A Swedish Embassy spokesman in Santiago announced on Tuesday (November 13th) that 80 Bolivian and Druguayan refugees had left the country on a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) flight.
A Swedish Embassy spokesman in Santiago announced on Tuesday (November 13th) that 80 Bolivian and Druguayan refugees had left the country on a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) flight. Almost 400 refugees had already been flown out by SAS after receiving "safe conducts" negotiated by Swedish Ambassador Harald Edelstam. Many of these apparently had been given asylum in the Swedish Embassy.
The SAS management in Stockholm meanwhile announced it had rejected a request from its Santiago manager to disassociate itself from the refugee airlift. The Santiago manager reportedly sent word that the company was in danger of losing business due to the actions of Ambassador Edelstam. An SAS official said the company policy was not to involve itself in political affairs.
Reports from santiago had noted that only Sweden, of the three Scandinavian countries, was active on the refugee issue. The Norwegian ambassador, however, later received instructions to open embassy doors to the refugees.
The Chilean Foreign Minister, Admiral Ismael Huerta, earlier complained to Ambassador Edelstam about his having taken 54 Uruguayan detainees from the National Stadium, which was being used as a detention centre. Later, about 50 Chilean army troops surrounded the Swedish Embassy, claiming that there had been firing from the Embassy. The Chilean press has mounted an intense campaign of criticism against the Swedish Embassy and the Ambassador in particular.