UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002755
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: DEATH OF PINOCHET; FATF AND ARGENTINA; AMIA BOMBING CASE;
12/12/06; BUENOS AIRES
Â¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Leading international stories today include the implications of
General Pinochet's death and the USG reaction to it; a probable FATF
sanction on Argentina for its lack of stricter anti-terrorist
legislation; and the current state of Argentine-Iranian ties after
an Argentine judge charged former Iranian government officials with
having orchestrated the AMIA attack.
Â¶2. OPINION PIECES
- "Old soldiers also die"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal, English-language
"Buenos Aires Herald," writes (12/12) "If the landslide reelection
of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the first weekend of December
represented a changing of the guard for the left in Latin America
(confirming his replacement of the ailing Fidel Castro as the
supreme leftist icon), the death of former Chilean dictator Augusto
Pinochet in the second weekend should be seen as a milestone for the
"So much so indeed that there are many reasons to argue that his
death should give more joy to his friends than to his enemies. The
latter cannot in all conscience celebrate because in the final
analysis Pinochet's death represents the triumph of impunity - the
old soldier has the last laugh. A gallows awaits Saddam Hussein in
Iraq but the noose never did close around Pinochet's neck despite
nearly 100 months of prosecution efforts ever since his London
arrest in October, 1998."
Paula Lugones, international columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(12/12) "Pinochet's victims were not able to obtain a judicial
ruling holding the former dictator accountable for his crimes...
"This is really frustrating but does not mean there has been
impunity - the past continues open and under scrutiny. There are
nearly 400 probes underway for crimes during the dictatorship and,
even after Pinochet's death, those involved will continue under
investigation. As pointed out by Socialist Deputy Isabel Allende,
the daughter of the president overthrown by the former dictator, as
she demanded that investigations continue, 'Chile has an open
- "The US' 'thoughts'"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
comments (12/12) "... A White House's spokesperson, Tony Fratto,
issued a cautious diplomatic lament for the victims to the
para-state repression of the Pinochet dictatorship...
"His words could have been sounded almost as an act of compassion
had they not failed to mention the US responsibility in the
bloodbath that was unleashed in Latin America, not only in Chile,
during those years...
"There would maybe not have been any victims if the 'thoughts' of
another Republican administration, Richard Nixon's, had not spent so
much energy to accelerate the downfall of Salvador Allende at any
price, as revealed during recent years by several declassified
- "Rumors of a sanction against Argentina"
Alcadio Oa, political columnist of leading "Clarin," writes (12/12)
"There are rumors that Argentina could be sanctioned by the
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)...
"What the FATF has demanded for some time, and which Argentina has
failed to meet, is 'stricter legislation against terrorist
financing.' According to the Government, the problem is not
terrorist financing itself but the definition of the crime of
"According to Justice Minister Alberto Iribarne, 'it is almost
impossible to define (terrorism) as a crime without harming
constitutional guarantees.' In other words, the difficulty lies in
drawing a clear line between what could be considered terrorism and
"... What could be the FATF's sanction? Firstly, what it is known as
Recommendation 21, 'paying special attention to transactions from
Argentina.' This means loss of prestige and confidence, certain
obstacles to foreign financial transactions, setting a precedent for
major sanctions, and perhaps, probable frictions with the US."
- "Iran makes new protest over AMIA accusation"
Natasha Niebieskikwiat, political columnist of leading "Clarin,"
writes (12/12) "Right when turbulences with Iran seemed to quiet
down, the Iranian FM surprisingly summoned Argentine diplomat Mario
Enrique Quinteros - who had to listen to yet another bitter protest
over what Iran calls Argentina's 'ungrounded' charges against eight
former Iranian government officials in the AMIA bombing case...
"... Everything seems to indicate that Argentina will also ask the
Iranian DCM in Buenos Aires, Mohsen Baharvand, to clarify the
statements made by the General Director of American Affairs at the
Iranian Foreign Ministry, Ahmad Sobhani, who urged the Argentine
government 'not to fall in the Zionists' trap and not to repeat past
mistakes.' He was referring to Argentine authorities' insistence in
pursuing the so-called Iranian connection in the 1994 AMIA
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