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Cablegate: Inl-Funded Assistance in Argentina: 2007 End-Use

VZCZCXYZ0023
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0141/01 0371448
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061448Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0186

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000141

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INL/LP - DIANNE GRAHAM

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: SNAR AFIN AR
SUBJECT: INL-FUNDED ASSISTANCE IN ARGENTINA: 2007 END-USE
MONITORING REPORT

1. Embassy Buenos Aires' CY-2007 End-Use Monitoring Report follows
below:

2. PROCEDURES

Post's Narcotics Coordinator does not have PD&S funding and as such
is unable to fund on-site inspections or periodic spot checks to
perform End Use Monitoring. The Coordinator has relied on DEA
officers to assess appropriate usages of INL-funded equipment.
Argentine law enforcement officials provide post with periodic
updates on equipment. While this system of overlapping verification
methods was deemed in the past the best possible end use appraisal
system available given Post's resources, Post is currently reviewing
its procedures to ensure they are fully consistent with INL
guidelines.

3. STATUS

The majority of INL-funded equipment is located in the northern
provinces of Salta and Jujuy. All indications are that all provided
equipment is being used for the intended purposes. No single case
of inappropriate or unauthorized use was reported in 2007. In
general, the equipment provided through INL funding continues to be
used but with problems coming from advancing age and hard use. Many
computers, vehicles, and radio equipment are near or well past their
useful lives.

4. DOGS

The two dogs provided to the Northern Border Task Forces (NBTF) in
1998 are healthy but old and have reached the end of their
professional lives. The Government of Argentina bred six additional
dogs for the program. The total force of six dogs allows the
handlers to maintain a rotation schedule that ensures the safe and
efficient use of the animals.

5. MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT

One gas tank fiberscope and 20 digital cameras were purchased in
2006; the fiberscope was provided to the NBTF; out of the 20
cameras, sixteen were provided to Argentine counterparts and four
are still to be distributed by DEA. Post continues to observe that
both National and Provincial Police Forces make good use of the
miscellaneous equipment (handcuffs, vests, flashlights, cameras,
etc.) provided to them in previous years.

6. COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT

Communications equipment has not been donated in the last few years.
Radio transmitters provided to the NBTF require routine maintenance
and repair. Many hand-held radios provided to Federal and
Provincial Police throughout Argentina need to be repaired or
replaced because of wear and tear resulting from routine use under
harsh operational conditions.

7. COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Two laptops with networking system and 18 desktops were purchased in
2006 for use by the Northern Border Task Force (NBTF) and other GOA
counternarcotics agencies. Delays in receiving the computers and
mislabeling at the Embassy warehouse delayed distribution. Post is
in the process of distributing the computers to the target
agencies.

8. VEHICLES

One Chevrolet double cabin pickup was provided to the NBTF in 2006
with INCLE funds. It was delivered and is currently in use by the
NBTF. One Ford cargo van and one sedan were purchased in May 2006
with Andean Initiative funds. Both vehicles were delivered to and
are being used by the Mendoza provincial police counternarcotics
unit. Vehicles provided in previous years (1993-1997) already have
over 200,000 kilometers on them and require fairly extensive routine
maintenance on suspension, brakes and engine parts. A few vehicles
purchased in 1989 have reached the end of their useful lives.

In 2007 Post initiated the purchase of six sedan vehicles that are
to be distributed between the NBTF, EBTF, and Federal Police. Post
expects to receive delivery of these vehicles from the dealer in the
next few weeks.

9. PROBLEMS

Post lost its Narcotics Coordinator position in June 2006. These
additional duties were assumed by the PolMil Officer. A lack of
PD&S resources limits the Narcotics Coordinator's effectiveness in
managing post's INL account. The ongoing political instability in
neighboring Bolivia coincides with growing cocaine transit through
and trafficking in Argentina.
GOA Law Enforcement Agencies provide exceptional cooperation to Post
agencies on counternarcotics issues, providing an opportunity to


greatly improve the GOA's ability to combat drug trafficking. Lack
of resources and dedicated personnel hampers Post's effort in this
area. The Narcotics Coordinator has requested PD&S funding to
conduct a comprehensive review of donated equipment, establish an
effective end-use monitoring system and, ideally, fund an Eligible
Family Member or Locally Employed position to help manage this
important program.

10. IMPACT

While the INL-funded program in Argentina is small, it continues to
have a positive impact working in coordination with DEA's country
programs, especially on the perennially under-funded Provincial
Police Anti-Drug Units operating in the Northern provinces. In
2007, DEA established a NBTF-like operation in the Misiones Province
(the Eastern Border Task Force - EBTF), near the Tri-Border Area
with Brazil and Paraguay. INCLE funds will be used to support
training and equipment for this operation, as it has with the
successful NBTF (Northern Border Task Force). Argentine law
enforcement agencies continue to report increased cocaine seizures
over the past several years (final GOA figures for CY07 are not
likely to be ready for several months). Post, led by DEA, has
actively assisted local law enforcement in their counter-narcotics
efforts. Drug seizures by GOA law enforcement agencies are up,
including those resulting from complex investigations, indicating
increased capacity on the part of these agencies.

11. Post's INL program is a valuable tool in implementing and
advancing our counter-narcotics/transnational crime agenda with the
GOA. GOA law enforcement agencies remain very focused on this
agenda and look to Post agencies for advice and assistance in
implementing their national drug plan. In the coming years, the INL
program will be increasingly important in meeting USG
counternarcotics objectives in Argentina and the region.

WAYNE

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