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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report, April 2008

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0812/01 1292153
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 082153Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8584
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5702
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7845
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY QUITO 1885
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 000812

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, APRIL 2008

---------
SUMMARY
---------
1. (U) The key developments in April 2008:
** As of April 30, CORAH has eradicated a total of 3,404
hectares of coca.

** In first-ever raid of an opium laboratory, police seized
100 kg of opium latex and 400 grams of morphine.

** Heavy rains slow preparations for CORAH's move to the
Aucayacu; eradication start date pushed to mid June.

** On April 4, the PNP seized a C-206 aircraft that was
landing on a clandestine runway in the Region of Puno.

** Rain delays the move of UH-2 and MI-17 helicopter
operations to Tingo Maria to support eradication.

** DIRANDRO is deploying 871 new police graduates among the
94 Anti-Drug units in the VRAE and the Upper Huallaga.

** UH-2 crash lands during routine training flight; no
injuries but damage to helicopter requires repair in U.S.

** C-26 could not participate in Operation All-Inclusive
because its sensors--FLIR and camera--are being repaired.

** B-1900D provides unscheduled transportation for Peruvian
President from Ayacucho when GOP plane breaks.

** The B-1900D will relocate to Pucallpa May 13-19 to free
parking space for aircraft with the Latin America/ Caribbean
and European Union Summit.

** Peruvians participate in several USCBP trainings to
improve interdiction capabilities at sea and airports.

** Ports of Callao and Paita will be getting camera
surveillance systems to monitor activity 24/7.

** A CADCA technical assistance visit focused on developing
sustainability plans for the coalitions
END SUMMARY

----------------------------------------
ERADICTION IN TOCACHE COMING TO A CLOSE
----------------------------------------
2. (U) As of April 30, CORAH has eradicated a total of 3,404
hectares of coca. Operations continue near Tocache. When
CORAH starts its major eradication operations in the Aucayacu
area, now slated for June 1, operations will continue in
Tocache at a reduced level to eradicate residual coca. On
April 3, a CORAH worker was hit by three shotgun pellets.
Since the shots were fired from a distance, the wounds were
superficial. The incident occurred in part because he
violated procedure by going ahead of the group without
security. His contract will not be renewed and his immediate
supervisors was reprimanded.

--------------------------------------------- -
HEAVY RAINS SLOW MOVE TO NEW ERADICATION SITE
--------------------------------------------- -
3. (SBU) An unusually long rainy season has slowed progress
on preparing the aviation facilities in Tingo Maria and, as a
result, the CORAH base camp in the Aucayacu area is not yet
usable (see Para 11). The base camp will be supported by
helicopters only (the camp is in an isolated area without
road access for security reasons). CORAH will begin
eradication by mid-June (originally scheduled for mid-May).

4. (U) NAS met with CORAH personnel in Pucallpa during the
week of April 7 to discuss budget problems created by the
fall of the dollar. The unfavorable exchange rate affects
the costs for all of CORAH's operations. More than ever, it
is important to ensure accurate budget forecasting and to
understand the impact of the diminished budget on operations
and on others, e.g., the PNP and contractors.

--------------------------------------------- ---
POLICE RAID LAB AND SEIZE 400 GRAMS OF MORPHINE
--------------------------------------------- ---
5. (SBU) In San Martin, officers seized more than 100 kg of
opium latex, 400 grams of morphine, and arrested six people.
(Comment: According to analysts, this was the first raid ever
on a laboratory in Peru found to be transforming opium latex
into morphine and heroin. And, it is reportedly a matter of
serious concern to the authorities, because of what it
implies regarding narcotrafficking from Peru. While such
"vertical integration" has long been possible, it was
believed that transformation of opium latex into consumable
end products was not desired by the market. End Comment)

--------------------------------------------- --------
POLICE CATCH DRUG PLANE ON CLANDESTINE LANDING STRIP
--------------------------------------------- --------
6. (U) On April 4, the PNP Special Operations group in
Mazamari and DIRANDRO Intelligence personnel seized a C-206
aircraft that was landing on a clandestine runway in the
province of Sandia, Region of Puno. As the plane landed, the
pilot realized the PNP was waiting in ambush and tried to
take off again. The police shot at the plane, fatally
wounding the Bolivian pilot and injuring the Peruvian
co-pilot. The operation yielded 132 kg of cocaine HCl,
several hundred USD, radio communications equipment,
ammunition, and a rifle. Also, in early in April, the PNP
seized 1.5 metric tons of cocaine HCl in the region of
Lambayeque.

7. (U) On April 18,2006 a DIRANDRO task force eradicated an
8-hectare plot of opium poppy in the town of Celendin in
Cajamarca and a 2-hectare plot in the province of Humalies,
Region of Huanuco. The two operations yielded approximately
95,000 opium plants, which is the first opium poppy
eradicated in CY 2008. In the VRAE, DIRANDRO destroyed 97
cocaine-base laboratories, 2 cocaine-HCl laboratories, and
destroyed 2,500 kg of precursor chemicals. To date DIRANDRO
has destroyed 357 cocaine-base laboratories and seized 7,536
kg of cocaine base, 4,632 kg of cocaine HCl, and 7,536 tons
of chemical precursors.

8. (U) DIRANDRO will deploy the 871 new police graduates
among the 94 existing Anti-Drug and Intelligence units in the
VRAE and the Huallaga River valleys. There are now four
PNP-NAS Police pre-Academies: Mazamari, Ayacucho, Santa
Lucia, and Ayacucho, which have enrolled 782 students from
the local communities to begin a nine-month, academic
preparation for taking the Police Academy entrance exam.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
HEAVY RAINS DELAY WORK ON AVIATION SITE IN TINGO MARIA
--------------------------------------------- ----------
9. (U) Preparations continue for shifting UH-2 and MI-17
helicopter operations from Santa Lucia to Tingo Maria, which
will support eradication operations in the Aucayacu area of
San Martin. Since eradication is expected to be opposed by
the local cocalero organizations and the Shining Path
narco-terrorists, minor construction is being done to improve
perimeter security and the ramp area for UH-2 and MI-17
helicopters. Unfortunately, construction has been hampered
by the inordinately long rainy season. Eradication
operations were originally scheduled to start on May 15, but
CORAH's move to the base camp cannot be done until aviation
can supply the base. The base camp will be totally supplied
by air. The base camp is now scheduled to open on June
1--after aviation operations move to Tingo Maria--and
eradication would start about a week later. NAS plus the RSO
and the Peruvian Aviation Police are regularly reviewing
progress and security considerations. Meetings were held
with the local PNP and Peruvian Army representatives.

--------------------------------------------- -----
UH-2 LANDING ACCIDENT REQUIRES REPAIR IN THE U.S.
--------------------------------------------- -----
10. (U) During a routine training flight in Santa Lucia, a
UH-2 had a landing accident. Damage was confined to the rear
skid tubes and the aft fuselage section. INL/A appointed an
accident investigation board that has completed its work and
published its findings. The UH-2 remains at Santa Lucia
pending transfer to Pucallpa where it will later be
transported for repair to the U.S. by a USAF C-17.

11. (U) NAS aviation is providing UH-2 and fuel support for
an aggressive interdiction campaign in the VRAE. From the
PNP bases at both Mazamari and Palmapampa, UH-2s have been
transporting the Drug Police on their intelligence-driven
missions. Additionally, NAS provides fuel to a PNP MI-17
that supported interdiction efforts near Puerto Maldonado in
the Madre de Dios region. The results there included one
light aircraft (C-206) captured at a clandestine airstrip
(see Para 3).

12. (U) The B-1900D aircraft was used for an unscheduled
mission to provide return transportation to Lima for Peruvian
President Alan Garcia on April 15. President Garcia had
flown to the city of Ayacucho that morning but his aircraft,
a FAP C-26, experienced a generator malfunction and needed a
new part from Lima. The Office of the Presidency requested
support from the Aviation Police who did not have any assets
available and requested NAS support. With the Ambassador's
approval, the B-1900D flew to Ayacucho to transport President
Garcia and his party to Lima. To its credit, the FAP
transported the replacement part and mechanics to Ayacucho
and had the aircraft operational shortly after the B-1900D
had left with Garcia.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
LAC-EU SUMMIT REQUIRES THE B-1900D TO MOVE TO PUCALLPA
--------------------------------------------- ----------
13. (U) During the 5th Latin America/Caribbean and European
Union Summit on May 13-19, the B-1900D will relocate to
Pucallpa. During the Summit, the ramp space used to park the
B-1900D at Lima's airport will be used for parking the
aircraft of the visiting heads-of-state and delegations that
will be attending the LAC-EU Summit. The FAP has authorized
the B-1900D to land at the FAP base at Las Palmas in Lima so
that NAS logistics operations are not seriously affected.
The GOP had requested five UH-2s be moved from east of the
Andes to Lima to support the Summit. The request was denied.


--------------------------------------------- --------
BOTH DIGITAL CAMERA AND FLIR FOR C-26 DOWN FOR REPAIR
--------------------------------------------- ---------
14. (U) The FLIR on the C-26 stopped working this month.
After initial troubleshooting, the decision was made to
return the system to the manufacturer for repair. The system
is expected to be repaired and back in Peru by mid-May. Cost
of the repair is estimated at $60,000. The repairs to the
turret of the ADS digital mapping camera are complete, and
the system is expected to be shipped to Lima during the first
part of May. The manufacturer suspected that aerodynamic
forces on the camera turret caused the damage, so an acrylic
blister was designed to fit over the turret. Unfortunately,
without either sensor available, the C-26s were unable to
participate in DEA's Operation All-Inclusive during April.

--------------------------------------------- ----
PERUVIANS GET EXTENSIVE CUSTOMS TRAINING IN U.S.
--------------------------------------------- ----
15. (U) Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) and the Ministry of
Transportation and Communications sent personnel for training
to the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) International
Seaport Interdiction Training (ISIT), Charleston, South
Carolina; International Border Interdiction Training (IBIT),
McAllen/Hidalgo, Texas; and X-ray Certification Training in
Virginia. These courses will improve SUNAT's interdiction
capabilities as well as provide, for the first time, an
in-country x-ray certification/licensing process/system for
the Peruvian Ministry of Transportation and Communication who
oversee security (to include counternarcotics) at all
Peruvian seaports and airports.

--------------------------------------------- --------
CAMERAS ARRIVE SOON TO SURVEIL THE AIR AND SEA PORTS
--------------------------------------------- --------
16. (U) NAS will be sponsoring a camera project that can
monitor the entire port of Paita, 24/7, by SUNAT for the
first time. The camera project for the Port of Callao is
slated to be completed by May 12. This project will also
provide, for the first time, the ability to monitor the
entire port of Callao on a 24/7 basis. The surveillance
system will serve as a countermeasure for "rip-off loads"
(cocaine thrown into sea-going containers just prior to being
loaded onto ships) and simultaneously assist Peruvian ports
to get certified in accordance with the International Ship
and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), which will start in
June 2008 by the US Coast Guard. This certification is
essential for avoiding problems for Peruvian exports going to
the US.

17. (U) SUNAT interdiction units seized at least 816 kg of
cocaine leaving Peru during April at the Lima international
airport, seaports, international postal service, and through
international alerts. So far this year, 4,380 kg of cocaine
HCl has been seized and 3 individuals arrested. The
counter-drug alert/interdiction system is working well as
seen by two seizures of cocaine HCl in Charleston, SC--100 kg
on April 4 and 545 kg on April 20. The alerts were issued by
the Manifest Review Unit at Callao.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WORKSHOPS FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
--------------------------------------------- ----------
18. (U) On April 21-25, the U.S.-based NGO Community
Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) conducted technical
assistance workshops in Lima. The two 2-day workshops were
conducted, one for the five coalitions that are in their
third year of development and the other for the six
coalitions that started in FY08. CADCA devoted one day to
visiting coalitions in their communities. The workshop
participants included the three-member NGO teams facilitating
the coalitions and, more importantly, five coalition leaders
from each community. During this visit, CADCA focused on how
to create a sustainability plan for the coalitions that takes
into account the social, economic, and political realities in
Peru. The community members demonstrated a sophisticated
understanding of how community anti-drug coalitions work and
of what is involved in identifying local and national sources
of support. As local capacity grows, CADCA plans to
coordinate closely with the coalitions to design technical
assistance on issues more specific to coalition building in a
developing country like Peru.
MCKINLEY

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