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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report, December 2007

VZCZCXYZ0010
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0032/01 0081339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081339Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7620
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5406
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7713
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JAN QUITO 1670
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 000032

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, DECEMBER 2007

REF: A. LIMA 3884

B. LIMA 3764

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

** CORAH ended the year with a total of 11,056.20 hectares of
coca eradicated, surpassing the 10,000-hectare goal.

** DEVIDA approved the 2008 Eradication Plan to start in
mid-January, now waiting for Interior Minister's signature.

** Police graduated 820 new officers from NAS-supported
Academies in December.

** Annual amount cocaine HCL seized at Lima airport for 2007
totals 4,062 kg, doubling the amount from 2006.

** President Garcia makes strongest statement ever in support
of counternarcotics efforts funded by USG.

** Threat of narco-terrorism in Peru has sparked a public
debate on how "no-go" zones are a threat to national security.

** New PNP chief named; announces new organized crime unit.

** PNP seizes drug plane in Puno; first such aircraft seizure
in 10 years.

** NAS Aviation flying hours increased in 2007 by over 26
percent compared to 2006.

** Major aviation training and maintenance plan was conducted.

** Three UH-2 armor-plating kits arrived. The delivery and
installations of the kits halted because they were not to
specifications.

** In 2007, NAS added 6 new community anti-drug coalitions in
Lima and will start ones outside of Lima as funds permit.
END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- -
PERU EXCEEDS ANNUAL GOAL; READY FOR NEXT YEAR
--------------------------------------------- -
2. (U) Last day of eradication operations was December 7.
CORAH ended the year with a total of 11,056 hectares of coca
eradicated, surpassing the annual goal by more than 1,000
hectares. CORAH also eliminated 41,162 square meters of
seedbeds, which is equivalent to an additional 2,744 hectares
of coca if planted. Operations for 2007 began slowly,
hampered by setbacks such as floods, cocalero strikes, and
changes in police commanders. As late as June, reaching our
annual goal seemed unattainable. But, proper planning and
perseverance by CORAH, along with dedicated police and
aviation support, enabled NAS to exceed the yearly goal.
With all support elements in place, a significant eradication
rate was achieved, breaking records for the amount of coca
eradicated per day and per month.

3. (U) On December 21, DEVIDA approved the 2008 Eradication
Plan and has forwarded it to the Minister of Interior for his
signature. CORAH is planning to start in mid-January or when
the Plan is signed. It was agreed that eradication would
start in Santa Lucia (north of Tocache) then move to the
Aguaytia area. In May, work will shift to the Aucayacu area.


-------------------
POLICE GRADUATIONS
-------------------
4. (U) On December 15, President Garcia presided over the
graduation ceremony of 288 new police from the NAS-PNP basic
training academy at Ayacucho, and the inauguration of the
NAS-funded police academy and base, a complex of 26 buildings
overlooking the city. Ambassador McKinley, Minister of
Interior Alva Castro, NAS Director Keogh, embassy officials,
and PNP generals also were present. The 10-million USD
investment, under the bilateral counter-narcotics agreement,
represents the most significant construction in the city
since Ayacucho was overrun by Shining Path terrorists in the
1980s. The new academy has the capacity to graduate 300
police per year, who are committed to serving 3 years in
DIRANDRO east of the Andes. On December 17, NAS Director,
Minister of Interior Alva Castro and PNP Generals attended
the graduation of 294 police from the Mazamari Academy. On
December 20, a further 238 CN police graduated from the
Academy at Santa Lucia, making a total of 820 graduates for
the month of December. Adding this number to the 727 police
who completed training in March 2007, a total of 1547 new CN
police graduated from the NAS-PNP academies in 2007. See Ref
A.

--------------------------------------------- -------
PRESIDENT GARCIA MAKES HARD HITTING SPEECH ON DRUGS
--------------------------------------------- -------
5. (U) Peruvian President Alan Garcia's speech in Ayacucho on
December 15 was the strongest statement in years by a
Peruvian president on the narcotics industry. Garcia put all
the actors in the drug chain -- from the coca growers to the
traffickers of the finished product and those they reach in
the government and business -- as equally part of the drug
industry. Garcia laid out four critical steps in the
counter-narcotics battle: eradication, alternative
development, training of specialized police, and combating
money laundering. Garcia also broke new ground by publicly
praising CORAH workers as heroes eradicating under the threat
of bombs and ambushes. Garcia also underscored the
pernicious effect of narco-trafficking on the implementation
of the US-Peru free trade agreement, urging the people of
Ayacucho to benefit from the recently signed pact by
rejecting illegal activities (Ref A).

--------------------------------------------- ---
NARCO-TERRORISM CAUSING NATIONAL DEBATE IN PERU
--------------------------------------------- ---
6. (SBU) The growing threat of narco-terrorism in Peru has
sparked a public debate featuring demands that the Government
take decisive action to tackle "liberated" zones. The debate
shows Peruvians increasingly recognize that no-go zones
represent a threat to national security. Government security
forces have received additinal budget support to address
this challenge, but probably not enough; in addition, their
strategic and tactical capabilities may be unequal to the
task. Media comments and statements by government officials
have raised questions about the nature of the security threat
in the emergency zones. One noted analyst has made the case
that the new narco-threat is much greater than Sendero
Luminoso (Shining Path - SL) alone ever was. Some believe
the attacks suggest that SL may be resurging. Others say the
problem is muddier, and consists of ex-army combatants,
ronderos (civil defense units), narco-cocaleros, and assorted
others all participating in drug mafia violence. Of those
involved in Peru's narco-terrorist network, many of them are
young, fueled by poverty and lured into illegal activities by
the promise of escape (Ref B).

-----------------------
NEW POLICE CHIEF NAMED
-----------------------
7. (U) Interior Minister Alva Castro named General Octavio
Salazar as the new head of the Peruvian National Police
December 31, replacing General David Rodriguez. Salazar
began his tenure with a stirring speech on fighting crime,
narcotics, and terrorism. He unveiled a new organized crime
unit that combines the anti-terrorism (DIRCOTE) and anti-drug
(DIRANDRO) bureaus, and announced the relocation of the
Huallaga Front from Tingo Maria to Aucayacu to confront
narco-terrorism. (Note: Most of the recent SL attacks in the
Huallaga Valley have taken place in the Aucayacu area,
including retaliatory killings in December of 7 civilians.
SL also killed 2 police officers in Ayacucho over the
Christmas period. End Note.)
------------------
DRUG PLANE SEIZED
------------------
8. (SBU) On December 14, PNP officers, operating on DEA
information, seized a Cessna 206 aircraft registered in
Paraguay and detained its Colombian pilot in Sandia, Puno.
The plane was probably flying from Paraguay en route to
Bolivia. It is assumed that the aircraft was stolen, because
all identification marks had been filed off. The plane was
picking up drugs, but the loading was interrupted by CN
police lying in wait at the clandestine airstrip. The plane
was damaged by gunfire that prevented take-off; the pilot was
uninjured. Police seized almost 8 kg of cocaine HCl as well
as 1,950 Euros, some USD and Paraguayan currency, arms, and
radios. This was the first seizure of a drug plane in the
past 10 years.

---------------------------------------
DIRANDRO NOW EQUIPPED TO LEARN ENGLISH
---------------------------------------
9. (U) DIRANDRO's first computer-assisted English language
laboratory was inaugurated in December by NAS Director Keogh
and PNP Director General Rodriguez. Funded by NAS, the
laboratory has 20 computers and is located in DIRANDRO's Drug
Prevention Unit in Lima

10. (U) DIRANDRO statistics for 2007 show that 650
cocaine-base laboratories and 16 cocaine HCl laboratories
were destroyed and 7,912 kg of cocaine base, 5,734 kg of
cocaine HCl, and 858,243 kg of chemical precursors were
seized.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
FOCUS ON AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE AND TRAINING THIS MONTH
--------------------------------------------- ---------
11. (U) NAS Aviation flying hours increased in 2007 by over
26 percent compared to 2006. To avoid exceeding the
contractual limit on flight hours, NAS allocated monthly
flight hours to each project manager to ensure missions and
flights were closely scrutinized. NAS ultimately exceeded
the flight-limit by less than one percent (or 12 hours over
the 7200 limit). The high flight tempo demanded more
maintenance, which affected the readiness of our helicopter
fleet. As a result, the contractor, DynCorp International,
sent special maintenance teams from the U.S. to the Main
Operating Base (MOB) at Pucallpa to assist the PNP
maintenance teams with the increased demand for unscheduled
maintenance.

12. (U) In December, the flight tempo slowed when eradication
operations ended on December 7. NAS took advantage of the
slowdown to conduct a major aviation training and maintenance
plan at the MOB. During this period, NAS aviation qualified
5 new pilots, 8 new crew chiefs, and 1 maintenance test
pilot. NAS also conducted some mandatory training and
maintenance in preparation for resuming major operations in
mid-January 2008.

13. (U) In November, the first three armor-plating kits (for
the pilot, copilot, and crew-chief/gunner) for the UH-2s
arrived and were to be installed. Another eight kits were in
transit. When it was discovered that the kits were not to
specifications, the delivery and installation of the kits
were stopped. INL/A is negotiating with the manufacturer on
complying with the contract.

--------------------------------------------- --
ANNUAL SEIZURES HIT NEW RECORD AT LIMA AIRPORT
--------------------------------------------- --
14. (U) The total amount cocaine HCL seized at the Jorge
Chavez International Airport (JCIA) in Lima for 2007 was
4,062 kg, doubling the amount from 2006. In 2005, Peru
seized 1072 kg; in 2006, when NAS-sponsored training took
effect, 2010 kg were seized.

15. (U) During December, 139 kg of cocaine were seized at
JCIA using non-intrusive instruments and x-ray equipment. In
addition, 45 internal carriers (mules), each carrying an
average of 900 grams of cocaine HCl, were detained and
arrested. Five international alerts were issued: the number
of arrests and amount of drugs seized are pending. The body
x-ray scanner, funded by NAS, detected 31 of the 45 mules.
Since this scanner was deployed at JCIA on August 10, 2,745
individuals were scanned, identifying 190 internal carriers.
A total of 421 internal carriers were arrested in 2007.

16. (U) As part of SUNAT's efforts to halt the smuggling of
large amounts of cash, it seized 99,880 USD that a Colombian
failed to declare prior to boarding an Avianca flight on
December 17. The detainee was carrying the money hidden on
his person and in his luggage. The money in the luggage was
wrapped in carbon paper (to avoid detection by x-ray
equipment such as the body scanner). SUNAT plans to deploy
another body scanner by February 2008 in the JCIA
International Arrivals area to check passengers.

17. (SBU) On December 4, 25,660 kg of cocaine were seized and
5 arrests were made in the district of Fernando Lores in
Loreto. The cocaine was found in a bundle in a small river
boat--similar to a canoe--traveling along the Amazon River.
In addition, on December 13, this same DEA-led, NAS-supported
Regional Port Intelligence Group (RPIG) also seized 96 kg of
cocaine from a small boat on the Amazon River near the city
of Iquitos. Since September 2007, nearly 500 kg of cocaine
base/HCL have been seized in this area through
intelligence-driven operations with nominal US funding
support, instead of the blind patrolling done between
1997-2001.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
DEMAND REDUCTION EXPANDS NUMBER OF ANTI-DRUG COALITIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----------
18. (U) In 2007, NAS expanded the number of community
anti-drug coalitions (CAC) in Lima from 6 to 12. Three of
the new CACs were started by NGOs already running a CAC, and
three new NGOs were selected to start a CAC. Having a number
of NGOs developing CACs fosters a sharing of lessons learned,
best practices, and new ideas that would be absent if only
one NGO were working with this demand-reduction model. The
institutional competitiveness of the NGOs has led to the
development of innovative community practices to achieve
sustainability of the CACs. Each CAC is being given five
years of diminishing funding to achieve sustainability. NAS
will start new CACs outside of Lima as funding permits.
NEALON

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