Reporters on the Job
• Street Dividers: Correspondent Jen Ross says that the atmosphere in Chile has been charged since former dictator Augusto Pinochet's death. "Sunday, people were going to the plazas and celebrating, and you could hear horns late into the night," she says. Jen adds that the government has spoken out as a result. "They are anti-Pinochet, but have said that the lack of respect regarding his passing is disappointing."
It's clear that Pinochet's legacy still divides Chile, she says. "He still has a fanatical following, and there have been confrontations." Pinochet supporters hate the media, she notes – some journalists have had things thrown at them. "At one point, when supporters heard I was from Canada, they said that Canada was full of exiles, and that we simply wanted to smear his name. I had to assure them of my desire to be balanced."
As word came that Banda Aceh gubernatorial candidate Irwandi Yusuf might be looking at a major victory – early results Monday indicated at least 39 percent of the vote – correspondent Simon Montlake joined a scrum of journalists at the Swiss Belhotel, where Mr. Yusuf came to speak to them. Yusuf, Simon notes, has had a remarkable trajectory: "This is a man who was working for [the rebel organization] GAM, then was put in prison. His jail was destroyed in the tsunami, and he escaped. He made his way to Jakarta, then left the country, eventually becoming a negotiator in peace talks in Finland."
Simon, who reported on the election in Monday's Monitor, says Yusuf was maintaining a statesmanlike calm at the hotel, and was quite willing to answer questions. Simon wasn't surprised by that. "He studied in Oregon – and had quite a conversation with [staff photographer] Andy Nelson about the state at a campaign rally last week."
Deputy world editor