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Cablegate: Demarche: Lax Honduran Controls On U.S.-Supplied

P 021757Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA PRIORITY

S E C R E T STATE 105491

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2018
TAGS: MASS MCAP PARM HO
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: LAX HONDURAN CONTROLS ON U.S.-SUPPLIED
WEAPONS

Classified By: Classified by: Christopher W. Webster, Director WHA/CEN
Reason(s) 1.4 (a),(b), (c), and (d).

1. (U) Action request contained in paras 2 and 3.

2. (S/NF) Summary: The USG has become aware that light anti-
tank weapons (LAWs) and grenades supplied to Honduras under the
Foreign Military Sales program were recovered in Mexico and
Colombia. The Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs
is preparing a congressional notification (required by Section
3 of the Arms Export Control Act) regarding the possible
unauthorized diversion, misuse or failure to secure such U.S.-
origin defense articles or defense services by the Government
of Honduras (GOH). The Embassy is requested to raise this
issue with appropriate GOH officials to ensure that GOH
officials understand their legal end-use obligations with
respect to control of U.S.-origin defense articles, that USG
end-use monitoring is being completed, and that failure to
fulfill their obligations may jeopardize certain aspects of
future bilateral security cooperation.


OBJECTIVES

3. (SBU) Department requests Embassy pursue the following
objectives with appropriate GOH Ministries of Defense (MOD)
and Foreign Affairs (MFA) officials

-- To remind GOH that is has retransfer, end-use and security
obligations with respect to defense articles or defense
services sold or granted by the U.S.

-- To ensure that the GOH realizes the importance of ensuring
strict controls over equipment, especially weapons, supplied
under U.S. military assistance programs to prevent
unauthorized transfers.

-- To gain GOH commitment to accept responsibility for
investigating unauthorized diversions and punish appropriately
those held responsible.

-- To obtain GOH action to strengthen controls on
import/export of weapons and other military equipment.

-- Reiterate U.S. support for on-going weapons destruction
programs or new requests for future programs. Express U.S.
willingness to provide physical security and/or stockpile
management assistance to the GOH if requested.


BACKGROUND

4. (S/NF) On July 9, 2008, the Defense Intelligence Agency
(DIA) published a report entitled "Honduras: Military Weapons
Fuel Black Arms Market". According to the DIA report, three
light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) were recovered in Mexico City
in January 2008, and one was recovered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
in April 2008. Six more LAWs were recovered on San Andres
Island, Colombia in March 2008. Factory markings analysis of
lot and serial numbers undertaken by DIA's Military Materiel
Identification Division (CHUCKWAGON)/MIO-5 indicates that these
LAWs were part of a shipment of fifty sent to the Honduran 2nd
Infantry Battalion's TESON training element. The LAWs were
originally transferred to Honduras in 1992 as part of a U.S.
Foreign Military Sales program.

(C/HND) In April 2008, an investigation undertaken by
the Honduran military found that the 2nd Infantry Battalion's
TESON training element could not account for 26 of these fifty
LAWs.

(S/NF) In addition, at least two U.S.-produced M433 40-mm
grenades have beenrecovered in Colombia and Mexico, according to
credible sources with direct access cited in the DIA report. The
only foreign military sale of M433 40-mm grenades was to Honduras
in 1985.

5. (U) For more information on this issue please contact
WHA/CEN: Rebecca M. Valerin (202-647-3482)


RICE

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