Letter: Scouts in Chile

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The Independent Culture
Scouts in Chile

Sir: The question whether or not we should allow the extradition of General Pinochet to Spain has created a rift between Britain and Chile and the Foreign Office has advised British citizens against travelling to Chile. The response of most people was probably, "Who wants to visit Chile anyway?" There are 2,500 Scouts and leaders who care very much.

They are part of the United Kingdom contingent to 19th world Scout Jamboree which is being held in Chile from 27 December to 7 January. They have spent between 18 months and two years planning, training and fundraising for this event. The cost per person is in excess of pounds 2,000. Many of those chosen to attend will have had to go through quite a rigorous selection procedure.

Jamborees are only held every four years and each Scout will only get one opportunity in their lifetime to attend a Jamboree as a participant. A World Scout Jamboree is an incredible experience for both participants and staff. You camp and work alongside units from almost every scouting nation in the world. The theme this year is "Building Peace Together".

So please, Jack Straw, think about the young people of your country who have a chance to help to build a lasting peace for the future. Make your peace with Chile so that we may attend the Jamboree.

HILARY WALKER

International Service Team, 19th World Scout Jamboree

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

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