economic cooperation. Post expects continued
positive economic growth and stability.
4. Security Situation. Chile is considered a low-threat
post. The uniformed and investigative police are honest and
generally effective. Chile successfully handled the security
for the APEC Leaders' Summit in November 2004, and cooperated
with the U.S. when requested. Post is confident that Chile
could provide a secure environment for the academy while
remaining responsive to U.S. requests.
5. Infrastructure. Chile possesses a modern and
well-developed infrastructure. Public utilities are
reliable, and choice of carrier is available for phone,
internet and cable. Ample lodging and dining facilities are
available in Santiago and other major cities, which were used
extensively during the APEC Ministerials and Leaders' Summit.
Medical care is comparable to that of the US. Ambulance and
other emergency services are available.
6. Physical Site. Post has discussed the ILEA opportunity,
and left briefing materials, with the Ministers of Foreign
Affairs (MFA), the Carabineros (national police), and the
Investigative Police (PICH). However, February is the one
month when most Chileans take vacation. We have not been
able as yet to get definitive word from the GOC on whether
they have sufficient interest in ILEA to offer a physical
site. MFA has informed us that, in principle, they would
support locating ILEA in Chile, but that MFA does not have
the resources to sponsor the Academy, and therfore either
Carabineros or PICH must take the lead. The latter
organizations have expressed interest in the proposal, but
have not indicated they would commit, as yet. With key
leadership returning to offices after March 1, post wil
continue to follow up.
7. Cost Sharing. If Chile decided to offer facilities, Post
does not anticipate modest cost sharing would be a problem
8. Transportation. Chile has a reliable transportation
system used regularly by business and tourist travelers.
Multiple carriers offer daily flights between the U.S. and
Chile, as well as good connections to most of Latin America
and Europe. Domestic (and international) flights are readily
available by several carries including LAN, a safe and
successful Chilean carrier. An excellent and clean metro
system facilitates movement within Santiago. Taxis are
plentiful, relatively inexpensive and safe. Two primary
ports are located within two hours of the capital, accessed
by excellent highway systems. Main roads in Chile are paved
and well-maintained. Receiving large shipments of equipment
and supplies would not be problematic for the sea/air/land
ports. Post is confident the transportation system is more
than adequate for servicing a potential ILEA.
9. Political Will. The MFA's Director of Special Policy,
Ambassador Winters, has confirmed Chile's interest in hosting
an ILEA. The uniformed and investigative police forces have
also shown strong interest in implementing the project. Post
believes the GOC could bring a proactive and flexible
approach to meeting ILEA's requirements.
10. U.S. National Interests. Enhancing Chilean judicial
expertise and law enforcement, and increasing Chile's
positive regional and international leadership roles are both
priorities for Post. Locating a key law enforcement training
center in what is arguably the region's cleanest country
sends the right message.
11. Post believes Chile is potentially a strong candidate to
host the ILEA under reftel host country criteria, but will
need more time to ascertain whether Chile is willing to offer
a physical site.