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Cablegate: Embassy Panama

VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0946 1572232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 062232Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0552
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PRO WASHINGTON DC

6. (U) Panama continues to cooperate fully and enable the USG (in
particular DEA and DHS/USCG) to transport to the U.S. third country
nationals apprehended in international waters on suspicion of drug
trafficking.

7. (U) The USG-funded Guabala checkpoint on the Pan-American Highway
near the border with Costa Rica continues to seize narcotics as well
as stop illegals attempting to transit Panama enroute to the U.S.
DHS/CBP officers will conduct additional training for checkpoint
officers later this month. In addition, officials from several
Panamanian law enforcement entities participated in the annual joint
training exercise called Operation Firewall with Special Agents from
DHS/ICE and Officers from DHS/CBP at Tocumen International Airport
for 45 days in March and August of 2006. The operation utilized
specific targeting techniques to identify, seize, and investigate
bulk cash smuggling (BCS) methods.

8. (U) DHS/ICE coordinated three-week basic investigators courses
for Panamanian investigator and prosecutors at the Federal Law
Enforcement Academy (FLETC). Over 40 mid-level investigators and
prosecutors attended two sessions of the course, designed to develop
the requisite skills of personnel assigned to key border and airport
security positions.

9. (U) Panama's National Police (PNP) has committed more than 50 of
its most senior officers to regular and continuing training under
the NAS-led police modernization program, aimed at making the PNP a
more efficient, transparent, and community-oriented force. The
program has received excellent press attention and senior GOP
officials regularly point to it as evidence of U.S. commitment to
improving local public security.

EATON

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