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Cablegate: Brazil,S Foreign Ministry Disses and Dismisses

VZCZCXRO5614
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1664/01 2431147
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311147Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9855
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 6262
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 4975
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE PRIORITY 7086
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 5024
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO PRIORITY 0693

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001664

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

WHA FOR CHRIS MCMULLEN, DEBORAH MCCARTHY, CAROLINE CROFT,
BRUCE FRIEDMAN, AND BEN CHIANG
S/CT FOR VIRGINIA PALMER AND ARNOLD SIERRA
FBI FOR COUNTERRORISM DIVISION AND OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL
OPERATIONS
IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT FOR ICE/OIA H

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2017
TAGS: PTER EFIN PREL PGOV SNAR KTFN PA BR AR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL,S FOREIGN MINISTRY DISSES AND DISMISSES
THREE PLUS ONE MECHANISM

REF: A. BUENOS AIRES 1685
B. BUENOS AIRES 1709
C. ASUNCION 688

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Phil Chicola.
E.O. 12958, Reasons: 1.5 (B) & (D).

1. (C) Summary: The director of the Brazilian Ministry of
External Relations (Itamaraty) Office of Transnational
Crimes, Virginia Toniatti, told PolCouns in a meeting August
27 that Brazil does not see the Brazil/Argentina/Paraguay
tri-border cooperation mechanism and the 3 1 mechanism that
includes the United States as the best way to address
terrorism concerns. Brazil participates in these mechanisms
"only out of solidarity" with countries that have been
victims of terrorists attacks. She categorically ruled out
expansion of the 3 1 mechanism to discuss other transnational
crime issues, saying that bilateral issues should be
discussed bilaterally. Toniatti is a key working-level
contact on these issues, and her views mirror closely those
of Secretary General (Vice Minister) Samuel Pinheiro
Guimaraes. Toniatti,s comments suggest that expansion of
cooperation via the 3 1 mechanism, as proposed in reftels,
will require laying the groundwork carefully at more senior
levels of the GOB, including Foreign Minister Amorim,
National Security Advisor Garcia, and perhaps even President
Lula. End summary.

2. (C) In light of reftels, PolCouns took advantage of his
courtesy call with Virginia Toniatti, head of Itamaraty,s
office in charge of fighting transnational crime, to ask for
her views on tri-border cooperation. Toniatti responded that
there are 14 tri-border areas in South America, and that the
one between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay is not
particularly problematic or deserving of greater attention
than the others. She asserted that Brazil only participates
in the coordination mechanism with Brazil and Paraguay, and
in the 3 1 mechanism that includes the United States, out of
&solidarity8 with the Argentina and United States because
they have suffered terrorist attacks. Brazil does not see
the 3 1 mechanism as a particularly useful way to do real
business, she said. &Bilateral issues should be handled
bilaterally,8 she stated, and border issues should be
addressed between the neighboring countries. In particular,
Toniatti said, it is unfortunate when it appears that the
other three countries have consulted prior to the 3 1
meetings and are seeking to present Brazil with a fait
accompli. She also criticized the U.S. release of a list of
terrorist suspects just before the last meeting, for which,
she said, USG officials were unwilling to offer any solid
evidence.

3. (C) PolCouns stressed how useful the 3 1 mechanism is to
U.S. agencies and asked about cooperation on other
transnational crime issues in the tri-border region.
Toniatti said that Brazil is more than willing to discuss
trafficking in persons (TIP), counternarcotics efforts,
counterfeiting and money laundering with USG agencies on a
bilateral basis. However, she ruled out categorically any
expansion of the 3 1 mechanism into other areas, stressing
adamantly that she would not accept or tolerate further
"attacks" on Foz do Iguacu. Foz is not deserving of the
negative attention it is already getting, she said.
Hollywood,s fictitious characterizations of the region as a
home base for terrorists and other criminals combined with
uncalled for statements by U.S. law enforcement officials
(she referred specifically to comments by State and Treasury
officials in a May 9 MSNBC piece on the tri-border area) have
given Foz an undeserved reputation that is having a negative
impact on tourism.

4. (C) Toniatti did offer that Brazil is seeing a problem
with falsified passports, and that it would be useful for the
U.S. to help fund a modernization of Paraguay,s passport
system. Brazil has the expertise and training to spot the
fraud, she said, but does not have funds to help the
Paraguayans modernize their passports.

5. (C) Comment: Toniatti, one of our principal working-level
contacts on tri-border and other transnational crime issues,

BRASILIA 00001664 002 OF 002


is generally dogmatic in her views and aggressive in
expressing them. Her comments are not the final word on
these issues, but her chain of command on counterterrorism
and transnational crime issues runs through the office of
Secretary-General (Vice Minister) Samuel Pinheiro Guimaraes,

SIPDIS
who has been publicly critical of increased GOB cooperation
with the U.S. in a number of areas, and specifically of
increased U.S. presence in Brazil and the region. Toniatti's
views likely mirror those of Guimaraes with regard to the
usefulness of the current process and interest in expanding
it. Her unhesitating expression of disinterest in any
expanded cooperation through the 3 1 mechanism, as proposed
in reftels, suggests that gaining Brazil,s agreement will
require laying the groundwork carefully at more senior levels
of the GOB, including Foreign Minister Amorim, National
Security Advisor Garcia, and perhaps even President Lula.

CHICOLA

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