James Bond has new nemesis: irate Chilean mayor

Daniel Craig as James Bond in a scene from "Casino Royale". The new Bond film is scheduled to open in Britain on October 31. REUTERS/MGM/Columbia Pictures/Handout

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - There’s an unlikely new villain in James Bond’s life. Carlos Lopez, the mayor of a remote northern Chilean town, burst onto the film set of the latest instalment of the fictional super-spy’s adventures, “Quantum of Solace,” on Tuesday and was detained by police.

“He got angry, entered into a private enclosure ... and caused public disorder and was detained,” a police official said by telephone from Baquedano, declining to be named. “Now it is in the hands of the prosecutor.”

Lopez said he drove onto the set between the cameras and Bond actor Daniel Craig, interrupting filming, because he was angry at what he called an excessive police presence in the small town because of the filming and the fact Chilean soil was being used to represent neighbouring Bolivia.

“For a town that has just 1,000 residents, sending in special forces and water cannon, preventing people from walking in the street, reminded me of the worst of the Pinochet years,” Lopez told Reuters by telephone from Baquedano, referring to Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-90 dictatorship.

“I also disagree with national territory being used as locations (to represent) other countries,” he said. “Even in a fictional film, unfortunately friendly, neighbouring countries use decisions like this to make unjustified claims.”

Chile annexed the region around the northern mining centre of Antofagasta in a war in the late 19th century, depriving Bolivia of its only maritime border -- an issue that continues to deeply divide the countries politically today.

The film will be released jointly by Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. It is scheduled to open in Britain on October 31 and on November 7 elsewhere.


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