Cablegate: Us Consulate General Sao Paulo Undergoes Crisis
DE RUEHSO #0055/01 0381625
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071625Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9028
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 3989
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8570
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7876
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SAO PAULO 000055
DIR FSINFATC FOR FSI/LMS/CMT, DS/IP/WHA, OBO/PE/DE/MED,
POSTS FOR RSO, STATE FOR S/ES-O/CMS AND WHA/EX
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR AFSI ASEC BR CASC KESS OTRA
SUBJECT: US CONSULATE GENERAL SAO PAULO UNDERGOES CRISIS
MANAGEMENT TRAINING ACTIVITIES
REF: FSINFATC 2585
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY
1. (U) SUMMARY: Selected staff of the U.S. Consulate General
Sao Paulo participated in crisis management training on
December 6, 2007 and a mission wide Digital Video Conference
(DVC) crisis management exercise on December 14, 2007.
Observations and recommendations, keyed to reftel para 2,
A-H, follow in the cable body. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) On December 6 and December 14, selected staff of the
U.S. Consulate General participated in crisis management
training and exercises led by an FSI trainer via DVC. Post
thanks FSI for this opportunity to review procedures and
practice emergency scenarios. After the training,
participating staff members remarked on the value of the
training and discussed how to implement new best practices
that emerged during the discussions.
3. (SBU) A. The Consulate believes that the DVC format was
very effective and the amount of time (approximately two
hours on the first day for CMT Overview training and 3 1/2
hours for scenario run-throughs on the second day) was
sufficient and appropriate for mission wide coordination.
However, in order to stimulate more post specific interaction
and team building more deliberation time after each scenario
would be beneficial.
4. (SBU) B. All scenarios presented were timely and relevant,
ConGen Sao Paulo liked the wide range of scenarios and that
many were specific to current events or potential situations
specific to Sao Paulo and Brazil such as the possibility of
an Avian Influenza outbreak and civil unrest as a result of
violent prison uprisings.
5. (U) C. The controller was effective and was very helpful
in answering all questions as they arose and maintained an
appropriate pace to complete the scenario in the allotted
time. All participants were actively engaged when their
expertise or knowledge was needed.
6. (SBU) D. The Consulate staff feels that the training was
useful and with the training personnel has made assessments
on how to react in a real crisis. The Marine House wil be
activated as the Alternate Command Center (AC). Post EAP is
due to be renewed in April 2008. CEPA training was held on
January 23, 2008. CEA will allow all sections access to
read and updte the unclassified EAP online. Post did take
nte that all sections should participate in updatingtheir
section of the EAP and that the current tripwires need to be
reviewed and updated mission wide. The consulate staff
learned many lessons which highlighted certain improvements
that post will now work to remedy. The Avian Flu tripwires
will be updated, in coordination with Embassy Brasilia, and
the procedures on Tamiflu distribution will be evaluated.
The new Marine House will be made ready to serve as an
alternate command post with the addition of sufficient
supplies and computer lines to serve all necessary entities
at post during an emergency and to allow access to the newly
created "portals" that have been established. The Consular
Section and RSO will refine a protocol to disperse all
waiting visa applicants in case of emergency.
7. (SBU) F. Post feels that the addition of the Portals on
the internet are a great new asset to assist with
communication and the sharing of information during a real
crisis situation. Technical problems did arise with the
portals but were fixed shortly after the training session.
Tripwires will be updated with input from posts mission wide.
All section heads will review Emergency Action Committee
(EAC) roles with their staffs. Post will reconvene its Avian
Flu Working Group, which will coordinate with the Embassy
Avian Flu Working Group.
8. (U) G. Post feels that the current schedule of CME
training, once every two years, is appropriate. Most mid and
upper-level officers serve three or four years in Sao Paulo.
The current schedule allows for more recent arrivals to
undergo training, building on the previous training given to
officers of longer tenure. Post RSO will contact CM when new
threat and crime trends develop prior to the next visit, so
that new scenarios can be added to upcoming training
SAO PAULO 00000055 002 OF 002
9. (U) H. Post felt it was helpful to get input from the
Consulate Staff in order to create the scenarios for the
exercise. Post recommends that funding be provided to send
one or more consulate staff (American and FSN) to the Foreign
Service Institute for advanced crisis management training. A
likely candidate could be an American employee newly arrived
at post assigned to a three year tour and/or an FSN of
long-standing tenure (5-7 years) who has shown leadership