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Cablegate: Next Steps On Three Plus One Mechanism and Tba

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DE RUEHBU #1685/01 2391255
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O 271255Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9034
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION IMMEDIATE 6486
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 6340
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/USSOCOM SCSO J3 MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L BUENOS AIRES 001685

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/23/2017
TAGS: PTER EFIN PREL PGOV SNAR KTFN PA BR AR
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS ON THREE PLUS ONE MECHANISM AND TBA
COORDINATION

REF: A. ASUNCION 688

B. BUENOS AIRES 1370

Classified By: Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne for reasons
1.4(b)(c)and(d)

1. (U) This is an action request, please see paragraph 5.

2. (C) In Ref B, Embassies Buenos Aires, Asuncion and
Brasilia recommended expanding the Three Plus One mechanism
(3 1) to encompass other illicit activities and sources of
illicit financial flows, while continuing to give preeminence
to CT concerns. By encompassing trafficking in drugs, arms,
people and contraband as well as terrorist support in our
policy dialogue, we believe we would be dealing with the key
threats emanating from the Tri-Border Area (TBA) and, if
presented well, we think we may be more likely to win more
enthusiastic participation from our partners who feel daily
threats from these illicit flows. In addition, the sources
of much of the money coming from this region to support
terrorism likely comes from these other kinds of illicit
activities, and any steps we could encourage or support to
stop terrorist supporters from earning money illicitly would
assist our counter-terror efforts. We realize we may have
some convincing to do to expand the dialogue, but we think it
is worth the effort.

3. (C) In Ref. A, Embassy Asuncion reported on its August 8-9
conference on Tri-Border Area (TBA) terrorist finance and
money laundering. Conference participants confirmed the TBA
is a hotbed of illicit activities including trafficking in
drugs, arms, and counterfeit goods, as well as document fraud
and money laundering. They also noted the gaps in our
knowledge regarding the amount of money transmitted, its
destination, and the identity of the facilitators.
Participants identified several initiatives the USG should
take to improve its efforts in the TBA: form a virtual
working group on TBA issues that periodically reconvenes in
person; improve inter-agency communication and resource
sharing; expand the 3 1 dialogue to encourage Brazil,
Argentina and Paraguay to share data on a range of customs,
financial, narcotics and weapons crimes; continue to tighten
borders; monitor Venezuelan and Iranian activities in the
TBA; and, ensure that officials at post focus on evidence
prosecutors need to make criminal cases.

4. (C) Host country contacts in Argentina, at least, have
responded positively to Embassy's unofficial discussions with
them on the notion of expanding 3 1's purview. Expanding the
dialogue will require input from and coordination among a
greater number of Washington offices, but the added benefit
of including in the dialogue those USG offices that combat
trafficking in drugs, persons, arms and other criminal
activity would outweigh those costs.

5. (C) Action Requests: Embassy requests that WHA begin
working at the earliest convenience with relevant Department
offices (e.g. S/CT, INL, G/TIP) and other Washington agencies
(e.g. DEA, Treasury, Homeland Security and FBI) to get a
consensus on expanding the 3 1 agenda. In addition, Embassy
asks that Department and other agencies discuss the
modalities of a possible expanded 3 1 meeting. Paraguay is
the host of the next 3 1 meeting, tentatively scheduled for
late in the year. At a minimum, Washington should consider
asking the Paraguayan hosts to include in the Paraguay
meeting a discussion of expanding the dialogue and, perhaps,
the proposal's formal adoption by the parties. The
modalities of such an expanded dialogue may have to wait for
additional discussions and meetings. Depending on the
results of Washington consultations, Embassy further requests
Department guidance on formally approaching host governments
regarding the possible expansion of the 3 1 mechanism and
planning for the next meeting in Paraguay.


WAYNE

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