By TIM JOHNSON
Herald Staff Writer
SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chileans angered by the arrest of Gen. Augusto Pinochet
want to bug the daylights out of those they view as responsible for his troubles.
Their campaign has already included throwing eggs at diplomatic compounds,
signing petitions and plotting boycotts of Spanish and British products.
Now, their drive is taking a smelly turn: Local authorities have cut off
collection to the Spanish Embassy.
``We've got a strategy like the mosquito,'' explained Mayor Cristian Labbe
Providencia district, where the Spanish mission is located. ``One mosquito bothers
you a little, but lots of mosquitoes will drive you nuts.''
Pinochet's supporters blame Spain because a senior judge in Madrid issued
warrant that led police in London to detain the 82-year-old Chilean in his hospital
room Friday. Pinochet had recently undergone back surgery.
Chilean wrath is also aimed at Britain for carrying out the arrest in spite
immunity that Pinochet believed his diplomatic passport offered.
The decision by Labbe, a former army colonel, drew scorn from some in the
government of President Eduardo Frei.
``To deny garbage service to the Spanish Embassy, as that mayor has done,
just ridiculous and provincial, it is a form of protest that doesn't do any good,''
Foreign Minister Jose Miguel Insulza said.
Mayor Labbe also decided to cut off curb-side parking privileges for the
Embassy, and is contemplating other measures.
In the neighboring Las Condes district, where the Spanish and British
ambassadors have their official residences, council members attending an
emergency session Tuesday considered a proposal to declare Ambassador Glynn
Evans persona non grata. The proposal was tabled after it was pointed out that
such action isn't usually in the purview of city halls.
Evans' two-story diplomatic residence in Las Condes remained behind police
barricades, its facade smeared with dried egg yolk.
Half a block away, the residence of Spanish Ambassador Juan Manuel Egea
shuttered and filthy from egg stains. Passing cars, evidently driven by Pinochet
supporters, honked incessantly.
A far-right political party, the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), which
fiercely supports Pinochet, has led the drive to punish Britain and Spain.
``We are going to start an active boycott of products and industries that
Spanish and English have in Chile,'' said Sen. Evelyn Matthei, a party stalwart.
``Moreover, we are going to make life impossible for the members of the Spanish
and English embassies here.''
Copyright © 1998 The Miami Herald