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Cablegate: Honduras Confirms Committment to Control And

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTG #0948 2912146
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 172146Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8775

S E C R E T TEGUCIGALPA 000948

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/14/2018
TAGS: HO MASS MCAP PARM
SUBJECT: HONDURAS CONFIRMS COMMITTMENT TO CONTROL AND
DESTRUCTION OF U.S.-SUPPLIED WEAPONS

REF: A. SECSTATE 105491
B. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0151 08
C. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0144 08
D. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0143 08
E. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0140 08
F. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0141 08
G. USDAO TEGUCIGALPA IIR 6 841 0142 08

Classified By: Ambassador Hugo Llorens, reasons 1.4 (b & d)

1. (S) PolCouns and Defense Attache delivered ref a demarche
to Minister of Defense (MOD) Aristides Mejia on October 15.
(Note: Mejia and the Chief of Defense Romeo Vasquez Velasquez
have discussed lax weapon control, including the cases cited
in reftel, which they were well aware of, with various
Emboffs on several occasions in the near past. End Note.)
Mejia confirmed the GOH's commitment to re-transfer, end-use
and security obligations with respect to defense articles or
defense services sold or granted by the USG. Mejia noted
that many weapons had been destroyed in accordance with
accepted procedures in 2007, and that controls were being
increased at many of the storage sites. He agreed, however,
that control and security could still be improved. Mejia
said the investigation into the arms that had been found in
Mexico and Colombia (San Andres) was continuing, and promised
to keep us informed of any developments in the investigation.
Mejia appreciated our offer of support for destruction and
stockpile management. PolCouns explained that the best way
to tap into this offer would be to draft an official request
for assistance.

2. (S) Comment: MOD officials have been extremely
cooperative in regards to the issue of control and
destruction of weapons in the past, and the MOD has expressed
his willingness to support destruction and stricter controls.
MOD officials allowed a Chuckwagon team extensive access
during a visit in July (ref b - g), and we expect that after
consultation with his staff, we should receive an official
request for assistance from Mejia. End Comment.
LLORENS

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