Search

 

Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report, January 2008

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0228/01 0381602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071602Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7861
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5499
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7762
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ FEB QUITO 1742
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 000228

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, JANUARY 2008

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in January 2008:
** CORAH started the 2008 eradication season on January 18
near Pizana northeast of Tocache.

** An increase in murders east of the Andes gained public
attention due to the link with eradication and alternative
development.

** The GOP initiated quarterly meetings to monitor the
progress of projects in our bilateral Letter of Agreement.

** The three NAS-supported PNP Police Academies enrolled 509
new students for its 11-month training course.

** Peruvian police plan to open 3 new police bases in "hard
core" coca-growing valleys.

** On January 2, the Peruvian Air Police changed commanders
again.

** A police C-206 crashed landed at Palmapampa, prompting
calls for better safety and standardization procedures.

** NAS-Lima visited Colombia to discuss helicopter training
with NAS-Bogota, MAAG, and Colombian Air Force.

** A trained and certified Peruvian Customs diving unit,
funded by NAS, is scheduled to deploy in mid-February.

** Peruvian Congress questions the constitutionality of the
new asset-forfeiture law.

** Over 300 people participated in the 1st annual gathering
of all 12 community anti-drug coalitions.

** New program promotes legal lifestyles through youth
mobilization in 5 provinces of the Ayacucho region.
END SUMMARY

--------------------------------
2008 ERADICATION PROGRAM STARTS
--------------------------------
2. (U) CORAH fielded 200 workers to start off the 2008
eradication season on January 18 near Pizana northeast of
Tocache. In the first 12 days of operations, CORAH
eradicated 391 hectares of coca of which 79 percent was
replanted coca that was eradicated in 2005 and 2006.
Eradication was slowed due to several factors: coca farmers
claimed their plants were legal by showing ENACO receipts
(CORAH countered this by explaining to the farmers'
representatives the legal basis for eradication); bad
weather; coca plants being cut off at ground level, which
made uprooting the plant more labor intensive; and a police
rotation that did not coincide with CORAH's (the police have
now agreed to rotate every six days along with CORAH).

---------------------------------------------
VIOLENT ATTACKS INCREASE IN ERADICATION AREA
---------------------------------------------
3. (U) In January, an uptick in the number of murders east
of the Andes gained more public attention because of the link
with eradication and alternative development. At least 10
people, including two teenagers found with gunshots to the
head on the road in Tocache, were murdered in the first two
weeks of the month in the Upper Huallaga. On January 22, 6
members of a family--parents, three daughters (1, 7 and 10
years of age) and a brother--were killed and mutilated in the
village of Las Piedras in Ucayali, according to the press and
local contacts, because of having voluntarily eradicated
their coca crop and joining the Alternative Development
Program. Local sources indicated that the father had become
more active in promoting the program and in resisting
cocalero pressures. The father of the family was accused of
having revealed sites of drug maceration pits. Prime
Minister Jorge del Castillo denounced the crime perpetuated
by narco-traffickers and lamented the death of people only
because they had chosen licit lifestyles. He said the
government would fight back and would root out those
responsible. Romulo Pizarro, Executive Director of DEVIDA,
also condemned the murders and reaffirmed his determination
to fight back against narco-trafficking. Minister of
Interior Luis Alva Castro downplayed the murder of the family
of six as an isolated incident. Reports from local contacts
indicate, however, that there is an upward trend in such
violence as dozens of deliberate murders are going unreported
in the drug zones.

-----------------------------------------
NAS MEETS WITH GOP TO REVIEW CN PROGRAMS
-----------------------------------------
4. (U) On January 28, the NAS Deputy Director attended a
meeting organized by the Anti-Drug Directorate of the
Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE) to review the progress of
the FY 2006-2007 counter-narcotics assistance programs. Our
bilateral Letter of Agreement (LOA) for narcotics and law
enforcement assistance requires that a meeting should be held
quarterly with a report prepared on the status of each
program receiving assistance from the USG. The January 28
meeting was the first to be convened in more than a year.
The MRE, the responsible agency, organized an excellent forum
with high-level participation from all GOP counter-narcotics
program partners (e.g., CORAH, DIRANDRO, DEVIDA, Customs, and
the Public Ministry). Eleven organizations sent high-level
representatives and all were thoroughly familiar with all
phases of the assistance received and the status of their
respective projects. A detailed assessment of each program
was presented, followed by a discussion on the strengths,
weaknesses, and direction of each program. From the NAS
perspective, the meeting successfully demonstrated that the
GOP entities have a good understanding of their
responsibilities as outlined in the LOA. NAS took advantage
of the occasion to remind the forum of the impending budget
reductions and the need for the GOP to take a larger role in
certain programs.

-----------------------------------------
POLICE ACADEMIES ENROLL 509 NEW STUDENTS
-----------------------------------------
5. (U) The three NAS-supported PNP Police Academies enrolled
509 new students this month (133 in Santa Lucia, 207 in
Ayacucho, and 169 in Mazamari). The new recruits will
graduate in December 2008 after receiving 11 months of
intensive training.

6. (U) NAS is coordinating with DIRANDRO to establish a
government and police presence in the Monzon and Cachicoto
river valleys in the Upper Huallaga region. The PNP is
taking control of two Peruvian Army bases in the area. NAS
will refurbish bases to house DIRANDRO officers, some of whom
have recently graduated from the NAS-supported police
academies. The PNP is also procuring the land title to the
army base at Boca Mantaro in the VRAE for the same purpose.

7. (U) During this month, DIRANDRO destroyed 55 cocaine-base
laboratories and seized 27,167 kg of precursor chemicals, 32
kg of cocaine base, and 337 kg of HCl cocaine.

--------------------------------------------- -
ANOTHER NEW COMMANDER FOR PERUVIAN AIR POLICE
--------------------------------------------- -
8. (SBU) On January 2, Colonel Augusto E. Vega Garcia was
named the new commander of the Peruvian Air Police. Vega is
a solid choice because he has been the DIRANDRO base
commander in Santa Lucia and Pucallpa, but he is the third
commander of the Air Police in the last 13 months who is not
an aviator. So far, Vega has taken some positive steps in
assuming more responsibilities as NAS budgets are being
reduced. For example, Vega has directed his pilots to
complete night-vision goggles (NVG) training, which is a
critical skill for supporting the 400 to 500 eradicators and
CN police in the field on day and night operations. NVG
training has been a high priority for NAS.
--------------------------------------------- ----
PNP PLANE CRASH LANDS; 5TH INCIDENT IN 13 MONTHS
--------------------------------------------- ----
9. (SBU) On January 23, a PNP Air Police (DIRAVPOL) Cessna
C-206 crashed on landing at the police base at Palmapampa.
It was a training flight with 3 pilots and cargo for the
police (4 boxes of dynamite). There were no serious
injuries, but the cargo had not been properly secured,
resulting in minor injuries. This is the fifth accident or
incident with DIRAVPOL fixed-wing aircraft (not under INL/A
control) in the past 12 months. NAS has no oversight of
DIRAVPOL aircraft for safety and standardization -- only for
INL/A aircraft flown by the police. Previously, the DIRAVPOL
commander asked for advice on setting up a fixed-wing
standardization program, but his replacement decided not to
accept the assistance. Since it is in the interest of both
the GOP and USG to have a safety and standardization program,
NAS and visiting INL/A fixed-wing standardization pilot
Joaquin Pereda will again offer training assistance.

--------------------------------------------- ----
SEEKING MORE COST-EFFECTIVE ROTARY-WING TRAINING
--------------------------------------------- ----
10. (U) NAS personnel visited Colombia on 30 January to
discuss Initial Entry Rotary Wing training (IERW) with
NAS-Bogota, MAAG, and the Colombian Air Force. Due to budget
cuts, NAS is looking for alternative ways to train helicopter
pilots and crews. The IERW training is necessary, because
personnel are constantly lost to retirements, reassignment,
and other demands. A cooperative training program with
NAS-Bogota should be more cost-effective than the IERW
training at Fort Rucker (approximately USD 270,000.00) per
student or at Bristow Academy in Florida (approximately USD
80,000). The central advantage to IERW training in Colombia
would be using the DOS-owned UH-1s. Presently, neither Fort
Rucker nor Bristow use an UH-1 series helicopter. Therefore,
intensive additional training and flight hours are required
in Peru for the pilots to transition to the new UH-2s. These
flight hours could be put to better use supporting CN
operations.

11. (U) Other NAS Aviation activities include:
-- support for the visit of Henrietta Fore, Director of US
Foreign Assistance, who inspected the new police base in
Ayacucho on January 11.

-- receipt of the new digital camera for the Peruvian Air
Force C-26 from ARINC in December. ARINC scheduled two weeks
of training for the FAP, but after three days the camera
stopped working. It was returned to the U.S. for repair.

-- evaluation of the NAS B-1900D aircraft program by INL/A
fixed-wing standardization pilot Joaquin Pereda, who will be
in Peru January 28 through February 2.

-- review by DynCorp International of the corrective
actions required by the Aviation Resources Management Survey
(ARMS) in August 2007. Most of the deficiencies have been
corrected; one remaining item was for minor construction and
the PNP is expected to approve it in early February.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
DIVERS TO SEARCH FOR DRUGS HIDDEN BELOW THE WATERLINE
--------------------------------------------- ---------
12. (U) The NAS-sponsored Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) diving
unit (DU) will be fully trained and certified for its
scheduled deployment in mid-February. The DU was established
to inspect the hull of a ship below the waterline where drugs
may be attached to the hull or otherwise hidden. Ships
exporting cargo internationally are the main target for the
DU. The DU was organized after some traffickers were caught
with wetsuits and diving gear as well other intelligence
reporting. In addition, the divers will inspect barges that
are reportedly transporting drugs along major river systems
throughout Peru. SUNAT will assume total responsibility and
control (nationalization) for the DU upon deployment.

13. (U) During January, 183 kg of cocaine HCl was seized at
the Jorge Chavez International Airport (JCIA) and Peruvian
Postal System in Lima. Twenty-four internal carriers (mules)
were detained, 14 of which were identified by the x-ray body
scanner. A mule ingests an average of 900 grams of cocaine
(up to 130 pellets).

--------------------------------------------- -------
ASSET FORFEITURE LAW MAY CONFLICT WITH CONSTITUTION
--------------------------------------------- -------
14. (U) NAS assisted the Ministry of Justice and members of
the Peruvian Congress during 2007 to pass an asset forfeiture
law. The law went into effect in November 2007.
Subsequently, the members of the Constitution Commission of
the Peruvian Congress decided that some elements of the law
are not consistent with the Peruvian constitution. Their
report was never issued to the full Congress so the law
remains in force--for now. The Garcia administration
continues to strongly support the new asset forfeiture law.
It is likely, however, that a number of changes to the law
will be proposed once the Congress reconvenes in March. It
remains to be seen the impact of these changes on the law's
relevance to combat organized crime in Peru.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
COMMUNITY ANTI-DRUG COALITIONS GATHER FOR ANNUAL EVENT
--------------------------------------------- ----------
15. (U) On January 12, more than 300 coalition
members--parents, youth, and local leaders--participated in
the first annual gathering of all 12 community anti-drug
coalitions (CAC) in Lima. The mayors of two municipalities
attended along with representatives of 10 more municipalities
in Metropolitan Lima and Callao. Prizes were given to the
winners of a CAC drawing contest aimed at gathering ideas for
outreach campaigns from the community members. The mayor of
San Borja donated the use of the municipal auditorium for the
event. More CAC members would have attended if space
permitted.

--------------------------------------------- -------
PERUVIAN NGO IS MOBILIZING YOUTH IN AYACUCHO REGION
--------------------------------------------- -------
16. (U) On January 29 as part of a visit by INL/LP desk
officer Laiza Casas, NAS attended a presentation by CEDRO, a
local NGO, about a program to mobilize youth in the 5
provinces in Ayacucho region that are primary transport
routes for narcotraffickers in the VRAE. The program,
"Toward a Culture of Lawfulness" (Hacia la Cultura de la
Legalidad) seeks to work with youth on social and economic
development projects. With the help of strategic alliances
with business and the local and regional governments, the
youth groups aim to create sustainable businesses and social
programs. Ayacucho boasts many archeological and cultural
sites with the potential of being a tourist destination to
rival Cusco/Machu Picchu. Creating legal lifestyles is a
challenge because Ayacucho is part of the transport route for
narcotraffickers. Ayacucho has very limited funds because,
unlike surrounding regions, it has no mines or gas projects
that could provide taxes/royalties to supplement its budget.
Without programs such as CEDRO's, youth in Ayacucho have
little hope of escaping a life in the narcotics industry.
MCKINLEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC