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Strategies & Market Trends : Ch - a CEF, the Chile Fund

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To: epicure who wrote ()4/29/1999 9:01:00 AM
From: MoneyPenny  Read Replies (1) of 18
anyone home? thought I'd try and rouse this thread with this e mail I received this a.m.STRATFOR's
"Global Intelligence Update
April 29, 1999
Chile's Ultra-Right Group Threatens Political Coup
An extreme-right wing group in Chile known as Anti-Revolutionary
Forces - Freedom and Fatherland (FAR-PL) is reportedly planning
to destabilize the country by assassinating prominent political
figures and members of extreme leftist groups. It appears likely
that this report is an open threat by reactionary factions of the
Chilean military to England and Spain, regarding the potential
consequences of their legal actions against Pinochet, rather than
leaked details of an actual coup plot.


The Chilean independent newspaper "La Tercera de la Hora"
published an article on April 23 that claimed an extreme-right
wing group known as Anti-Revolutionary Forces - Freedom and
Fatherland (FAR-PL) is planning to destabilize the country by
engaging in assassinations of prominent political figures and
members of extreme leftist groups. The purpose of such a plot,
allegedly called Operation "Clean Up and Repatriate," is to
prove that Chile is ungovernable in the absence of General
Augusto Pinochet. According to the article, this campaign
already began with the resignation in March of Deputy Nelson
Avila from the Party for Democracy (PPD) in response to threats
by the FAR-PL to his personal safety. The paper also claimed
that, in the aftermath of Avila's resignation, the Chilean
government recognized the serious threat posed by the FAR-PL.

According to former National Intelligence Center (CNI) agents,
the FAR-PL consists of the former members of security agencies
who served under the military government and may even have
recruited currently active agents. "La Tercera" also alleges
that Chile's Police Intelligence Headquarters (Jipol) and the
Public Security Directorate have been aware of FAR-PL, its
structure, and its activities for several months. Following
Pinochet's arrest in Britain, the FAR-PL had, according to the
paper, intensified its ideology and managed to boost its
financial resources. Now, the ultra-right group is allegedly
ready to launch an "all or nothing" plan. Whether or not the
reports of this plot have any basis in reality is difficult to
determine. However, the timing of the allegations and their
nature deserve closer examination.

One possibility is that this alleged right-wing plot is merely
propaganda, created out of the feverish imagination of the ruling
Chilean leftists. Their goals might be, first, to frighten
moderates into supporting the regime in advance of the
approaching presidential primaries. Indeed, we have seen several
signs recently that suggest that the leftists, primarily the
ruling Socialist Party (PS), are maneuvering politically to
strengthen their electoral base. By raising the specter of a
right wing conspiracy, it is possible that some undecided voters
might join parties that are intent on forestalling such an event.
Indeed, on April 25, the Socialist Party President Ricardo Nunez
said his party was ready for a rapprochement with the military,
although not "Pinochet's military." Leaders of the Socialist
Party interpreted this comment as a message to the electorate
that the Party was now open to reconciliation with moderate
elements in the military.

The center-left government in Chile faces an extraordinarily
delicate situation. On the one hand, they would dearly love to
see Spain try and execute Pinochet for having committed crimes
against humanity; on the other, they must not appear to be eager
for this outcome. Abandoning Pinochet to his fate would
antagonize the right wing and the military. Therefore, the
center-left government has initiated new legal tactics.
Following the return of General Izurieta from Europe, Foreign
Minister Jose Miguel Insulza announced that Chile would submit a
request to the International Court of Justice to decide whether
Spain or Chile itself had the right to try Pinochet. This
initiative was aimed at "mending fences" with the military, and
shoring up its standing with moderates.

Given the center-left government's careful balancing act in
dealing with the Pinochet case, it has little to gain by
fabricating a right-wing conspiracy story for the press. Indeed,
the appearance of the report of a conspiracy would serve to
destabilize the regime, exacerbate conflict with the rightist
among the military and beyond, and ultimately drive foreigners to
seek other countries in which to invest. Whatever the short-term
advantage the Chilean regime might secure in seeking to discredit
its opponents by such a ploy, the longer term disadvantages are
numerous and substantial.

Given the political polarization in Chile, it makes some sense
that the FAR-PL or a group of its ilk is indeed plotting to
destabilize the country in an attempt to win Pinochet's freedom.
However, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper "El Pais" on
April 22, a top Chilean military official downplayed the
likelihood of a coup. Following his meeting with Pinochet and a
number of Britain's top leaders a week earlier, Chilean Army
General Ricardo Izurieta told "El Pais" that he did not believe
there was a possibility of a coup d'etat in Chile as a
consequence of the Pinochet case. Further support for his
assertion may be adduced from a significant difficulty associated
with the right-wing-conspiracy scenario. The FAR-PL would have
to be extremely incompetent to have its plot uncovered at this
time. Given the associations the FAR-PL allegedly has with the
security services in Chile, it is likely that this group would
know how to cover its tracks.

However, the threat of a coup plot can be nearly as effective as
an actual coup plot. It is possible that the extreme right
factions made up this conspiracy story and leaked it to the
press, in an attempt to pressure the international community,
mainly Spain and Britain, to soften their stance on Pinochet's
case. Their goal would have been to have him extradited to
Chile, a development which in turn would present the center-left
government with a hot political potato on the eve of the December
11 presidential elections. It is possible, therefore, that FAR-
PL or perhaps another right-wing military group planted this
piece of propaganda with the press as a way of threatening Spain
and Britain, and even the United States: the price of trying
Pinochet abroad is political instability in Chile itself."
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