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Cablegate: Media Reaction On Drugs, August 4, 2003

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

UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 001858

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP PREL KPAO PGOV IZ HO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON DRUGS, AUGUST 4, 2003


1. Op-ed by Marlin Oscar Avila in Tegucigalpa-based moderate
daily "El Heraldo" on 8/2 entitled "Drug trafficking and
corruption". "Drug trafficking has never been a secret in
Honduras. The considerable rise of organized crime can only occur
the way it has up to now with the complicity of the authorities,
not only from the police but also from the country's powerful
elites. The increase in drug production and trafficking has grown
even more with the predominance of free markets in our globalized
world."

"In Central America, we have doubts about the credibility of our
authorities, particularly our Congressmen, who have been accused
of being involved with international drug trafficking networks.
However, the people's doubts are not limited to the Congressmen
who are now detained for their apparent participation in this
dirty business. They have reached the belief that some electoral
campaigns have been financed with dirty or laundered money coming
from private banks or other sources."

"The recent hits against organized crime, both in Nicaragua and
Honduras, have given us a little hope that things may improve in
favor of our democracy. There's no doubt that Nicaraguan
President Enrique Bolanos is making a commendable effort to fight
corruption. Also, President Maduro is having some success against
the cocaine cartels, even though in the struggle against
corruption, we can't say he's been successful so far."

1. Article in Tegucigalpa-based moderate daily "El Heraldo" on
8/4 entitled "Honduras requests helicopters". "The Honduran
Minister of Defense Federico Breve stated, `The US must
acknowledge that Honduras is fighting drug trafficking, thus it
should provide more logistical support including the donation of
helicopters. At the beginning of the Maduro administration, the
US offered six helicopters, but Honduras had to pay US$ 4.1
million for them. We need them urgently, but we just can't pay
for them'."

"Breve added, `I think we are demonstrating our determination
with everything we've done this year, for instance, the quantity
of cocaine we've seized this year is really a record for
Honduras. This is commendable, and I believe it has to be
acknowledged by the US'."


Pierce

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