Search

 

Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report for February 2007

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0767/01 0732352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 142352Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4388
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4449RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7246
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR QUITO 1081
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF STATE AIR WING PATRICK AFB FL
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RHMFIUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-CI/G-M/G-OLE//
RUCOWCA/COMLANTAREA COGARD PORTSMOUTH VA
RUWDQAA/COMPACAREA COGARD ALAMEDA CA

UNCLAS LIMA 000767

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LP
STATE FOR WHA/PPC
ONDCP FOR LT COL RONALD GARNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM ASEC PREL PE
SUBJECT: NAS MONTHLY REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2007

REF: A. A) LIMA 0552
B. B) LIMA 0658 C) LIMA 0683

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in February 2007:
Eradication operations resumed; new PNP high command visit
NAS-supported schools/bases en masse; CODEL inspects
deforestation in drug producing area; F, Director of Foreign
Assistance, helicopters to the field to see the nexus between
eradication and alternative development activities;
interdiction activity in the VRAE and Upper Huallaga
continues at strong pace; StaffDel briefed on
counternarcotics, trends and challenges; Air Police get their
own instructor pilots; NAS-sponsored Airports Program on
track for record seizures of cocaine - canines score big in
one bust. END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- -
ERADICATION BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 9 IN SAN MARTIN
--------------------------------------------- -
2. (SBU) On February 9, the new Peruvian National Police
command structure finally gave orders to begin interdiction
and eradication operations after delays for various causes.
Operations began in the San Martin Department, where USAID
alternative development programs are offered following
eradication. As of February 27, CORAH had eradicated 385
hectares and eliminated 3,414 square meters of seedbeds, many
in areas where legal crops were growing. This was a slow
start for the program -- CORAH had planned to field two
groups of 200 eradicators and 100 police on a three-day
rotating schedule, but a low turnout of security police meant
that only one group of eradicators/police went out, working
four days and resting two.

(U) NAS meets regularly with AID, CORAH and CADA to
coordinate programmed eradication and alternative development
activities to avoid duplicating efforts in the field. NAS is
also discussing with the UNODC the possible links between
reforestation and programmed eradication.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
CODEL NELSON VISITS DEFORESTED AREA IN COCA-GROWING AREA
--------------------------------------------- ------------
3. (U) Senator Bill Nelson visited Peru's high jungle city
of Tarapoto to view woodlands deforested by coca cultivation
and traditional agricultural pressures. CODEL Nelson also
visited the sites of USG programs to provide alternatives to
coca and slash-and-burn agriculture, i.e., a USAID-supported
indigenous coffee cooperative and the NAS-supported Institute
for Tropical Crops. The Department of San Martin, of which
Tarapoto is the principal economic center, has the highest
deforestation rate in Peru. In addition to being one of the
largest producers of illicit coca, San Martin exports the
most wood products. Other human deforestation pressures
include agriculture (60% of the economic activity) and
livestock ranching. Senator Nelson also visited Lima, where
he met with President Garcia (Ref B).

--------------------------------------------- ---------
Visit of Randall Tobias, Director of Foreign Assistance/USAID
Administrator
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (U) On February 28, after visiting the PDA program in
Tocache, Ambassador Tobias and his staff went by helicopter
to a nearby coca field where eradication was taking place.
Tobias was briefed by CORAH on manual eradication procedures
and shown coca plants at various stages of growth and how
coca can be hidden among licit crops like cacao. The
eradication team consisted of 110 CORAH eradicators and 55
Peruvian Police. Although these particular fields were free
of improvised explosive devices, the eradicator demonstrated
their protective gear, emphasizing the constant dangers
present.

(U) Ambassador Tobias continued to the Santa Lucia police
base to see both police program activities, particularly the
NAS-sponsored Academy where 250 students were set to graduate
on March 2. He also witnessed eradication operations in a
nearby plot of illicit coca. The group saw the destruction
of a rustic lab, its presence demonstrating the direct link
between illicit coca cultivation and narcotrafficking.

--------------------------------
STAFFDEL BRIEFED ON CN PROGRAMS
--------------------------------
5. (SBU) A Staffdel led by Robin Roizman, Senior Staffer for
the HFAC, and including HFAC Investigative Counsel John
Mackey, visited Lima mid-month to discuss the overall
direction of foreign assistance for Peru. NAS briefed
Roizman and Mackey on the counter-narcotics context, trends
and challenges, as well as on the specifics of our programs
(police academy graduations, nexus between eradication and
alternative development, communications program, community
anti-drug coalitions, and the aviation/UH-2 program). Mackey
was supportive of the programs, but expressed concerns about
potential opium poppy cultivation in Peru, and the relatively
little European support for counternarcotics efforts,
considering that a substantial amount of Peruvian cocaine
goes to Europe. Mackey urged Peruvian officials to engage
the EU on the shared responsibility consumer nations have for
narcotrafficking.

--------------------------------------------- ----
INTERDICTION CONTINUES AND PNP TRAIN IN COLOMBIA
--------------------------------------------- ----

6. (U) In February, DIRANDRO teams in the VRAE and Upper
Huallaga areas destroyed 34 cocaine production laboratories,
seized 1,650 kg of precursor chemicals, 580 kg of cocaine
HCl, and 702 kg of cocaine base. The price of the coca leaf
has remained steady during the month at 70 Nuevo Soles per
arroba in the VRAE and 120 in the Upper Huallaga. (COMMENT:
NAS will now use the term "cocaine production laboratory" to
describe what we have previously referred to as "cocaine-base
labs" or "rustic labs" or "pozo pits". This change in
terminology more accurately describes this first step in the
cocaine production process and the sophistication of the
operations currently being found. END COMMENT.)

(U) NAS Director and Director General of the Peruvian Police,
the chief of DIRANDRO, and four other police generals, as
well as NAS Police Advisors, visited Ayacucho and Mazamari to
inspect the police training academies (ref c). More than 700
new police officers from NAS-supported academies will
graduate on March 2, making room for the next class.

(U) On February 12, five PNP officers from the CN police
bases in Mazamari and Santa Lucia traveled to Colombia to
participate in a four-month jungle operations training. To
receive this training, the officers committed to serve a
minimum of three years of CN duty in the VRAE and Upper
Huallaga areas.

(U) On February 21, NAS inaugurated the new Canine Center at
the PNP base in Santa Lucia and graduated eight dogs (and
handlers). The eight canines are specially trained in
detecting explosives, IED identification, how to search open
areas such as coca fields, and how to search in occupied and
unoccupied buildings. In addition, five PNP officers trained
at the U.S. Customs training facility in Virginia have been
assigned to the center. Representatives from U.S. Customs
International Division HQ-Washington participated in the
events along with PNP officials.

--------------------------------------------- --------
PILOT AND AIRCREW TRAINING MOVING TOWARD NATIONALIZATION
--------------------------------------------- --------
7. (U) Training continued through the month at the base in
Pucallpa for the four new Air Police instructor pilots (IP).
The pilots successfully concluded the check rides given on
February 21-22 by the NAS Aviation Operations Advisor. On
February 23, a graduation ceremony for the new IPs was held
in Pucallpa and was presided over by NAS Director Susan
Keogh; Air Police Director General Ricardo Benavides, and
DynCorp representatives. The four new IPs will conduct the
next UH-2 transition training, scheduled for March 15, for
the class of Air Police pilots that will be graduating from
the Initial Rotary-Wing training course at Helicopter
Adventures Inc., Titusville, FL. This will be the first time
that the UH-2 training will be conducted entirely by Peruvian
Air Police instructor pilots and represents a significant
step towards "nationalization" of the program.

(U) In a further step toward nationalization, the PNP agreed
to have DynCorp assume increased responsibility for
qualifying more pilots in the use of night-vision-goggles
(NVG) and for training more crew chiefs (flying maintenance
technicians). DynCorp has also agreed to grant Air Police
operations and maintenance managers access to AWIS, DynCorp's
web-based aviation maintenance management program in order to
ultimately transfer the responsibility for tracking the
status of aircrew (such as up-to-date flight physicals) and
maintenance requirements to Peruvians.

(SBU) General Ricardo Benavides, Aviation Police Director,
ordered his maintenance personnel to restore his fleet of
fixed-wing aircraft to airworthy condition or eliminate them
from the inventory. An Aero-Commander twin turboprop aircraft
was returned to flyable condition and DIRAVPOL is close to
finishing repairs on the Beechcraft E-90 twin turboprop -
this will provide the Air Police with increased executive and
logistics transportation and thereby reducing the need to use
UH-2 helicopters in logistics/administrative support roles.

(U) Work continues on the repair of the runway at FOL Santa
Lucia - estimated July completion. Concurrently, NAS
commissioned an airfield lighting survey for Santa Lucia and
Mazamari to determine the cost of being able to conduct night
operations from these airfields.

(SBU) In preparation for a Maritime counter drug exercise
"Operation All Inclusive 2007" to be conducted in March, the
FAP deployed a C-26 to El Pato Airbase at Talara on the
northern coast of Peru to conduct area and airport day and
night familiarization. In order to enhance the
reconnaissance capability of the C-26, NAS is in the process
of funding the acquisition of a digital imaging camera which
can be slaved to the FLIR system to provide enhanced imaging
of FLIR targets.
(U) NAS Director and NAS Senior Aviation Advisor attended the
INL/A Aviation Management Conference at Patrick Air Force
Base, FL from February 26 to March 1.

--------------------------------------------- -----
PORTS AND MARITIME OPERATIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----
8. (U) Between February 1-26, NAS-sponsored Peruvian Customs
and Counterdrug Police at the international airport and
SERPOST (Post Office) seized a total of 652.206 kgs of
cocaine HCL. Specifically, the Peruvian Customs, Police, and
Immigration, trained and advised by NAS Ports Program
officer, seized 597.206 kgs of cocaine HCL and arrested 74
traffickers. The largest seizure in February at the airport
was assessed as 453 kgs of liquefied cocaine masked in &una
de gata and maca8 (Peruvian natural vitamin and male
enhancement supplements) that was identified by a canine and
handler trained at the US Customs and Border Protection
(USCBP)Academy. Since the canines and handlers returned from
three-and-a-half months training in the U.S., seizures have
increased markedly at Peruvian sea/airports and post offices.
In February, NAS-sponsored personnel seized 55 kgs of cocaine
at the Peruvian main post office, prior to international
shipment of packages.

(U) NAS/USCBP Canine Advisor provided support to the
four-month USCBP explosives field course conducted for
Peruvian National Police at Front Royal, Virginia and at
Santa Lucia, Huallaga Valley, Peru, ensuring the
certification of the explosives canines that should provide
protection to eradication and police personnel in illegal
coca fields and act as a deterrent force.

(SBU) NAS Ports Program is coordinating and providing support
to the upcoming DEA Operation &All Inclusive8, March 28-31
and April 10-14, along the Peruvian/Ecuador Border and
Coastal areas. NAS is coordinating with the Peruvian Navy
and Coast Guard to provide support to the DEA-sponsored Joint
Peruvian/Law Enforcement Task Force through two Sea Ark
interdiction boats (donated by NAS) and Peruvian Navy
Counterdrug operational elements. The Command Center for the
operation is a NAS facility near the Port of Paita.
Additionally, NAS Ports and Aviation Programs are
coordinating with the Peruvian Air Force for off-coast FLIR
reconnaissance during this operation. No-notice mobile road
blocks by Peruvian Customs will also occur along all major
northern Peruvian road systems leading into Ecuador from Peru
as well as reinforcing the two primary Peruvian Customs
Stations along the Peruvian/Ecuadorian border. The NAS/DEA
Manifest Review Unit will assist the operation through
research, intelligence information, and analysis. We are
also coordinating with Peruvian Counterdrug Police (DIRANDRO)
and DEA on security support to Peruvian Customs roadblocks in
areas that have sparse law enforcement presence.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
UPDATE ON PUSH FOR A NEW NON-PENAL ASSET FORFEITURE LAW
--------------------------------------------- -----------
9. (U) Last month (January 12), the Government of Alan
Garcia introduced into Peru's Congress a proposed law that
will permit the administrative seizure of illicitly gained
assets. The NAS money laundering project advisors, together
with the local UN Office of Drug and Crime Control, are
working closely with the Ministry of Justice to mount a
campaign to sell the draft law to Peruvian lawmakers in the
Congressional session that begins in March 2007.
STRUBLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Chemical Weapons Attack (and Response) In Syria

The past week’s headlines about the chemical attacks in Syria – and the military response by the US, France and Britain – have tended to overshadow a few of the downstream outcomes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Moves: China, Vanuatu And Australia

Washington’s vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past “Australia’s neighbourhood”. More>>

ALSO:

Diplomatic Madness: The Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

How gloriously brave it seemed, some 23 nations coming together like a zombie collective to initiate a fairly ineffectual action in of itself: the expulsion of Russian diplomats or, as they preferred to term it, intelligence operatives. More>>

ALSO:


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC