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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report, March 2008

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RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7825
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ APR QUITO 1846
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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 000593

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, MARCH 2008

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in March 2008:
** CORAH has eradicated a total of 2,779 hectares of coca in
CY 2008.

** Preparations are being made for eradication operations in
high-threat area near Aucayacu.

** The first female DIRANDRO officer killed in action was a
graduate of a NAS-supported Police Academy.

** The first-ever opium processing laboratory found in Peru
was seized in San Martin region.

** The 4 PNP Pre-Academies to start soon with more than 850
students.

** NAS is setting up an FOL at Tingo Maria for 10 UH-2 and 3
MI-17 helicopters to support operations near Aucayacu.

** UH-2 blade damaged during extraction of interdiction team;
potentially pricey unscheduled maintenance cost.

** Unprogrammed costs and unscheduled maintenance continue to
be a major concern for aviation operations in Peru.

** GOP has been using the two NAS-funded C-26s until their
aircraft are repaired; this is contrary to our MOU.

** Initial helicopter training for NAS pilots in Colombia
nears reality; significant cost savings are expected.

** This month, Peruvian Customs and the police seized a total
of 3.6 tons of cocaine HCl with NAS assistance.

** The C-26 with FLIR located a drug collection center on a
beach south of Chiclayo; seized 1200 kg of cocaine.

** Peru's Congress votes to modify the GOP's asset forfeiture
law.

** A local marketing firm is studying youth ages 10-18 in the
poorer sections of Lima to design a media campaign.
END SUMMARY

--------------------------------------------- ---
ERADICTION IN TOCACHE FOCUSES ON REPLANTED COCA
--------------------------------------------- ---
2. (U) As of March 31, CORAH has eradicated a total of 2,779
hectares. Eradication operations have focused solely on the
Tocache area so far during the 2008 eradication season.
CORAH found that 59 percent of the coca eradicated was
replanted since being eradicated in 2005 and 2006. Repeat
operations by CORAH demonstrate to farmers the GOP's resolve
to halt coca cultivation and pushes them to consider
alternative development options.

-----------------------------------------
CORAH PREPARES FOR MOVE TO AUCAYACU AREA
-----------------------------------------
3. (SBU) CORAH's base camp in the Aucayacu area will be
located in an isolated area with no road access. The site
chosen is also higher than the surrounding terrain, which
provides an advantage for defending the base. Aucayacu is
considered a high risk area with a high probability for
conflict. CORAH is now preparing the base camp, which will
house about 680 personnel (300 CORAH, 300 PNP, 80 Peruvian
Army). Helicopters will be used to supply the base, and
personnel will be ferried to the eradication zones by
helicopter as well. The base will be relatively close to
coca concentrations to the north and south of Aucayacu.
CORAH will use the same work strategy as now where the
eradication force will be divided in two groups so that while
one group eradicates while the other one rests. The
helicopters will be based in Tingo Maria, about 14 minutes of
flying time from the base camp. The Aucayacu operations are
expected to start mid-May.

---------------------------------------------
FIRST FEMALE DIRANDRO OFFICER KILLED IN VRAE
---------------------------------------------
4. (U) In the early evening of March 23, DIRANDRO officer
Marily Solier Galivan was killed by weapons' fire in a
narco-terrorist ambush. Seven other police were injured in
the attack. NAS provided fuel for the PNP's Antonov aircraft
in order to evacuate the injured to Lima. Officer Solier had
graduated from the NAS-sponsored PNP Academy in Ayacucho last
March. She was the first policewoman killed from among the
389 women who have been trained at the NAS-funded PNP Police
Academies east of the Andes. The brutal attack took place at
6:50 p.m. as two patrol cars from the Special Operations Road
Group were returning to Ayacucho. The vehicles were
surprised on a narrow road between Huamangilla and Tambo in
the Huanta-Ayacucho area. Police believe the attack was a
revenge killing for the Group's previous interdiction of
chemical precursors on the notorious narco-transit route out
of the VRAE--or was an effort to deter DIRANDRO from future
patrolling. After the initial surprise, the police regrouped
and repelled the attackers, saving the lives of the remaining
officers. Of the 16 other officers were involved, 7 were
wounded.

5. (U) Sub-official Solier was buried March 25 in her home
town of Huanta. There was a huge popular outpouring of
support for her family--significant because Huanta is known
as the 'white city' for all of the cocaine that transits
through the town, and the rally was against the
narco-terrorism that was behind Solier's murder.

-----------------------------------
OPIUM PROCESSING LABORATORY SEIZED
-----------------------------------
6. (U) The PNP's Department of Tactical Operations (DOTAD) in
Tarapoto, with intelligence provided by DIRANDRO intelligence
units, destroyed an opium processing laboratory in the
vicinity of Soritos, province of Moyobamba in San Martin that
resulted in. The raid happened during the night and early
morning of the March 14-15. The PNP seized 106 kilograms of
opium latex and 400 grams of morphine. Six people were
arrested, including one female. This DIRANDRO group is led
by DEA and supported by NAS (supplies/logistics).

7. (U) An opium latex processing lab was seized, which is a
first, according to DIRANDRO and NAS Police Program memory.
Although it was a very rustic laboratory, this presents a new
trend in the local, illegal narcotics trade. The ability to
produce morphine, a very lucrative type of narcotic, is a
reason for concern since additional strategies and assets may
have to be directed to finding and eradicating the poppy
fields.

8. (U) The NAS police program dedicated assets in the past to
an opium poppy strategy that has since been suspended due to
the high operating cost and diminishing assets paired with a
loss of interest by past DIRANDRO leadership. It may be
worthwhile to re-evaluate this problem and invite DIRANDRO to
prepare an action plan to address these new developments.

--------------------------------------------- ------
DIRANDRO'S POLICE PRE-ACADEMIES START NEW SESSIONS
--------------------------------------------- ------
9. (U) A total 852 new students from local communities have
so far been recruited for the four PNP-NAS police
pre-academies: Ayacucho (353), Santa Lucia (70), Mazamari
(160), and Tarapoto (269). The classes, slated to start by
early May, will prepare the students for the police test in
2009.

10. (U) During March, 255 cocaine-base production
laboratories and 5 cocaine HCl laboratories were destroyed,
and 105,789 kg of chemical precursors and 3,905 kg of cocaine
base were seized.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
PLANNING CONTINUES FOR CORAH MOVE TO HIGH-THREAT AUCAYACU
--------------------------------------------- -------------
11. (SBU) The aviation assets needed for the eradication
operations in the Aucayacu will be based at the Tingo Maria
airport. Minor construction will be required such as cement
helicopter pads, a fence or wall for security of 10 UH-2s and
3 police MI-17s helicopters, an area for helicopter
maintenance, and temporary living quarters for mechanics and
alert crews on standby. Flight crews received refresher
training on sling loads/external cargo operations. All
logistics support will be by air, since there are no roads
into the operations area.

12. (SBU) NAS Aviation Advisors met with General Pedro Minaya
Torres, the Commanding General of the FAP on March 3. The
meeting was prompted by a letter from the NAS Director
regarding the use of the 2 C-26 aircraft for other than CN
flights, contrary to the terms of our MOU. The C-26s have
become the primary transport for President Alan Garcia, other
GOP officials, and the FAP high command, because the 4 FAP
aircraft that are normally used are all being repaired. NAS
doesn't pay for fuel for these flights, but we pay for the
training of pilots and maintenance with an ARINC contract.
Minaya requested our cooperation until the FAP aircraft were
again operational by the end of April. As recompense, Minaya
offered the use of FAP aircraft to support NAS CN missions at
no cost to NAS. (Note: This concession by the general was
uncharacteristic of him and must have been difficult. End
Note.)

--------------------------------------------- --------
MORE MAINTENANCE COSTS; UH-2 BLADE DAMAGED IN ATTACK
--------------------------------------------- --------
13. (U) Unprogrammed cost and unscheduled maintenance for the
UH-2s continue to be a major factor in aviation operations in
Peru. On March 23 after a CN operation in the VRAE, the last
helicopter leaving the landing zone was attacked by locals
who rushed the helicopter, throwing an object into the blades
and damaging one of them. The cost for repairing or
replacing the blade will not be known until it is inspected
in the U.S. A replacement blade could cost as much as USD
$113,000. At the semi-annual aviation safety stand-down on
March 27, we reemphasized to the flight crews and CN police
the proper procedures for extraction or insertion in hostile

situations.

--------------------------------------------- --------
SAVING EXPECTED WITH HELICOPTER TRAINING IN COLOMBIA
--------------------------------------------- --------
14. (U) Coordination continues on the Initial Entry Rotary
Wing (IERW) training initiative for NAS Peru in Colombia.
Cost for the training has been established for two Peruvian
Air Police students starting in July. A Peruvian Instructor
Pilot will be sent to Colombia as a guest instructor for two
years. The formal request has been sent to the Commander of
the Air Police and forwarded to the Minister of Interior for
approval. NAS Peru and Air Police personnel will visit
Colombia in May for final coordination.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
PORTS PROGRAM SEIZES 3.6 METRIC TONS OF COCAINE IN MARCH
--------------------------------------------- ------------
15. (U) During March 2008, Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) and the
PNP seized a total of 3,620 kg of cocaine HCl with assistance
from the NAS Maritime/Ports Program. At the Jorge Chavez
International Airport (JCIA), SUNAT seized a total of 136 kg
of cocaine HCl. The Peruvian Post Office project seized 27
kg of cocaine HCl. The PNP at JCIA seized an additional 28
kilos.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
TRAFFICKERS ALTER TACTICS TO AVOID X-RAY BODY SCANNER
--------------------------------------------- ---------
16. (U) Only 10 internal carriers (mules) were captured this
month due to repairs on the x-ray body scanner, changes in
personnel, and tactical adjustments by narcotraffickers by
conspiring with "insiders". One insider tactic used to avoid
the body scanner occurred on March 15. Airline security
personnel alerted SUNAT that some of the black bags
containing blankets for passengers were suspicious. SUNAT
found 33 kg of cocaine HCl in 32 "bricks". On March 6, SUNAT
found 14,000 Euros of undeclared cash stashed in the luggage
of a Colombian national on an Avianca flight from Bogota to
Lima.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
DRUGS SEIZED ON A REMOTE BEACH AND ON THE AMAZON RIVER
--------------------------------------------- ----------
17. (U) On March 7, the PNP--led by DEA--seized 1,200 kg of
cocaine HCl at a beach about 2 hours by road south of
Chiclayo and arrested 4 Ecuadorian females between the ages
of 18-23 and seized two automatic rifles. The cocaine was to
be transported by boat to an unknown destination. The
NAS-supported C-26 with FLIR provided reconnaissance support.
On March 23, 413 kg of cocaine HCl were seized near
Tamshiyacu (just south of Iquitos) on the Amazon River, and
two traffickers were arrested.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
TWO COCAINE SITES RAIDED; PORT POLICE OFFICER IMPLICATED
--------------------------------------------- ------------
18. (U) On March 29, a joint Customs/PNP) task force seized
1806 kg of cocaine HCl in two trafficker transit points in
the districts of Ventanilla (near the Port of Callao) and La
Molina (an upper-class district in Lima). In Ventanilla, 524
kg of cocaine was seized and 1,282 kg was seized in La
Molina. One female PNP officer assigned to the port was
arrested for alleged involvement in facilitating the transfer
of the drugs from the transit points to the port.

----------------------------------------
NAS SUPPORTS GOP'S ASSET FORFEITURE LAW
----------------------------------------
19. (U) The Garcia Administration presented Decree 992 to the
Peruvian Congress in July 2007. The Decree allows the GOP to
seize illicitly gained assets from many activities. The
Decree went into effect November 2007. Since then, there has
been a concerted effort by opposition Congressmen to have the
law declared unconstitutional, because it allegedly violated
guarantees of property. Those efforts finally ended when
Congress voted on March 28 to modify the law in several
aspects. Among the approved changes, the Public Ministry was
placed in charge of investigating claims made that someone's
assets were illicitly obtained instead of requiring that the
accused prove that his assets were legally obtained. It also
limited the application of the law to assets garnered from
certain crimes such as narco-trafficking, money laundering,
terrorism, kidnapping, and trafficking in persons. NAS
worked closely with the Ministry of Justice to carry out a
media campaign in newspapers and on radio explaining the
purpose of law to the public.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
MARKETING STUDY SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO REACH YOUTH
--------------------------------------------- ----------
20. (U) NAS has hired a local marketing company to study the
attitudes and perceptions of youth ages 10-18 in the middle
to lower socioeconomic levels. There are many studies on
youth's attitude toward drugs, but nothing in Peru on the
best way to reach this target audience. The study should
help in the design of future communications campaigns. It
focuses on investigating such things as: how youth receive
information (e.g., TV, radio, internet, word of mouth); what
phrases and slang are used in spoken and written
communication (e.g., on chat sites, emails, and blogs); who
are their role models and why; what influence does their
family and friends have; and what is their view of the
future. The marketing company is charging below market
prices to demonstrate good corporate social responsibility.
MCKINLEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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