Cablegate: Chile: 2008-2009 Incsr 1 Submission


DE RUEHSG #0974/01 3042003
R 302003Z OCT 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 100970

I. Summary
Chile is a transit country for Andean cocaine shipments
destined for the U.S. and Europe. Chile has a domestic
cocaine and marijuana consumption problem, and use of the
amphetamine-type drug ecstasy is increasingly popular. Chile
is also a source of precursor chemicals for use in cocaine
processing in Peru and Bolivia. Chile is a party to the 1988
UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country
Chile,s long, difficult-to-monitor borders with Peru,
Bolivia and Argentina and international ports make it an
appealing transit country for cocaine from the Andean region
enroute to the U.S. and Europe. Consumption of cocaine
hydrochloride (HCl), which is cocaine in its powdered form,
has increased domestically, although abuse of cocaine base, a
form of crack cocaine, is more prevalent. Chile ranks fourth
in cocaine consumption and first in marijuana consumption
among South American countries, according to the United
Nation,s 2008 World Drug Report. Some marijuana is
cultivated in Chile, but most is imported from Paraguay for
use by Chilean teenagers and young adults. Chile,s National
Drug Control Commission (CONACE) released a study in 2008
that revealed increased availability of marijuana among
students between 2005 and 2007.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2008

Policy Initiatives. Chile recognizes the threat posed by
illicit narcotics and has adopted policies and enforcement
efforts that contribute to worldwide drug control efforts.
In 2008, Chile changed its criminal statutes to align
penalties for trafficking marijuana with penalties for
trafficking cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. Previously,
convictions for marijuana trafficking did not have the same
severity under the law as convictions for trafficking in
other drugs such as cocaine or heroin. The change can be
attributed to an alarming increase in the illicit importation
of marijuana from Paraguay.

In 2008, CONACE continued to review its national drug control
strategy. The new strategy, which will be published in 2009,
will likely place a stronger emphasis on drug prevention.
CONACE also expanded its drug court pilot program to Iquique
and Antofagasta. There are now 18 drug courts operating in
Chile. These courts, similar to U.S. drug courts, provide
rehabilitation to drug offenders under judicial supervision.
CONACE also signed an agreement with the Public Ministry,s
office to evaluate the drug courts initiative.

Chile,s adversarial judicial system continues to mature.
Chile completed its transition from an inquisitorial to an
adversarial system in 2005, and feedback in 2008 suggests
that there is greater public acceptance of the new system,
and faster resolution of cases. Challenges of training
judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials on evidence
collection and analysis, law enforcement techniques such as
undercover operations, courtroom presentation methods, and
court administration procedures remained.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Through June 2008, Chile reported
seizures of approximately 791 kg of cocaine; 1,865 kg of
cocaine pasta base; 4,156 kg of processed marijuana; 11 units
of illegal pharmaceutical drugs; Statistics were not
available for heroin, ecstasy, or LSD. Noteworthy operations
included the April 2008 seizure of 29 kg of cocaine and other
drug ingredients from the &Los Gaete8 Drug Cartel that
resulted in ten arrests.

The Carabineros de Chile and the Policia de Investigaciones
(PDI) have primary responsibility for counternarcotics law
enforcement. Both the Carabineros and the PDI have dedicated
anti-drug units that are considered highly professional and
competent. Law enforcement efforts target both major and
micro-traffickers. Chile,s long coast-line and
international ports contribute to drug shipments by sea. In
2008, the PDI created a Maritime Container Investigations
Unit designed to target drug trafficking organizations using
ports in Chile for the transit of narcotics and chemical
precursors. The Carabineros de Chile also launched &Plan
Vigia8, an effort to focus on drug traffickers in northern
Chile. &Plan Vigia8 provided more resources to the
northern region, specifically near Calama, in response to an
increase in the trafficking of Bolivian cocaine. Chile
formed the Border Intelligence and Analysis Group designed to
increase intelligence collection and dissemination among
various law enforcement agencies. The group is composed of
members of the Carabineros, PDI, Customs Service, and the
Bureau of Prisons. This inter-agency effort builds on the
success of the Arica Narcotics Investigations Task Force,
launched in 2007.

Corruption. As a matter of policy, no senior GOC official or
the GOC encourages or facilitates the illicit production or
distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other
controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions. Narcotics-related corruption among
police officers and other government officials is not
considered a major problem in Chile, and no current Chilean
senior officials have been accused of or engaged in such
activities. In cases where police are discovered to be
involved in drug trafficking, or in protecting traffickers,
simultaneous termination and initiation of an investigation
are immediate. Chile is traditionally considered the least
corrupt country in Latin America and ranked as the third
least corrupt country in the Americas behind Canada and the
United States in the most recent Corruption Perception Index
Survey released by Transparency International.

Agreements and Treaties. Chile is a party to the 1961 UN
Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971
UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug
Convention. Chile is also a party to the UN Convention
against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols
against trafficking in person and migrant smuggling, and the
UN Convention Against Corruption. The 1900 U.S.-Chile
Extradition Treaty is currently in force. (Note: This was
signed in 1900 and entered into force in 1902.) The U.S. and
Chile continue to negotiate a new extradition treaty. While
the U.S. and Chile do not have a bilateral mutual legal
assistance treaty (MLAT), both countries are parties to the
Organization of American States, 1992 Inter-American
Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, which
facilitates mutual legal assistance.

Cultivation/Production. Chile produces a small amount of
marijuana that is consumed domestically.

Drug Flow/Transit. Narcotics enter Chile through border
crossings with Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Within Chile,
narcotics move along Route 5, the main north-south corridor
and part of the Pan American Highway. Narcotics transit out
of Chile to the U.S. and Europe via maritime routes. Efforts
to intercept illegal narcotics in the northern ports are hurt
by inspection restrictions. These restrictions, established
by the treaty signed after the War of the Pacific, allow
cargo originating in Peru and Bolivia to pass through ports
in Arica, Iquique, and Antofagasta without Chilean

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. CONACE offers a full
range of programs designed to reduce domestic drug
consumption. The programs focus on drug prevention in
schools, the workplace, and the community. There is a
movement to increase family involvement to prevent drug abuse
and CONACE has several programs designed to help parents talk
to their children about the danger of drugs. Chile does not
promote or sanction any harm reduction programs. The GOC
also provides rehabilitation treatment for drug addicts
through CONACE and the Ministry of Health.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. U.S. anti-narcotics objectives in 2008
focused on increased intelligence capabilities, enhanced
inter-agency cooperation among Chilean law enforcement
agencies, and support for anti-money laundering efforts.
These objectives aimed to increase the ability of Chilean law
enforcement agencies to combat some of the most challenging
aspects of the drug trade in Chile.

Bilateral Cooperation. The USG and GOC have a strong record
of bilateral anti-narcotics cooperation. In 2008, the USG and
GOC worked together to address intelligence gathering
capability, inter-agency cooperation, and maritime security
through training and exchanges. DEA officers in Santiago
conducted a three day Law Enforcement Tactical Training
Course for members of the PDI anti-narcotics unit and an
undercover operations course for the Carabineros. DEA offices
in Santiago, La Paz, Lima, Buenos Aires, and Asuncion
continued to support an Officer Exchange Program among their
respective host nations in 2008.
Chilean officials traveled to Houston/Galveston and U.S.
Coast Guard facilities in California to learn about port
security and maritime security.

The Road Ahead. In the future, USG support for Chile,s
counternarcotics efforts will focus on interagency
cooperation and conducting complex investigations. USG
training and equipment will assist Chile,s efforts to
gather, analyze and share counternarcotics intelligence among
its different law enforcement agencies, particularly in the
northern border region. The USG will also train Chilean
judges, prosecutors, and the law enforcement community in
support of Chilean efforts to create a criminal justice
system which can deal with complex, transnational crime.
This training will enhance Chile,s ability to pursue major
cases related to drug trafficking and money laundering.

Chemical Controls
Chile has a large petrochemical industry involved in the
manufacturing, importation, and exportation of thousands of
chemical products and by-products. Chile is a source of
precursor chemicals for use in coca processing in Peru and
Bolivia. In March 2008, law enforcement groups seized over
4000 kg of pre-cursor chemicals in Iquique, the largest
seizure to date in Chile. Companies that import, export, or
manufacture chemical pre-cursors must register with CONACE,
maintain customer records, and are subject to CONACE
inspections. Chilean law enforcement entities also have
specialized chemical diversion units.

© Scoop Media

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