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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report for April 2007

VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1667/01 1282102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 082102Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5339
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4632
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7323
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY QUITO 1194
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 001667

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 APRIL 2007

REF: A. LIMA 0909

B. LIMA 1270
C. LIMA 1587
D. LIMA 1396
E. LIMA 1412

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in April 2007:

** Eradication total of 894 hectares is low compared to this
time last year; in April 2006 we had eradicated 3,120.

** Garcia embraced eradication as an important element of GOP
policy; taking a tough line against cocaleros.

** CORAH worker killed and 5 police wounded by snipers;
suspect Sendero Luminoso involvement.

** To date, DIRANDRO special operations group has destroyed
121 cocaine-production laboratories.

** S.L. threat during interdiction/eradication operations in
the Yanajanca area is increasing the hours flown by UH-2s and
the risk of combat.

** Peruvians seize a total of 2.2 metric tons of cocaine HCL
at air/seaports, border entry points, and cargo terminals.

** DIRANDRO and FAP cooperate in using the C-26s to increase
intelligence for interdiction and eradication operations.

** NAS is developing six how-to manuals to teach people to
organize and run a community anti-drug coalition.

** With NAS support, Justice Ministry initiates a campaign to
create support for a non-penal asset forfeiture law.

END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- -----
PROTESTS AND POLITICS SLOW ERADICATION TO A CRAWL
--------------------------------------------- -----
2. (U) As of April 30, CORAH has eradicated a total of 894
hectares and eliminated 6,204 square meters of seedbeds.
This is just 29 percent of last year's eradication total at
this time last year. For comparison, the figures are:

Hectares eradicated
Thru April 2006 3,120
Thru April 2007 894
During April 2006 1,393
During April 2007 243

3. (U) This result is due to several factors:
** Cocalero protests in the Tocache area halted
eradication from March 11 to April 6, during which
Agriculture Minister Salazar signed the Tocache accord with
the cocaleros (Ref A).
** Police officers were pulled from the CORAH security
detail to handle the rash of local strikes resulting from the
initial cocalero strike in Tocache.
** Some police returned, but not enough to allow CORAH to
stay overnight in the field--a strategy that saves on
transport costs and gives CORAH more time to eradicate.
** On April 12, eradication was suspended for six days
when snipers killed a CORAH worker and wounded five police
(see Para 6 and Ref B). Eradication resumed on April 19.
** The rainy season started late and is just now coming
to a close. The wet conditions hampered eradication
operations and often grounded aircraft.

4. (U) On April 6, 26 days after the Tocache incident, CORAH
started eradicating in the Yanajanca area, south of Santa
Lucia. The GOP has yet to reinitiate full-scale eradication
operations, although CORAH has been able to conduct
small-scale operations, resulting in 243 hectares eradicated
this month. If eradication operations were to continue at
the current rate, CORAH would not be able to reach the
10,000-hectare annual goal and would eradicate only 3,000
hectares by December 15, the usual cut-off point for
operations. Production will remain low unless CORAH has
enough police protection to spend 3-4 nights in the field.
Eradication is particularly sensitive in the face of strong
cocalero opposition and the police are exhibiting nervousness
over inevitable social conflict.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
GARCIA CONDEMNS NARCOTRAFFICKING AND DEFENDS ERADICATION
--------------------------------------------- ------------
5. (U) Despite the low eradication figures, there appears to
be more good news than bad. President Garcia sees the fight
against narcotics as something that touches upon Peru's core
security interests (Refs B and C). For the first time in
years, the GOP is putting important new resources of its own
into the counter narcotics effort. The GOP is also talking
about such as initiatives as asset forfeiture and increased
interdiction of precursor chemicals. Garcia has now publicly
embraced eradication as an important element of GOP policy
and taken a tough line against negotiations with cocaleros.
DEVIDA's Romulo Pizarro has changed his position and now
states that eradication is non-negotiable. At a March 30
press conference, Garcia said he would not retreat a
"millimeter" in the narcotics fight. On April 2, Garcia made
a dramatic speech that distanced the government from the
Tocache Accord (Ref A). Garcia expanded on two themes: his
concern over increased drug abuse by Peruvian youth, and
politicians who had not acted against drug mafias for fear of
unpopularity. If Peru could not stop expanding
narcotrafficking, he warned, it could face an insurgency
similar to that which occurred in a "neighboring country."

--------------------------------------------- ------------
CORAH WORKER KILLED BY S.L. SNIPERS; FIVE POLICE WOUNDED
--------------------------------------------- ------------
6. (U) On April 12 while conducting interdiction and
eradication operations in the vicinity of Churuyacu, Maranon
province, Huanuco Department, CORAH workers and its PNP
security escort were ambushed by an unknown number of
suspected Sendero Luminoso cadre. One CORAH worker was
killed and five DIRANDRO personnel were wounded by gunfire.
According to CORAH workers at the scene, the attack involved
automatic and semi-automatic rifle fire from all four
quadrants, suggesting the attackers were pre-positioned and
waiting. The casualties were evacuated by dusk. Both CORAH
and PNP security forces remained in the field. The PNP
believes the attackers were part of the Sendero Luminoso (SL)
column that operates in the Aucayacu area (Ref D).

--------------------------------------------- ---------
THREE DIRANDRO TEAMS OPERATE THE COCA-GROWING REGIONS
--------------------------------------------- ---------
7. (U) To date, DIRANDRO has destroyed 121
cocaine-production laboratories and seized 207,558 kg of
chemical precursors, 3,700 kg of cocaine base, and 2,057 kg
of HCl cocaine. The DIRANDRO special operations group
consists of three different teams. The first one specializes
in interdiction (destroying cocaine-production labs and
precursor chemicals) and intelligence gathering. This team
seizes the vast majority of drugs and chemicals.

8. (U) The second team is charged with securing the
perimeter during eradication operations and providing
security support for the eradicators and base camp. The
third team is the road interdiction team, which operates
throughout the coca-growing region, depending on
intelligence. They set up roving checkpoints and inspect all
types of vehicles. About 20 percent of the precursor
chemicals seizures are done by this team.

9. (SBU) The interdiction-eradication operation that took
place in the Yanajanca area, 12 cocaine-production
laboratories were destroyed. In the first days of
eradication in Yanajanca (April 6-7), the canine unit
detected improvised explosive devices that were removed with
no injuries. On April, 26-27, DIRANDRO personnel based in
Mazamari and Palma Pampa destroyed 10 cocaine-production
laboratories during operations in Boca Mantaro-Canaire in the
VRAE. On April 5, members of a PNP special operations group
arrested six of their fellow PNP officers as they attempted
to extort money from a Spanish national who reportedly came
to Lima to purchase and export 3,000 kg of cocaine HCl. (Ref
E).

--------------------------------------------- ----------
AVIATION SUPPORT AFFECTED BY "SL" AND COCALERO STRIKES
--------------------------------------------- ----------
10. (U) The number of helicopter hours flown has increased
significantly for interdiction and eradication operations
with CORAH's move to the Yanajanca area, a known Sendero
Luminoso (SL) stronghold. The risk of combat has been
increasing daily. In the attack that killed the CORAH worker
(see Para 6), the helicopters were initially unable to land
because of the heavy gunfire. The helicopter crews were able
to provide some suppressing fire with their M-60D machine
guns, firing approximately 1500 rounds of ammunition. On
another occasion, a PNP security patrol was transported by
helicopter to an area where they stumbled into a suspected SL
base camp and detained 15 suspects.

11. (U) With the cocaleros on strike and blocking the roads
to Santa Lucia, getting aviation fuel became a critical
issue. Fuel trucks were offered police escorts, but the
owners refused because of death threats. Some of the bridges
had also been damaged or destroyed. In situations such as
this, MI-17 helicopters would normally be used to ferry fuel
from Tingo Maria, but all were down for repair. The pilots
of the PNP Antonov 32 aircraft then offered to transport the
fuel even though the Santa Lucia runaway was being repaired
and was thus shorter than what is normally required for that
size of aircraft. The offer of the PNP Antonov 32 pilots was
highly unusual and unexpected, but thanks to them there was
sufficient fuel to continue operations.

12. (SBU) The cocaleros did not seem to be aware that the
strikes and roadblocks could have shut down NAS and GOP CN
operations due to lack of aviation fuel. NAS always prepares
alternate routes for fuel and supply trucks, but in some
cases the options are limited to one or two possibilities.

--------------------------------------------- ------
FAP AND PNP COORDINATION MAKES BETTER USE OF C-26S
--------------------------------------------- ------
13. (U) Increased coordination between DIRANDRO and FAP
intelligence has the C-26 providing more support for
interdiction and eradication operations. The C-26 attempted
to detect nocturnal movement of potentially hostile vehicles
and personnel moving toward CORAH and DIRANDRO positions. In
a "first-ever" joint operation, DIRANDRO personnel
participated in the C-26 missions as observers to assist in
the FLIR collection effort. Operating out of the FAP base in
Talara, the C-26 used FLIR to detect possible
narcotrafficking activity along northern Peru's coast in
support of Phase Two of "Operation All Inclusive".

--------------------------------------------- ----
NAS-DEA COORDINATION NETS LARGE COCAINE SEIZURES
--------------------------------------------- ----
14. (SBU) In April, Peruvian counterdrug elements seized a
total of 2.2 metric tons of cocaine HCL while conducting
counternarcotics operations at various Peruvian air/seaports,
coastal maritime locations, roadblocks near land border entry
stations, customs terminal facilities, and the Peruvian Post
Office. The interdiction program at the international
airport in Lima seized 748 kg of cocaine HCL in 62 incidents.
The largest airport seizure was 500 kg of cocaine HCl masked
in "Maca" (powdered herbal vitamin supplement) seized in air
cargo on April 2. During the first four months of 2007,
nearly 1.9 metric tons of cocaine HCl have been seized and
266 arrests made at the airport. This four-month total is
roughly equal to the amount seized in all of 2006, which was
twice as much as was seized in 2005.
15. (SBU) On April 24 at the Port of Callao, Peruvian
Customs seized a container carrying 589 kg of cocaine HCl
masked in 60 tons of barium sulfate. Eight arrests were
made, i.e., a Lebanese, a Lithuanian, a Russian, and five
Peruvians. The Manifest Review Unit (MRU) provided the
intelligence that led to this seizure. On April 21-30 as
part of Operation "All Inclusive", the Peruvian Air Force and
Navy conducted joint maritime counterdrug searches for
Peruvian fishing vessels involved in drug smuggling. This
was the first-ever joint counternarcotics operation by the
two services. Intelligence has indicated a marked increase
in drug transshipments via fishing vessels off the Peruvian
coast, and this operation marks the beginning of a new
emphasis on Peru's northern coast.

16. (SBU) Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) conducted border
roadblocks during Operation "All Inclusive" this month.
Using a mobile x-ray van, ion-scans, and drug-sniffing dogs,
joint SUNAT/PNP teams inspected vehicles using different
points of entry into Ecuador. Several loads of contraband
were seized, i.e., 108,611 gallons of gasoline, smuggled
cultural patrimony items, USD 48,515 in counterfeit dollars,
a drug lab/distribution center, and 752 kg of sulfuric acid.
Thirty-nine U.S.-bound Chinese with false passports were
detained. Due to the lawlessness along the Peru-Ecuador
border, SUNAT has not conducted interdiction operations there
for the last five years. Only 37.35 kg of cocaine was seized
during this operation; however, SUNAT is willing to
participate in more joint operations in the area. In
addition, during the month of April, the Peruvian Post Office
(SERPOST) interdicted over 70 kg of cocaine HCL that was
being exported in 47 postal shipments.

17. (SBU) Peruvian CN police conducted two seizures in the
Iquitos port area on the Amazon River. On April 13, 66 kg of
cocaine HCL was seized. On April 15, 220 kg of cocaine HCL
was found in false compartments in boats. NAS only supports
intelligence-driven operations in the ports in Iquitos, i.e.,
one official and four non-official ports with the
non-official ports being larger and more heavily used than
the official port.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
NAS IS CREATING HOW-TO MANUALS FOR ANTI-DRUG COALITIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----------
18. (U) The NAS Demand Reduction team is working with
CRESER, a local NGO, to develop six how-to manuals (or
toolkits) to teach people how to organize and run a community
anti-drug coalition (CAC). On April 10-13, CRESER conducted
workshops to solicit input from community members of the six
CACs as well as from the NGO technical assistance teams. It
is important that the manuals are written with the community
members in mind. The manuals will express concepts in terms
and examples appropriate for a Peruvian audience. The word
usage and illustrations will take into consideration people's
reading ability. Before each of the six manuals is produced,
CRESER will test and validate them again with the community
members. The first manual should be ready for publication by
the end of June.

--------------------------------------------- --------
PERU PUSHES NEW CRIME CODE AND ASSET FORFEITURE LAWS
--------------------------------------------- --------
19. (U) In April, President Allan Garcia announced that he
wanted to speed up the timetable for implementing the new
accusatory criminal code throughout Peru. To help with this
process, NAS assisted the Peruvian Attorney General's staff
in the introductory phase of implementing the code in
Trujillo, the capital of the Department of La Libertad. This
is the GOP's first effort to expand beyond the small pilot
program in the Department of Huara. NAS also contributed to
the Justice Ministry's campaign to create a non-penal asset
forfeiture law by organizing a roundtable and workshop for
Congressmen and their aides on the use of asset forfeiture as
a legal tool against drug trafficking and organized crime.
STRUBLE

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