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Cablegate: Follow-Up with Senior Justice On Drug and Weapons

VZCZCXRO2662
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHSO #0077/01 0511411
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201411Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7919
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 3313
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9069
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3065
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0678
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ PRIORITY 3722
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 2619
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 2315
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE PRIORITY 4006
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8590
RUEAWJF/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SAO PAULO 000077

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA AND INL
NSC FOR TOMASULO
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
USAID FOR LAC/AA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/2018
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV OEXC SNAR KCRM BR
SUBJECT: FOLLOW-UP WITH SENIOR JUSTICE ON DRUG AND WEAPONS
TRAFFICKING

REF: 07 SAO PAULO 991

Classified By: Consul General Thomas White; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
-------

1. (C/NF) Sao Paulo State Court of Appeals Criminal Division
Justice, Jose Amado de Faria Souza, told Consul General (CG)
that while his concerns expressed reftel regarding the
possible transportation of heavy weapons across the
Tri-Border Area (TBA) and from Colombia into Brazil were
based on cases he reviewed 10-15 years ago, he believes that
Brazil's law enforcement community and judiciary are not
sufficiently focused on the possible connections between
organized crime and terrorism today. Justice Souza claimed
that the federal government does not want to accept warnings
from the Federal Police about such possible connections. He
offered to continue providing information regarding these
issues to the Consulate. End Summary.

2. (C/NF) Consul General met with Sao Paulo State Court of
Appeals Criminal Division Justice Jose Amado de Faria Souza
on January 22, in part to follow up on his December 2007
conversation with Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg West (reftel).
Justice Souza has just returned to the Criminal Division
after a decade-long absence, and is interested in rekindling
a relationship with the Consulate and with the U.S. law
enforcement community. Recalling his experience as an
International Visitor (IV) in 1992, Souza asked us to help
him find contact information for incumbents in the positions
with whom he met during his IV trip, particularly in DOJ and
State/INL (Note: Since his meeting with the CG, we have
provided him with this information. End Note.) Souza said
that in the late 1980s and early 1990s he occasionally shared
information with ConGen Sao Paulo in cases where the
Consulate was concerned that suspected criminals might be
planning travel to the United States. According to Justice
Souza, the Consulate would pass the name of suspected
individuals to him to check on whether or not the individual
had any criminal history. Justice Souza stated this also was
useful for the courts in monitoring individuals who might be
involved in transnational crime. He described this as an
"informal" arrangement, as there might be resistance from
some political quarters to any formal understanding.

3. (C/NF) Questioned about his assertion to visiting
Assistant U.S. Attorney West in December that heavy weapons
had been transported across the Tri-Border Area (TBA) and
from Colombia into Brazil, Justice Souza clarified that his
assessment is based on cases he reviewed 10-15 years ago,
before he transferred out of the Criminal Division in the
1990s. He related an environment during that period -
without detailing specific cases - where cross-border drug
traffickers, principally along the Colombian border, but also
along the Bolivian border and the TBA, often were trading
weapons as part of the drug trafficking system. He indicated
that weapons were being acquired by organized crime groups in
Brazil, but also was concerned that such traffic could also
be used by groups in areas like the TBA that had links to the
Middle East and North Africa.

4. (C/NF) Justice Souza repeated concerns expressed to
Assistant U.S. Attorney West that senior Brazilian law
enforcement and justice officials are not sufficiently
concerned about possible connections between organized crime
and terrorism. He cited a close Federal Police contact who
has worked in the TBA, who claims that Brasilia -- presumably
referring to political-level officialdom -- is deaf to
Federal Police efforts to pass on information about such
possible connections.

SAO PAULO 00000077 002 OF 002

5. (C/NF) Comment: Justice Souza's clarifications on arms
movements are somewhat reassuring, given the alarming nature
of some of his comments reported in reftel. He made clear
that his December comments referred to events some 10-15
years ago, and referred to drug traffickers, rather than
terrorist groups. Nonetheless, he is concerned that the
drugs and arms connection could be extended to terrorist
sympathizers, in an environment where GOB control of borders
is weak, and where federal officials remain skeptical or
disinterested in possible organized crime connections with
Middle East-connected groups. End Comment.

6. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia Law
Enforcement Working Group.
WHITE

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