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Cablegate: Andean Northern Border Conference

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

1. Peruvian National Police (PNP) successfully sponsored
with the assistance of the Lima Country Office (LCO) the
Andean Northern Border Strategy Conference from Feb. 22-24,
2005. This conference centered on Counter-narcotics strategy
on Amazonas Border countries and included National Police
Director Generals from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama,
Peru and Venezuela.

2. Presentations and discussions by each country centered on
counter drug trends, insurgent situations and narcotic
activities along the Amazonas. Countries presented the
structure and efficiency of their anti-drug units in these
areas as well as the trafficking models concerning major
narcotics and arms traffickers. Major topics discussed
included narco-terrorism, drug trafficking trends and
methods, and counter-drug strategy.

3. Narco-terrorism.

A. All countries reported the presence of the Fuerzas
Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) outside of
Colombia. Due to increased activities of the Colombian
National Police (CNP) and the Colombian military forces, it
appears that the FARC is establishing itself in other
countries to continue their narcotics trafficking related
activities. Of particular interest, was the impact of forced
coca cultivation of Peruvian coca farmers and native groups
by the FARC. The PNP provided that several indigenous groups
in the jungle areas of the Loreto Department in Peru had
reported they were cultivating sizeable crops as a result of
threats from the FARC. Since these groups felt defenseless
due to the lack of Peruvian law enforcement or military
presence in their areas, they would concede to these demands.
These indigenous groups have also reported missing persons
and increased violence associated with drug trafficking in
their areas.

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B. Separately, it was also reported by other countries that
arms trafficking and drug transportation was also being
conducted within their boundaries by the FARC and other
insurgent and/or paramilitary groups.

C. Due to ease of border crossing and lack of law
enforcement or military deterrent, it has been reported that
FARC units would regularly cross Amazonas borders into
Brazil, Ecuador and Peru to escape detection by Colombia
military and law enforcement units. It has been reported
that other insurgent organizations are also operating in
these areas with lack of regard for law enforcement.

D. Although national police agencies from Brazil, Ecuador
and Peru have affected limited successes against the FARC as
evidenced by significant arrests of FARC leaders in 2004, the
danger to law enforcement personnel by insurgent forces along
the Amazonas border continues.

4. Drug trafficking trends and methods.

A. All countries reported continued trafficking through
maritime ports and airports. Outside of the common methods
of smuggling via passenger mules, luggage and cargo, Colombia
National Police reported finding live animals (chickens,
dogs, etc.,) fruits and interior structure of cars/technical
equipment were being packed (internally) with cocaine.
Brazil reported increased evidence of clandestine airstrips
and river operations approximate to its borders with Colombia
and Peru. Peru reported an increase in bulk seizures all
destined for Pacific Coastal Maritime Exportation.

B. Colombia continued to report strong evidence of
significant loads of heroin and cocaine being transported
through Ecuador, a major transit country, via maritime and
air transportation to destinations in U.S., Mexico and
Europe. It was reported by Peru that Colombian and Mexican
drug traffickers were maintaining a strong influence in the
Amazonas regions. It was surprisingly reported that major
cartels did not run or have an overwhelming presence in these
regions, but that most trafficking operations were run by
local "clan" or "family-oriented" organizations.

5. Counter-Drug Strategies.
All countries concurred that joint transnational cooperation
along these borders is the key to successful ventures against
the drug traffickers and narco-terrorism. Several countries
reported successful arrests and operations through
cooperative efforts. Included in these efforts: (1)
Colombia and Ecuador reported that joint efforts between
their countries had led to the successful arrest and
detention of FARC Commander, Simon Trinidad. (2) Colombia
and Peru also worked together in the successful arrest of
FARC leader Gonzalo Guerra Siquihba AKA El Gusano. In
addition, it was pointed out that Operation Seis Fronteras
provides an excellent example of regional shared collective
interdiction efforts against chemical trafficking
organizations. Brazil provided a multi-faceted strategy in
which different cooperative strategies were applied to each
of its borders including Peru, Colombia and Suriname.

6. Strategy Discussions and La Acta (The Agreement).

A. Throughout discussions, each country consistently pointed
out the major weaknesses that continue to plague them and
prevent significant operations towards disruption and/or
dismantlement of drug trafficking organizations and reducing
the presence of narco-terrorist organizations operating in
the Amazonas region. Major weaknesses include:

- Limited exchange of information and intelligence.

- No joint/regional operating or agreement against any
particular criminal organization.

- Police efforts are considered ineffective without
political and socio-economic support.

The last weakness was echoed by all participants and simply
stated that efforts by the police forces of each nation were
ineffective as drug trafficking, money laundering and other
related crimes had risen to the rank of transnational crimes
and weighed serious economic and political consequences.
Subsequently, the police directors from each participant
country agreed to commit support for the following major

- Encouraging further support by each country,s government
against illicit drug trafficking and effect policies to
support police operations and legal actions.
- Create a multinational police committee to fight against
drug trafficking, terrorism and related crimes. This
committee will be compromised of representatives from Brazil,
Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela and responsible
for initiating a plan of action against these activities in
the Amazonas:
- Development of joint interdiction operations
- Asset laundering. Exchange Police and
operational/financial intelligence issues concerning assets
resulting from organized crime
- Anti-drug and anti-terrorism intelligence sharing

7. Participant countries agreed to meet in Brasilia, Brazil
in May 2005 to discuss the strategic management chart, which
contains the goals and activities of La Acta.

Respective offices with questions concerning this conference
are requested to contact Acting ARD Frank S. Franco or S/A
Don Garrett at 301-985-9329 or 511-618-2475.

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