By Lisa Watson: PATAGONIAN radio, Polar, has claimed that Chilean Mayor Hugo Henríquez Matus of Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn see image left) caused outrage in Argentina when he spoke of an intended visit to the Falkland Islands. All the member states of Mercosur and UNASUR use the designation 'Malvinas' rather than 'Falkland Islands'.
The Provincial Government in Chile immediately issued a statement expressing surprise at the Mayor's "indiscretion" and said that the Chilean Foreign Ministry had warned Matus, "to refrain from any situation that would bring about problems".
Governor Cárcamo contacted the Argentine Governor of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Rios, to express his apologies about the statement by the Mayor of Cabo de Hornos. Rios responded by expressing his "sadness faced with this situation," and said that it did not reflect the current cooperative relationship that existed between the two countries.
“We are waiting for an official apology from the mayor of Cabo de Hornos. Although Chilean national authorities have done so, specifically the mayor has yet to comply”, said Guillermo Gomez, Tierra del Fuego provincial government Institutional Relations secretary.
Despite the Chilean Government's official support of the Argentine policy on the Falkland Islands, Chile has traditionally had a good relationship with the Islands, and a relatively large amount of trade between the latter and Chile has been undertaken over the past 20 years. This was slowed recently as a result of the Argentine Presidential Decree 256 which imposes the request of official authorization for shipping to and from Argentina, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands; an imposition firmly rejected by the United Kingdom Government.
(Information sources: Wordpress, Mercopress and Penguin News)