Search

 

Cablegate: Guatemala's Response to E-Trace Agreement

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGT #1351/01 3041806
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301806Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6346
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS GUATEMALA 001351

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR WHA/FO GIOVANNI SNIDLE AND ISN
STATE PLEASE PASS TO ATF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ARM MASS ETTC PE PREL XK GT
SUBJECT: GUATEMALA'S RESPONSE TO E-TRACE AGREEMENT

REF: STATE 106251

1. (SBU) Summary: Per reftel and in coordination with
ATF-Mexico, PolMil Officer held meetings with Colonel David
Napoleon Barrientos, the Director of Guatemala's Arms and
Munitions Control Department (DECAM), and members of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to gauge support for
Guatemala's participation in ATF's eTrace system and the
possibility of Guatemala's signing the reftel Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) at the December 12, 2008 U.S.-SICA
Dialogue on Security Meeting. Barrientos fully supports
Guatemala's participation in eTrace. MFA representatives
support signing the MOU in principle, but could not guarantee
that the legal departments of the MFA and MOD would be able
to analyze and approve the text of the MOU in time for the
December 12 signing ceremony. Post will continue to engaged
on this issue and will report on MOU negotiations Septel.

DECAM ON BOARD
--------------

2. (SBU) Thanks to a prior visit by members of ATF-Mexico,
Barrientos was well versed on the eTrace system, fully
supported Guatemala's participation, and stated that he had
previously forwarded a copy of the MOU to both Ministry of
Defense (MOD) and MFA lawyers for consideration. He stated
that if DECAM is able to gain access to eTrace he plans to
implement a policy to enter information on all weapons
presented for registration into eTrace in hopes of greatly
reducing the common practice of locally registering, and thus
legitimating, arms smuggled into to Guatemala from the United
States. A statute of Guatemala's current gun law, which is
unfortunately included in the new draft gun law now before
Congress, enables those in possession of unregistered weapons
to register them by simply presenting an affidavit attesting
that the weapon is a family heirloom passed down by a direct
relative. This loophole makes no mention of the age or type
of weapon that can be registered using this process, and
DECAM currently has no effective method of contesting these
affidavits. Barrientos hopes to use information obtained via
eTrace to contest these bogus affidavits and seize the
weapons in question. He believes that access to eTrace will
finally provide his office with a tool to stop the local
registration of black market weapons, which should eliminate
one of the factors driving the trade. (NOTE: NAS believes
that providing DECAM access to eTrace will complement plans
to also assist DECAM with obtaining IBIS ballistic
recognition equipment, that will increase Guatemala's ability
to investigate high profile cases. END NOTE.) Barrientos
points out that as DECAM is a dependency of the MOD, his
office has no investigative authority beyond the limited
scope of arms registration, but can share information with
other Guatemalan agencies.

MFA Cautiously Optimistic
-------------------------

3. (SBU) PolMil Officer met with Elena Barrientos (no
relation to Colonel Barrientos) in the MFA's legal office
regarding the eTrace MOU. She agreed to make examining the
MOU a top priority, but stated that as she would need to
obtain clearance from both her office and the MOD's legal
office she could not guarantee that the MOU would receive the
necessary clearances by December 12. PolMil officer made the
point that as the December 12 ceremony would include MOU
signings with other SICA countries it would be a strong
indication of Guatemala's commitment to SICA and increasing
international cooperation if Guatemala could also sign the
MOU at the event. She agreed that this would be a good
QMOU at the event. She agreed that this would be a good
outcome and promised to "fast track" the clearance process.
Colonel Barrientos informed PolMil Officer that the MOD's
legal department has already cleared on the MOU draft and
that the Minister of Defense personally expressed his support
for the eTrace program. PolMil Officer will follow up with
Elena Barrientos and with members of the MOD's legal office
to ensure that the clearance process stays on track.

Next Steps
----------

4. (SBU) The way forward on the eTrace MOU with DECAM was
greatly facilitated by a recent visit by members of
ATF-Mexico, who effectively explained eTrace to DECAM
officials. If DECAM makes good on its promise to enter all
weapons presented for registration into eTrace it will
provide a wealth of law enforcement information to U.S.
officials, as well as serve to curb the high demand for black
market weapons in Guatemala. DECAM, however, is not a law
enforcement agency with the ability to investigate or
prosecute crimes or criminal groups. Post believes that the
National Police's Compilation, Analysis and Dissemination of
Criminal Information Unit (CRADIC) should also be included in
the program. Unlike DECAM, CRADIC does have responsibility
for investigating criminal organizations, and could use the
eTrace data to uncover linkages between seemingly isolated
criminal acts and transnational criminal organizations. Post
urges ATF to send a team to Guatemala to discuss eTrace with
CRADIC leadership and the Ministry of Government, and to
explore the possibility of including CRADIC in the eTrace
system at some future date.


McFarland

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC