Cablegate: Blue Lantern Program Annual Update

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

B. 03 QUITO 1058

1. In response to Ref A, Post provides the following
information on its Blue Lantern program:

-- Principal Point of Contact: Political Officer Gregory

-- Telephone: 593-2-256-2890, ext 4409

-- Fax: 593-2-254-0712

-- Email: (unclass); (classified)

-- Estimated Departure Date: 7/2005

2. Due to Ecuador's proximity to Colombia and its historic
role as a transit point for both northbound weapons and
southbound narcotics, Post takes seriously its Blue Lantern
(BL) responsibilities. Most BL requests cover firearm and
ammunition imports - Ref B outlines weapons licensing
procedures in Ecuador. Upon receipt of a BL telegram, Post
conducts, at a minimum, the following namechecks on end users
and middlemen:

-- Regional Security Office (RSO) verifications

-- Regional Affairs Office (RA) verifications

-- Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) verifications

3. In addition, Post often verifies buyer bona fides with
Ecuador's licensing office, a part of the military joint
command, and requests assistance from local police to conduct
site visits. Emboffs endeavor to visit personally sites in
the Quito area; when funds (and time) allow, they will travel
to outlying areas. The Front Office takes an active role in
ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of Blue Lantern checks.

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