Cablegate: Brazil's Amazon Surveillance and Amazon Protection

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



E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2014

REF: A. (A) 03 BRASILIA 2313
B. (B) 03 USDAO BRASILIA IIR 6 809 0235 03
Classified By: DepPolCouns Lawrence Cohen, reason 1.4 (d)

SUMMARY -------

1. (C) Brazil's Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM) and Amazon Protection System (SIPAM) continue to show progress and increased operational capabilities. SIVAM's data collection infrastructure is almost complete; SIPAM continues to create new map products for use by government and non-governmental organizations. However, even with SIVAM fully in place, many aircraft will still be able to avoid detection by flying below radar patterns and look-down radar on airborne platforms will not have continuous coverage. To provide a seamless radar picture over its frontiers, Brazil is actively seeking cooperative arrangements with neighboring countries. Ultimately, both SIVAM and SIPAM will only be as effective as the GOB's efforts to utilize the information generated, whether to control Brazilian airspace or to protect the environment. End Summary

BACKGROUND ----------

2. (C) Emboffs accompanying CAPSTONE National Defense University (NDU) team to Brazil's Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM) and Amazon Protection System (SIPAM) regional centers in Manaus received in-depth briefing on the current status of the two co-located facilities from Air Force Brigadier General Alvaro Luiz Pinheiro, Vice President of the Commission for Implementation of Air Space Control (CISCEA) and the Coordinating Commission for the Amazon Surveillance System (CCSIVAM). SIVAM Commandant Colonel Scariot and SIPAM regional chief Engineer Captain Luciano also participated in the August 10 visit.

3. (U) Brazil's Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM) is an integrated data collection project that utilizes a wide variety of data acquisition tools throughout the Amazon basin's 5.2 million square kilometers. Developed by Raytheon and ATECH Technologies (Brazil), the multi-layered system includes aerial surveillance, transportable ground based and meteorological radars, airborne remote sensing and surveillance platforms (Embraer R99-A and R99-B aircraft), environmental and river sensors, weather ground stations, lightning detectors, surveillance and meteorological satellite observation, and even spot submissions from individual informants. Using the extensive raw data collected by SIVAM, the Amazon Protection System (SIPAM) integrates, evaluates, and disseminates the information into packages for distribution to end-user Brazilian agencies and non-governmental organizations. To complete the SIPAM information network, end-user terminals are being placed in each of the Amazon region's 257 municipalities with over 10,000 inhabitants.

4. (SBU) Almost all of SIVAM's multi-layered data collection mechanisms are up and running; only a few of the facility's information collection and observation components are still not fully functional. In coordination with SIPAM which provides integrated data analysis, a detailed geographic information system (GIS) portrait of the Amazon basin is emerging rapidly. Increasingly, the data and data-created products are being shared in real time with appropriate military and civilian endusers. The air traffic control component of the Amazon Region Air Traffic Control and Integrated Air Defense System (CINDACTA IV) is showing progress. The next stage in SIVAM/SIPAM development, resulting in greater control of Brazilian airspace and protection and sustainable development of the Amazon, will rely on improved coordination among government and non-government entities.

Air Defense and Control by 2005 -------------------------------

5. (SBU) Utilizing SIVAM data, the Air Traffic Control and Integrated Air Defense System for the Amazon (CINDACTA IV), a component of Brazil's national Air Defense and Air Traffic Control System (SISDACTA), should be fully operational by early 2005. (Note: Brazil's other regional ATC and air defense systems, CINDACTA I, II, and III are already operational. End Note) Two transportable 3D radars are not yet operational; other systems, including VHF radio, should be completed within a few months. To identify unauthorized aircraft and airspace incursions from neighboring countries, air-air, air-ground, and spot (look-down) SAR airborne sensors onboard the system's three R99-B aircraft provide high resolution imaging and surface information that in combination with surface radar systems, and when the R99-B aircraft are aloft, provides complete vertical airspace coverage. Low-flying intruding aircraft, however, can avoid radar detection over much of the Amazon when the surveillance planes are grounded or unavailable in the particular region. (Note: Given the costs associated with keeping the three R99-Bs aloft, the planes at present will be utilized only when and where collaborating information suggests airspace incursions are occurring or will occur at a given date and time. End note) Pinheiro indicated that during CINDACTA IV's short lifespan to date, it has monitored a 30 percent increase in regional air traffic -- a result of increased air traffic communications between pilots and ATC stations rather than an increase in flights. "When pilots know they are being monitored, they are more prone to acknowledge their presence and file a flight plan," he observed.

Hand Across the Borders -----------------------

6. (C) Pinheiro believed full air defense and traffic control (ATC) throughout the Amazon will be achieved by June 2005; key to this achievement, he noted, will be ATC coordination and integration with Brazil's neighbors. In previous discussions with mission personnel, the GOB had indicated its desire to enter into SIVAM cost-sharing arrangements over ATC data. Pinheiro was certain that Brazil no longer sought cost reimbursement from other governments. Instead, Brazil's current objective is the creation of a seamless radar overlap with all its neighbors extending 50 miles on each side of Brazil's borders. Each regional CINDACTA, Pinheiro explained, has been given the go ahead by Brasilia to develop local data sharing mechanisms with neighboring countries. (Note: Mission has not yet been able to confirm with other Ministry of Defense sources whether regional CINDACTAs are, in fact, tasked to develop transborder data sharing mechanisms. End note) With Peru, for example, since both Ministries of Defense had agreed to terms of reference for real time data sharing, Pinheiro affirmed that CINDACTA IV and its Peruvian counterpart were in the process of establishing close border radar overlap capability. Colombia, he said, wanted to do the same, although the GOC's desire to obtain data for Brazilian airspace beyond the 50 mile border zone, he noted, was a "non-starter." Brazil already works closely with Colombia on information sharing, and both Venezuela and French Guiana have expressed interest in developing joint ATC operations. While Bolivia does not have its own operating sensors, Pinheiro added, Brazil is considering provision of surplus radar units as it upgrades its own radars.

7. (C) Pinheiro and Scariot opined that when fully operational, the coordinated CINDACTA IV ATC system, in conjunction with implementation of Brazil's Lei de Abate ("Shootdown" Law) in October, would be sufficient in dissuading airborne narcotrafficking in the Amazon "without recourse to actually shooting any aircraft from the sky." Pinheiro added that the SIVAM observation platform will also serve to deny the use of illicit airfields which can now be more easily located and targeted for action.

SIVAM Products --------------

8. (U) As a data collection system SIVAM generates a range of products for use by the Amazon Protection System (SIPAM) or other end-users. Among the raw products promoted by the SIVAM Coordinating Commission (CCSIVAM) are: - Meteorological: Satellite images, real-time meteorological situation maps, historical and current climate study statistics, weather forecasts for airports, and accumulated precipitation and lightning reports; - Electromagnetic Surveillance: Emission contact and map data and communications networks; - Environmental: Groundcover maps and general reports, land use and environmental impact maps, soil damage maps, fauna and habitat classification maps, deforestation maps and fire incidence reports, mercury contamination reports, local and regional CO2 and O3 concentrations, statistical reports on greenhouse gas data, pollution threats to human populations, water quality and hydrographic maps, flood prevention and flood forecasting reports, urbanization impact maps and statistical reports, and epidemiological studies; - Territorial Surveillance: Real-time airborne and surface vehicle movement and trajectories, identified target maps, border violation maps, irregular cultivation maps, biodiversity extraction and illicit mining maps, geologic maps, and locations of detected (irregular and perhaps illicit) rest-stops.

SIPAM and its Activities ------------------------

9. (C) Past visits by mission personnel to the co-located SIVAM/SIPAM complex in Manaus suggested a clear dichotomy between the two entities. While the two entities remain separate with SIVAM providing the raw data to SIPAM, the separation may be less distinct than before. Moreover, bureaucratic concerns about allowing uniformed visitors into SIPAM may be lessening. During the CAPSTONE/NDU visit, SIPAM regional chief Captain Luciano welcomed the opportunity to display his center's sophisticated GIS capabilities. For example, he demonstrated how SIPAM's environmental analysis unit incorporates SIVAM data into usable tools (e.g. maps of deforestation trends, forest fire monitoring, land use maps) for GOB entities such as the Ministry of Environment. The meteorological cell which has grown dramatically in just a few months, would soon be going to a 24/7 operation schedule, Luciano said. In addition to direct links with GOB agencies, workspace within SIPAM is being provided to NGOs engaged in Amazon field work. Luciano acknowledged that with SIPAM's rapid development of new data tools, data storage is becoming an increasing challenge.

10. (U) Luciano expressed pride in the progress the Amazon Protection System has made in recent months and highlighted SIPAM's key focus areas: - Environmental protection; - Land use supervision and control; - Border surveillance and control; - Prevention and control of epidemics; - Civil defense activities; - Identification of punishable illegal activities; - Protection of indigenous populations and their land; - Air traffic control and surveillance; - Support for sustainable development; - Weather forecasting; and - Climate studies. 11. (SBU) Comment: While SIVAM and SIPAM continue to show noteworthy progress, the ultimate success of these programs will be measured if/when/to what extent Brazilian agencies and NGOs utilize the new information tools provided. Ultimately, more rigorous environmental protection, sustainable development of the Amazon, and greater surveillance of Brazilian airspace leading to reduced narcotrafficking will be SIVAM/SIPAM's most important achievements.


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