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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report for February 2008

VZCZCXYZ1751
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0398/01 0661427
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061427Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8110
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5581
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7791
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR QUITO 1805
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 000398

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 FOR FEBRUARY 2008

REF: LIMA 000281

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in February 2008:

** CORAH has eradicated a total of 1,615 hectares of coca in
these first two months of 2008.

** Eradication operations continue despite cocalero protests
and adverse weather conditions.

** INL A/S David Johnson met with high-level government
officials in Lima and visited NAS facilities.

** Rear Admiral Craig Bone of the USCG met with his Peruvian
counterparts.

** 13 PNP paramedics initiate a prevention campaign on
tropical and sexually transmitted diseases in Santa Lucia for
PNP and community.

** Analysis of recent news about narco-influence on the
justice system and the Shining Path narco-terrorists.

** Pilot training conducted in night-vision goggles and for
crew chief with the M-60D machinegun on the UH-2s.

** UH-2 performs an emergency landing due to engine problems;
no one hurt but helo damage is extensive.

** Initial Entry Rotary Wing training at Fort Rucker is
reduced to just 3 slots due to a cut in DOD 9201 funds.

** SUNAT is seizing more illicit cash; showing a more
aggressive stance in money laundering cases.

** NAS Communications Programs works with media experts in
the war of words on coca and narcotrafficking.

** Demand Reduction Program terminates NGO grant for
unsatisfactory performance; new evaluation process works.
END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- ---
ERADICATION OPERATIONS CONTINUE IN TOCACHE AREA
--------------------------------------------- ---
2. (U) As of February 29, CORAH has eradicated a total of
1,615 hectares of coca--a total not reached until the end of
May last year. Operations are continuing in the Tocache
Province in San Martin despite heavy rains.

---------------------------------------
PLANNING FOR THE NEXT ERADICATION SITE
---------------------------------------
3. (U) In spite of repeated attempts by cocalero leaders to
mount protests against the on-going eradication operations
near Tocache, and adverse weather conditions, CORAH
operations have proceeded smoothly. Often it was necessary
to take preemptive, public communications initiatives to
discredit would-be protestors, who, if allowed to succeed,
could seriously affect the operations.

4. (SBU) On February 21, NAS Eradication and Police Advisors
met with CORAH, DIRANDRO, DIRAVPOL and the PNP officer in
charge of the Huallaga Front to discuss the next areas for
eradication near Aucayacu and Tingo Maria. The joint
planning session began coordinating the move to the new base
camp, which will be built from the ground up, starting in mid
April. Eradication operations will start as soon as the base
camp is ready to accept the task force of some 700 strong.
As eradication continues toward the north around Tocache,
DIRANDRO will conduct intelligence gathering operations at
the next site near Aucayacu to determine the logistical
requirements needed for sustained interdiction operations and
to minimize cocalero-related activities in the region.
--------------------------------------------- ----------
INL A/S JOHNSON MEETS WITH PRIME MINISTER DEL CASTILLO
--------------------------------------------- ----------
5. (SBU) During a 2-day visit to Peru, INL A/S David Johnson
met with high-level government officials in Lima, and
observed the nexus between eradication and alternative
development in the San Martin area, as well as the NAS police
training program (Reftel). In his meeting with Prime
Minister Jorge del Castillo, the PM indicated a preference
for more efficient interdiction of precursor chemicals over
aggressive coca eradQR0F!8bstantial budget
cuts in 2008, saying effective investment of available
resources was more important than the amount. The PM was
aware that most of Peru's cocaine was going to destinations
other than the U.S., particularly Europe, but noted the EU
had not put drug control on the May EU-Latin America Summit
Agenda--something he would try to redress.

-----------------------------------------
USCG Admiral Bone visits Peruvian counterpart
-----------------------------------------
6. (U) Rear Admiral Craig Bone, Commander of the Eleventh
U.S. Coast Guard District in Alameda, CA, visited Peru at the
invitation of Rear Admiral F. Herrera, Commander of the
Peruvian Coast Guard (PCG) from February 25 to March 1.
During his stay, Admiral Bone met with the Peruvian Chief of
Naval Operations and key members of the Embassy's country
team to discuss CN operations and cooperation between the
USCG and Peru's Naval Services. Admiral Bone engaged in
extensive discussions with the PCG on a boarding-procedures
agreement currently being reviewed by the GOP. In addition
to visiting Peru's CG Operations Center, Captaincy of the
Port, Admiral Bone was accompanied by Admiral Herrera on a
trip to Iquitos to inspect facilities on the Amazon River.
Admiral Bone also visited SUNAT (Customs is part of this
entity) facilities and received a briefing from SUNAT's
Department of Control and Protection of Borders on their
efforts in the sea and air ports to combat drug trafficking
in Peru.

--------------------------------------------- ---
REPORTS ON NARCO-BASED CORRUPTION AND TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------- ---
7. (SBU) For an analysis of recent news stories about
narco-influence on the justice system see LIMA 0248, and for
a report on the Shining Path narco-terrorist organization,
see LIMA 0196.

--------------------------------------------- --
PARAMEDICS TRAIN PNP AND LOCALS IN SANTA LUCIA
--------------------------------------------- --
8. (U) A group of 13 PNP paramedics traveled to the Santa
Lucia police base to initiate a prevention campaign on
tropical (e.g., malaria, dengue, and yellow fever) and
sexually transmitted diseases. As part of the PNP's
community outreach program, the paramedics conducted a
session for the local population, who expressed appreciation
at the PNP initiative.

9. (U) In February, DIRANDRO destroyed 253 cocaine-base
laboratories and seized 121,819 kg of precursor chemicals,
184,971 kg of cocaine base, and 659,426 kg of cocaine HCl.

--------------------------------------------
AVIATION TRAINING CONTINUES AT A HIGH TEMPO
--------------------------------------------
10. (U) Aviation training was at a high tempo during the
month of February, because qualified pilots and crew chiefs
are critical for support of over 700 personnel (CORAH, PNP,
and the Peruvian Army) in a difficult field environment. We
focused on night-vision-goggle (NVG) training to ensure that
flight crews can support ground personnel in the field who
may become injured, wounded, sick, or under attack by
narco-terrorists. In addition, annual qualification sessions
with the M-60D machinegun for crew chiefs were conducted for
day and night operations from helicopters. Personnel were
instructed on the Rules of Engagement--correct procedures for
firing, control, and authorization to fire the M-60D from
helicopters by flight crews.

--------------------------------------------- ---
HELICOPTER MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING; NO INJURIES
--------------------------------------------- ---
11. (U) On 24 February near the Peruvian Army base at
Pichari, a UH-2 did an emergency landing due to engine
problems. The pilot executed the proper emergency procedure
as specified by the operator's manual and was able to land
safely. No one was injured. The UH-2 will be disassembled
for transport by an MI-17 helicopter by sling load to the NAS
base in Pucallpa. The engine and all major components will
be completely torn down and inspected due to the high engine
and rotor RPM, which exceeded all normal parameters. This
will be classified as an accident. A joint accident board
with DIRAVPOL, DynCorp, and NAS will be convened. This
accident will be expensive, because it is unscheduled
maintenance, which is not included in the NAS or Air Wing
budget and is not covered under the DynCorp maintenance
contract.

12. (U) The PNP closed their fixed-wing runway at the Palma
Pampa base because of ruts resulting from heavy rains. It
will be reopened when the runway is repaired.

--------------------------------------------- ---
DOD FUNDING SHARPLY CUT FOR TRAINING NEW PILOTS
--------------------------------------------- ---
13. (U) Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) training at Fort
Rucker has been reduced to just 3 slots due to a sharp
decrease in DOD 9201 funding for NAS-Lima. Next year, it is
very likely that there will be no DOD funds available. This
reduction of DOD funds coupled with the INL budget cuts will
not allow NAS Lima to maintain the flight crews needed to
support CN operations. New crew training is a constant due
to attrition from retirements, reassignment, and other
demands. Other options are being considered. As reported in
past monthly reports, the most promising option is an IERW
training agreement involving NAS-Bogota, MAAG-Bogota,
NAS-Lima, and INL/A. Details are being staffed at this time.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
SUNAT TAKES MORE AGGRESSIVE STANCE ON MONEY LAUNDERING
--------------------------------------------- ----------
14. (SBU) On February 25, an individual on a domestic flight
(Lima to Tumbes) was detained by SUNAT for carrying $120,000
in cash hidden in female nylon stocking strapped to his body.
A SUNAT canine (NAS trained) found the money. The
individual confessed to the money laundering. SUNAT is
becoming more aggressive in money laundering operations; this
is the second incident within the last 3 months of an illicit
money seizure on a domestic flight.

15. (SBU) On February 22, 99 kgs of cocaine HCl were seized
by SUNAT that were hidden inside wood planks going to Turkey.
The Manifest Review Unit provided the intelligence that
targeted this shipment of 13 tons of planks. The cocaine was
first detected by the SUNAT canines, followed by ion scanners
and other procedures. A NAS-supported PNP chemist confirmed
the finding. This is another example of SUNAT (Customs/IRS
equivalent) effectively using NAS training for a successful
seizure, and more nationalization of interdiction operations.

16. (SBU) In February, SUNAT seized 198 kgs of cocaine HCl at
the Jorge Chavez International Airport (JCIA) and SERPOST
(Peruvian Post Office). Also, 24 internal carriers
(swallowers) were detained out of 533 people that went
through the NAS-provided x-ray body scanner.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
MEDIA EXPERTS WORK TO COUNTER COCALERO MISINFORMATION
--------------------------------------------- ---------
17. (U) The war of words on coca and narcotrafficking is well
underway in the national and regional radio and press. Coca
growers are again claiming that their crops are being sprayed
with herbicides and are pressing the GOP to remove coca from
the list of proscribed drugs under the UN Vienna Convention.
On February 15, NAS hosted representatives of the various
NGOs that cooperate in our public media program at a half-day
seminar at which each of them presented their program
activities to the group. The group discussed media themes
and the topic of focus for 2008. Everyone looked for and
found opportunities to share information or cooperate in
different ways to help each other advance their efforts to
disseminate anti-narcotrafficking information to the Peruvian
public and to defuse cocalero propaganda.

--------------------------------------------- --
NEW DR EVALUATION PROCEDURES PROVE THEIR WORTH
--------------------------------------------- --
18. (U) On the last day of January, the grant of a
well-respected local NGO was terminated by the Demand
Reduction (DR) program because it became clear that it would
not "make satisfactory progress toward the goals, objectives
and performance measures" specified for the community
anti-drug coalition (CAC) project. The grant was terminated
by mutual consent. NAS's new, more rigorous monitoring and
evaluation procedures revealed that the CAC project was not
achieving its objectives for the latter part of FY 2007 and
the 1st quarter of FY 2008. A lesson learned from this
situation is that an NGO may not always select personnel with
the requisite management and interpersonal skills needed for
a project, no matter how explicitly it is stated in project
documents. NAS is planning to start another CAC in the
coming months. The number of CACs now stands at 11.
NEALON

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