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Cablegate: Media Reaction On Drug Trafficking, July 17, 2003

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 001712

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/PDA (JGREENBLATT); WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP PREL KPAO PGOV IZ HO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON DRUG TRAFFICKING, JULY 17, 2003

1. Editorial in Tegucigalpa-based moderate daily "El Heraldo" on
7/17 entitled "National security and narco trafficking". "Drug
trafficking and organized crime which have recently established
criminal networks in Honduras, closely related to criminal bands
in Colombia, have evidenced that the Honduran state doesn't
enforce law and neither does it have control over its territory
and its population, particularly in the departments of Olancho,
Gracias a Dios and Colon."

"It's a fact that the society and the state are being threatened.
the notion of national security that involved a blatant violation
of fundamental human rights in the past should be reoriented
toward its true meaning: the defense of the common well being,
protect the population's health and life, the environment and
social cohesion which are being seriously jeopardized by the
advance of the globalization of crime."

2. Article in Tegucigalpa-based moderate daily "El Heraldo" on
7/17 entitled "Gigantic cocaine seizure". "Police authorities
seized about 2,300 kilos of cocaine in a freighter near Roatan."

"The Minister of Security Oscar Alvarez said that this seizure
proved once more that the current authorities are determined to
fight against drug trafficking."

"For months, the US Ambassador Larry Palmer has highlighted the
scarce results Honduras has achieved in the fight against drug
trafficking, and a few days ago he affirmed that the country was
on the way to become a narco state. Alvarez stated, `we are
sending a clear and compelling message that drug traffickers
shouldn't dare to turn Honduras into a narco state, and I'm sure
that we are still far from this situation'."

"Alvarez said that he had talked to the US Ambassador Larry
Palmer, expressing his satisfaction because President Maduro is
proving his will to directly fight against this threat."

3. Article in Tegucigalpa-based moderate daily "El Heraldo" on
7/17 entitled "The Public Ministry is investigating the ten most
important narcos". "Roy Medina, head of the Public Ministry,
confirmed that ten leaders of the narco trafficking cartels
operating in Honduras are being investigated by this
institution."

"Medina affirmed, `We are already getting some results, everyone
knows about the case in San Esteban, Olancho where we arrested
nine people, including a Congressman and we are also
investigating the case of the cocaine shipment found in Utila
this week. however, until we finish the prosecution process, we
will disclose the names of those responsible of these acts'."


Palmer

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