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09SANTIAGO810 2009-08-27 19:13:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Santiago
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1. The government is considering a constitutional reform to restrict
residence visas for Easter Island, based on environmental
sustainability. Island leaders, however, want an immediate solution
to the problem (Conservative, independent La TErcera, 8/27).

U.S.-Related News


2. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Brazilian President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are among the important participants that
will attend the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Santiago in
September. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has also been invited
(Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record El Mercurio, 8/27).

3. Political scientist Patricio Navia noted a column published by
The Miami Herald written by Chile's ambassador to United Nations
Heraldo Munoz. In the last paragraph, Munoz says the United States
"perhaps owes the people of Chile a formal apology in light of the
considerable evidence revealed over the years on U.S. covert
activities against the democratically elected government of Salvador
Allende" (Conservative, independent, La Tercera, 8/27).

Senator Edward Kennedy


4. Senator Edward Kennedy arrived to Chile in 1986, ten years after
sponsoring a military blockade against Chile for the duration of the
Pinochet government. Demonstrators gathered at the airport and with
eggs and stones prevented Kennedy's car from leaving the airport. No
government official was waiting for him and the senator had to be
flown out on a helicopter. Socialist Party president Camilo
Escalona: "Democratic sectors in Chile feel deeply for Senator
Kennedy's passing away, because of his concern and courage in
supporting democracy when the dictatorship was trying to perpetuate
itself in power" (Afternoon, conservative La Segunda, 8/26).

5. President Bachelet: "Kennedy supported Chilean democrats during
very hard times. He strongly raised his voice to denounce human
rights violations." Opposition party Congressman Rodrigo Alvarez:
"Kennedy was a great senator and legislator, but from the viewpoint
of Chile's defense, the Kennedy Amendment was inadequate." PS
Senator Juan Pablo Letelier: "I only feel gratitude for his moral
stature and his commitment to human rights, democracy, and freedom"
(El Mercurio, 8/27)



6. Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said his country would
request UNASUR to air tomorrow's summit on television. Bermudez
said it would be "interesting and positive" for the international
community to see the stance that the different heads of state have
on specific issues (El Mercurio, 8/27).

Indigenous Affairs


7. President Bachelet appointed Minister Secretary General to the
Presidency Jose Antonio Viera-Gallo "minister coordinator" to help
resolve the indigenous Mapuche conflict in the Region of Araucania.
In April 2008, the government announced a series of initiatives to
deal with the conflict, including the creation of an Indigenous
Council empowered to review legislation. However, government
sources said yesterday that the government was not considering
giving the council only a consulting role (El Mercurio, 8/27).

8. Mapuche leaders rejected the creation of the Indigenous Council
on the grounds that it would not have the authority to review
legislation. Former Secretary General to the Presidency Francisco
Huenchumilla said that the government should create a Ministry for
Indigenous Affairs rather than a council, elect "ethnic
congressmen," and merge the National Indigenous Development
Corporation (Conadi) with other entities to assist farmers in the
region (El Mercurio, 8/27).

9. In a regular check, the police found Spanish citizen Iker Urriza
carrying propaganda in the form of books, CDs, and banners, of the
Basque terrorist organization ETA. Urriza admitted bringing the
material for Spain to deliver it to German del Campo, member of an
local anarchist group, who in turn would hand it to an individual in
the community of Tirua, which is at the center of the Mapuche
conflict. The Ministry of Interior is reviewing Urriza's eventual
expulsion (El Mercurio, 8/27).

Digital Television


10. Brazilian Communications Minister Helio Costa said his Argentine
counterpart Lisandro Salas had informed him that Buenos Aires had
chosen the Brazilian/Japanese digital television standard (El
Mercurio, 8/27).