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Cablegate: Dhs Escorted Removal #312

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. Post welcomes and grants Country Clearance to Robert
Margist, Security Clearance: Confidential, and Scott
Mechkowski, Security Clearance: Confidential, to Quito,
Ecuador from March 20, 2005 to March 20, 2005 as Escort
Removal Officers. Hotel reservations have been made HQ ICE
DROS. Cost of rooms is in the per diem rate plus 22 percent
tax. POC in Quito is DHS Foreign Operations Regional Attach
(A) Hector Colon at 011-593-22-562890 Ext: 4272 or cellular
011-593-822-0118. If your arrival is during working hours,
Post will arrange transportation, if it is after working
hours, your POC will request the hotel to pick you up from
the airport. Please read the following paragraphs

2. Effective June 1, 2004, all personnel transferring to an
overseas location under COM authority must complete
appropriate overseas personal security training to travel.

Effective January 1, 2005, this same requirement will also
apply to American personnel requesting country clearance to
perform extended temporarily duty (TDY, defined as more that
30 days) at an overseas location.

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It is the responsibility of the sponsoring office to verify
that this training has been completed.

3. All passengers, U.S. and third country nationals, who
enter Ecuador on official travel require a visa. There is an
airport departure fee of USD 25.00 for departing passengers
using international flights. DOD personnel participating in
GOE-approved deployments and exercises, and arriving with
military orders, are exempt from the visa requirement and
may travel on military orders.

4. Each visitor, regardless of length of stay, must
bring/forward fiscal data to pay for direct costs of the
visit. Each agency, organization, or visiting delegation
will be charged for the actual costs attributed to their
visit. Direct charge costs include, but are not limited to:
American and LES staff overtime (e.g., expediter,
accommodation exchange, representation event support), field
travel-lodging and M&IE by Embassy employees, vehicle
rentals, long distance telephone calls, equipment rentals,
office supplies and all other costs that are directly
attributable to the visit. Also, for TDYERS over thirty (30)
days, there is a charge for ICASS support services. If your
sponsoring agency is not signed up for ICASS services at
post, please be prepared to sing a MOU for ICASS support
services upon arrival. The agency should provide post with a
written communication, generated by the traveler's
headquarters that confirms the agency will pay ICASS charges
for the TDYers, provides the agency ICASS billing code the
TDY support charges should be applied to, and authorizes the
traveler to sing the ICASS invoice generated by the TDY
module. Where travel is urgent, the TDYers should bring this
documentation with them to ensure there are no interruptions
in the provision of services. Post will not provide any
service to a TDYer staying in excess of thirty days without
provision of this documentation before day 31 of the TDY.

5. The State Department has designated Quito and Guayaquil
as critical for criminal threat. Usually, crimes are of a
non-violent nature such as pick pocketing, burglary of
personal effects, and thefts from vehicles. However,
violent crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery and car-
jacking are increasing throughout Ecuador, especially in the
urban areas. Sexual assault cases against visitors in beach
resort areas have occurred with regularity and none of the
beaches are considered safe to walk on at night.

6. In Quito, extreme caution should be taken in tourist
areas, transit points and crowded marketplaces, especially
on the crowded streets of south Quito, buses and trolleys,
the Panecillo (a city overlook point) and all transportation
terminals. For Guayaquil, caution should be taken when in
the downtown section of the city, with extra caution taken
while in the Malecon 2000 river front district, the docks
and airport areas. There have been many reports of luggage
theft at the airport.

7. To avoid being the victim of a crime, visitors should
remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant
control of purses, backpacks, briefcases and luggage. Extra
care should be taken with belongings if traveling on buses
or trolleys. Do not place bags or backpacks under your seat
especially if they contain documents or money. The use of
some type of document pouch worn inside of clothing is
recommended. Expensive-appearing jewelry and watches should
not be worn. Poor road condition, free ranging animals,
unsafe vehicles and drivers dictate against night travel
outside urban areas.

8. Official visitors intending to travel into the Northern
border provinces are required to seek permission through the
RSO and DCM seven days prior to planned travel. A formal
process is established for this request.

9. Travelers to the capital city of Quito may require some
time to adjust to the altitude (9,300 feet), which can
adversely affect blood pressure, digestion, sleep and energy
level. Most people, even those who are healthy and fit,
feel some symptoms of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) upon arrival
in Quito. Persons with medical conditions related to the
circulatory or respiratory systems, (high blood pressure,
history of coronary heart disease, emphysema, for example),
and anyone with sickle cell anemia, should ask their
physician if travel to Quito or other high-altitude
locations is advisable. U.S. government employees who do
not have a class I medical clearance are requested to check
with M/MED before planning travel to Quito. Diamox, a
medication commonly prescribed to aid with acclimatization,
is not generally required for travel to Quito. However, it
is advisable to limit physical activity and drink plenty of
nonalcoholic beverages for the first two to three days after
arriving in Quito.

Individuals with sickle cell trait should carefully consider
the altitude of Quito before commencing with travel. Short
term (TDY) assignments carry an added risk because of the
lack of time for acclimatization. Dehydration and stress
from exercise or illness compound the basic risks of high
altitude. For more information, contact your health unit or
the medical, clearances section of the Offices of Medical

10. Visitors receiving country clearance should be aware
that all interview requests, be they for backgrounding or on-
the-record statements, for USG officials are vetted through
PAS in Quito. For visiting FSNs, please be advised that only
requests for backgrounding or off-the-record context-setting
will be considered and that these requests must also be
vetted through PAS/Quito. If a journalist approaches you for
a statement/interview/reaction, please contact IO Glenn
Warren at (02) 250-2053, cell: 099-823-323 or Press
Specialist Renata Baragan at (02) 250-2053.


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