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Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report for May 2008

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UNCLAS LIMA 000980

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 MAY 2008

(U) Summary:

- President Garcia visited Tocache and Santa Lucia Base in a
show of support for an area becoming known as the Tocache
Miracle.
- 700 December 2007 graduates of the NAS/PNP Academies
finished 4 months of additional specialized training.
- The completion of the Tingo Maria Staging Base has been
delayed by weather and other issues but eradication
operations will begin in the Sendero Luminoso (SL) stronghold
of Aucuyacu on August 1.
- Another Upper Huallaga SL leader was killed in a
confrontation with an army patrol May 18.
- Eradication statistics were up to 4,372 by the end of the
month.
- The ILEA-RTC Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the
Ambassador and Foreign Minister.
- An agreement was finally signed between warring ministries
on building a chemical data base that will help implement the
Chemical Control Law.
- The DIRANDRO Chemical group supported by NAS and DEA seized
tons of precursor chemicals during the month in the drug
production zones.
- A damaged NAS helicopter is currently awaiting transport to
the US for repairs or rebuild.
- NAS is providing support for MAAG refueling efforts during
the Nuevo Horizontes Exercise
- NAS continues preparations for PNP Guest Instructor Pilot's
assignment to Columbia flight school at Melgar.
- Drug destruction and seizure record for May.
- Peruvian Customs (SUNAT) cocaine seizures during May.
- PNP Chemical Group interdiction and seizures in May.
- NAS funding national money-laundering diagnostic.
- Ayacucho Youth Project showing tangible results in local
communities. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ---
PRESIDENT GARCIA VISITS SANTA LUCIA/TOCACHE AREA
--------------------------------------------- ---
1. (U) On May 21, President Garcia, DIRANDRO Gen.Hidalgo,
Huallaga Front Gen.Palomino, San Martin,s Regional President
and Congressional representatives visited the Santa Lucia PNP
base where they were briefed on ongoing interdiction and
eradication strategies in the UHV. The delegation continued
on to Tocache and Polvora. The visit was important because
until recently these towns were bastions of illegal coca
production in the UHV and considered too dangerous to visit.
Interestingly, the last President who visited the Tocache
area was President Garcia himself in 1989. His trip may
have been motivated by an editorial in the previous Sunday,s
El Comercio that lauded the achievements of eradication and
alternative development in the San Martin province (the
Tocache Miracle as journalists are calling the area). The
President promised the GOP would finish asphalting the
Fernando Belaunde Terry road and electrification projects
both important steps in consolidating state presence in the
region.

------------------------------------------
GRADUATION FROM SPECIAL OPERATIONS COURSES
------------------------------------------
2. (U) Santa Lucia and Mazamari Police Training Academies
concluded specialized training of around 700 police who were
inducted late and had graduated early (in December 2007)
thereby ensuring an annual schedule. The extra 4 months of
training they received in jungle operations, intelligence and
other tactics to fight narco-trafficking will provide the new
police with equivalent skills to previous classes. On May 6,
NAS Director Keogh and PNP Director Salazar attended the
passing out ceremonies in both Academies, along with large
numbers of proud family members.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
DELAY IN COMPLETING TINGO MARIA FORWARD OPERATING LOCATION
--------------------------------------------- -------------
3. (SBU) Preparations continue at the staging base at Tingo
Maria for eradication operations that are expected to start
in Aucuyacu, southern San Martin, on August 1. The
significant delay from the planned start date in May was
caused by weather and other impediments such as insufficient
intelligence and interdiction activity in an area where the
police expect strong opposition to eradication (publicly
announced by the Minister of Interior and DirGen of the PNP)
from local cocalero organizations and narco-terrorists. On
May 27, the PNP moved 5 armored vehicles to the area for use
during operations. Interdiction operations in the Aucayacu
area are beginning shortly. Approximately 300 DIRANDRO PNP
police from the Santa Lucia PNP base will be deployed in
support of the eradication plan, including recent graduates
from the NAS-PNP Academies.

---------------------------------
SENDERO LEADER KILLED NEAR MONZON
---------------------------------
4. (SBU) During a late-night confrontation between an army
(EP) patrol and a Sendero Luminoso (SL) column on May 18 in
the township of Sachavaca, near Monzon, the second-in-command
of SL Upper Huallaga known as Piero or Lee was killed
(according to a radio intercept). Blood was found at the
scene the next day, along with assault weapons, but no body.
Piero was the personal representative of SL UHV leader
Artemio with narco-traffickers and was believed to be
responsible for ambush that killed police and a fiscal in
Tocache in June 2007. This most recent setback to the SL UHV
may further reduce its ability to organize and conduct
attacks at a time when eradication is about to start in its
Aucuyacu stronghold; however, high security alert will be
maintained.

--------------------------------------
MAY ERADICATION UPDATE/PLANS FOR JUNE
--------------------------------------
5. (SBU) By the end of May, CORAH had eradicated a total of
4,372 hectares of illegal coca, 48 percent of which was
replanted coca. In early June, CORAH will focus on the areas
closest to the Santa Lucia Base and then move into the Sion
area. Following the completion of these areas, in
coordination with USAID, CORAH will move south to the
Yanajanca area (see para 3). Currently, NAS is working to
have MI-17 support for these missions to save UH-2H
helicopter hours. Adverse weather conditions impacted April
productivity. However, this month, by working in the Uchiza
and Tocache Districts in San Martin, CORAH picked up the
tempo and current results are now back in line with yearly
goals. By re-programming funds, CORAH will now be able to
hire 40 additional eradicators per month for the rest of the
year, excluding December.

-------------------
ILEA-RTC MOU SIGNED
-------------------
6. (U) In a positive development, on May 8, Ambassador
McKinley and Foreign Minister Belaunde signed a Memorandum of
Understanding formally establishing a Regional Training
Center (RTC) in Lima under the auspices of the International
Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) El Salvador. The Center is
expected to expand to become the law enforcement RTC for the
Southern Cone and Andean regions. Lima's objectives are to
provide the forum and the space bringing together officials
from the different regions of South America so as to provide
professional training, technical assistance and information
exchanges. The primary target audience is police,
prosecutors, judges and others involved in law enforcement
efforts. During the pilot project period, January 2006 until
May 2008, fifteen courses have been given at the ILEA RTC
Lima attended by law enforcement officials from Argentina,
Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Paraguay.
Course topics included trafficking in persons, drug
enforcement, money laundering, intellectual property rights,
enforcement of environmental laws, and combating terrorism.
Future courses will continue these themes as well as other
themes as proposed by the PNP hosts.

-------------------------------------
AGREEMENT ON CHEMICAL REGISTRY SIGNED
-------------------------------------
7. (SBU) In another positive development in early May, the
Ministry of Production and SUNAT (Customs and Excise)
finalized a cooperative agreement, now in force, on building
a pre-cursor chemical registry. The Precursor Chemical law
was passed by the Peruvian Congress in 2004, but a long fight
developed between the Ministries of Interior and Production,
and then with SUNAT, regarding who had the lead in developing
the implementing mechanisms such as a data base on legal
chemical use. NAS is now compiling the results of a site
survey on where 190 computers are to be installed and is
helping develop a plan for connectivity.

-----------------------------------
NAS/DEA/PNP CHEMICAL GROUP SEIZURES
-----------------------------------
8. (SBU) On May 1, the PNP Chemical Group (PNPCG) interdicted
4 vehicles in the vicinity of Huipoca and San Juan
transporting approximately 6 metric tons of sulfuric acid
destined for the Upper Huallaga Valley cocaine production
zone - Peruvian black market value (PBMV) of 120,000 USD.
Five Peruvian nationals were arrested and charged with
trafficking in controlled precursor chemicals. On the same
day, in the district of Villa Rica, the PNPCG seized 4 metric
tons of muriatic acid - PBMV of 13,800 USD; 140 kilos of
acetone - PBMV of 7,000 USD; 3 kilos of potassium
permanganate; and a 1990 Volvo F-12 Intercooler Turbo Cargo
Truck - estimated value of 80,000 USD. On May 26, in the
vicinity of Tingo Maria, PNPCG seized two metric tons of
sulfuric acid - PBMV of 40,000 USAD; 300 kilograms of
muriatic acid and 900 gallons of kerosene from 11 abandoned
laboratories. In May, the PNP seized and destroyed a total
of 184,678 kilos of chemical precursors.

--------------------------------------------- ---
NAS SUPPORT FOR MAAG "NUEVOS HORIZONTES" EXERCISE
--------------------------------------------- ----
9. (U) Due to recent implementing legislation on Pre-Cursor
Chemicals that included the control of kerosene and jet fuel
- key ingredients for drug production - the Military
Assistance Group (MAAG) was unable to obtain permission in
time to buy and transport the fuel required in support of
Exercise New Horizons. NAS assisted in providing refueling
for four CH-47s. All incurred expenses will be reimbursed by
MAAG.

-------------------------------------------
DAMAGED HELICOPTER AWAITING TRANSPORT TO US
-------------------------------------------
10. (U) Helicopter PNP-347 (UH-2), damaged during a routine
training flight landing at Santa Lucia, has been transported
to Pucallpa by truck and is awaiting transport to the US for
rebuild or repair. Currently, the Bolivian/NAS C1-30 is
expected to transport the helicopter to the US and then back
to Bolivia once repairs are completed.

--------------------------------------------- -
AVIATION OPS OFFICER AND PNP GUEST INSTRUCTOR
PILOT (IP) VISIT FLIGHT SCHOOL AT MELGAR
----------------------------------------
11. (U) NAS Aviation Operations Officer and the PNP Guest
Instructor Pilot visited Columbia to coordinate final
administrative details. NAS remains optimistic that he will
be able begin his flight instruction duties by the end of
June. Additionally, in July, as part of the Regional
Concept, two PNP student pilots are scheduled to attend the
Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) school at Melgar. They will
be the first students sent to Columbia for helicopter
training. Though the financial future of the school is
unknown at this time, NAS will continue to rely on the Melgar
facility as budget restraints make Fort Rucker or a civilian
flight school in the U.S. unrealistic. MAAG also supports
the Melgar school and DOS/Air Wing has recently donated 15
UH-1 helicopters to the school.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
NIGHT VISION GOGGLE (NVG) FLIGHT CONDUCTED IN PALMA PAMPA
--------------------------------------------- ------------
12. (SBU) A PNP platoon was sent to patrol the Palma Pampa
area (VRAE) after a U.S. security report indicated that an
estimated 60 Sendero Luminoso had moved into the small town
next to the base. A helicopter flight crew using NVGs
provided air support to the patrol in order to give early
warning and deter attack. Though no contact was made by the
patrol, the base remained on high alert.

--------------------------------------------- -------
DIRANDRO DRUG DESTRUCTION AND SEIZURE RECORD FOR MAY
--------------------------------------------- -------
13. (U) In May, DIRANDRO destroyed 448 cocaine base and 10
HCl cocaine laboratories. They seized a total of 9.5 metric
tons of drugs (includes cocaine, marihuana, and heroin).
Despite increased presence of SL narco-terrorists in the
VRAE, the PNP at Palma Pampa conducted approximately 68
interdictions and destroyed 101 laboratories during the month
of May. In response to the increased threat, the PNP's
security posture is at its highest in order to ensure
appropriate security for personnel involved in intelligence
and operational tasks in the VRAE.

--------------------------------------------- -------
PERUVIAN CUSTOMS (SUNAT) COCAINE SEIZURES AT AIRPORT
--------------------------------------------- -------
14. (U) During the month of May, SUNAT and the Peruvian Post
Office (SERPOST) seized 132.92 kilos of cocaine. Nineteen
internal carriers (mules), each carrying an average of 900
grams of cocaine, were apprehended, largely using the
NAS-provided Body Scanner X-Ray Machine. Additionally,
SUNAT/PNP conducted 43 narcotic interdictions resulting in
the seizure of 128.606 kilos of cocaine.

--------------------
SUNAT CANINE PROGRAM
--------------------
15. (SBU) Since the initiation of the NAS canine program in
April 2006, SUNAT has seized well over 15 metric tons of
cocaine. The institutionalization of a Peruvian canine
school is the final step in formalizing this highly
successful SUNAT/NAS program. In May, NAS sent three SUNAT
architects and engineers to the USCBP Canine Center in Front
Royal, Virginia. The participants, training will help SUNAT
create a national canine academy in Lima. Beginning in June,
and continuing through to October, 10 more SUNAT handlers and
15 Narcotics Detection K9s will be trained in Colombia by
USCBP K9 trainers resulting in a doubling of te SUNAT canine
force by the end of 2008. Additionally, Colombian
Anti-Narcotics Police will participate in this training as
observers. NAS anticipates a dramatic increase in port
seizures once the SUNAT K9 force is fully functional.

---------------------------------
PERUVIAN PORT FACILITY INSPECTION
---------------------------------
16. (SBU) The U.S. Coast Guard International Ship and Port
Facility (ISPS) Code inspection for Peru will begin mid-June.
During the month of May, in preparation for this inspection,
NAS sponsored a ship/Port Facility/vessel training and
certification course in the U.S. which was attended by the
General Manager and Chief of Security of the Peruvian
National Port Authority, several Port Directors and NAS
personnel. NOTE: The ISPS inspection certifies Peruvian
Ports that send ships and cargo to US ports.

-----------------------
MONEY LAUNDERING ISSUES
-----------------------
17. (U) In conjunction with DEVIDA, GOP's drug policy
office, NAS sponsored a grant to one of the country's
leading economic consultants, MacroConsult, to prepare a
National Money Laundering Diagnostic, to be delivered in
October 2008. The objective of the study is to understand
how money laundering is conducted in Peru and the
effectiveness of the GOP's efforts in address the problem.
The study will also lay out a list of recommendations for
the GOP to better combat money laundering in and through
Peru. Financial Intelligence Unit (now part of the Banking
Superintendency) Deputy Sylvia Yuan briefed the Congress that
money laundering and financial support for terrorism has
reached nearly 2 billion USD four times the figure often
cited by the GOP.

----------------------------------
Ayacucho Youth Project - Progress
---------------------------------
18. (U) CEDRO, the NGO managing the Ayacucho Youth Project
"Towards a Culture of Lawfulness" has signed 22 agreements
with local governments, the private sector and other
institutions to foster productive and cultural activities
among vulnerable youth groups. Several municipalities,
including the capital Ayacucho, have provided the project
with locations for activities. The Mayor is collaborating on
activities related to the recovery of the city's historical
sites. The private sector micro-finance NGO "Finca" will
give micro-credits to several youth groups interested in
productive market-oriented activities. A top Peruvian
company, AJE, has agreed to give young farmers from Huanta,
one of the areas of highest youth involvement in coca
cultivation and drug trafficking, an opportunity to grow
peaches which AJE will then buy for their fruit based
products. Additionally, CEDRO has organized more than 100
workshops and publicity events attracting greater numbers of
young people to join the project.
MCKINLEY

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