Cablegate: Graduating Counternarcotics Cadets Increase Pnp

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

REF: A) LIMA 2158

B) LIMA 2055
C) LIMA 2111
D) 04 LIMA 5822

1. (U) SUMMARY: On May 12, almost 200 new Peruvian National
Police (PNP) cadets graduated from two police academies in
the heart of the coca source zones. These academies were
conceived, constructed and fully equipped by Embassy NAS.
The 200 graduates are the first batch of a planned 2000 more
counternarcotics police recruited from the Peruvian rain
forest, with training support and equipment from NAS. Their
purpose is to consolidate state presence, combat
narcotrafficking, and support law-abiding communities in the
coca-growing regions of Peru. The Ambassador and top PNP
brass attended the ceremonies along with impressive support
from hundreds of local spectators. The well-choreographed
demonstrations of police counternarcotics skills and the
obvious high level of morale and motivation of the graduates
are positive signs for future PNP CN operations in coca
growing areas. Press coverage was prominent and favorable.

2. (U) Ambassador Curt Struble and Peruvian National Police
(PNP) Chief Marco Miyashiro, along with top PNP generals,
attended 2 graduation ceremonies of new police academy
cadets on 5/12. The graduations are the culmination of 4
years of planning and execution by NAS police advisors.
Ninety-seven graduates were from the Academy at Santa Lucia
Base, San Martin, where eradication and cocaine-base lab
interdiction operations have been conducted over the past
months (Ref B and previous). The additional 98 graduates
were from the Academy in Mazamari, Junin, in the hard-core
Monzon area. All the graduates had received intense
training for 18 months, specializing in all aspects of
counternarcotics operations. They will be dedicated to CN
activities in the region for 3 years. Virtually all of the
new graduates, after a day off to be with family, will begin
work in the CN directorate DIRANDRO's eradication security,
road interdiction or special operations units in the hostile
Upper Huallaga area.

3. (U) The mayors of both communities, as well as the
provincial Sub-Prefects (National government representatives
responsible for the security of their provinces) attended
the ceremonies. All four recounted the same basic story: in
addition to the positive effect of locally recruited police
on community attitudes towards the rule of law, the local
police academies brought economic benefits to the
communities - a local survey conducted by the PNP showed a
40 percent increase in economic growth for the Santa Lucia
area, for example, as the providers of secondary services
were able to make a better living.

4. (U) Both ceremonies were similar in their scope and
indication of potential for the future. Several hundred
friends and family of the graduates, as well as interested
community members, attended the ceremonies at each location
with evident pride. At each ceremony precise and well-
orchestrated military-style ceremonies, speeches, award
presentations and parades involving the cadets were followed
by operational demonstrations by cadets from the upcoming
class, due to graduate in 6 months. NAS anticipates that
over the next 5 years 2000 CN police will graduate from
these academies; the graduates will dedicate at least 3
years to service in the drug zones.

5. (U) The level of motivation and esprit de corps evident
in both classes was remarkable, similar to the exuberance
and dedication evident in U.S. military basic training
graduations. There was great attention to detail in the
uniforms, marching and ceremonial displays. The classes had
their particular chants and unit cheers, and awards were
given to the honor graduates. The motivational speeches by
the Ambassador, General Miyashiro, the chaplains and others
were well received by the audience.

6. (U) At Santa Lucia, the upcoming graduating class
(possibly in December 2005) put on an impressive display of
a mock interdiction operation, with a coordinated helicopter
and riverine pincer movements surrounding a notional cocaine
lab, followed by a pyrotechnic destruction of the lab that
was featured on the front page of leading daily "El
Comercio." The Mazamari interdiction demonstration
emphasized a close-up of an interdiction operation, with a
prominent depiction of the role played by the GOP legal
representative (Fiscal) in ensuring that the legal rights of
suspects were respected. General Nunez explained that in
addition to the intense CN training, these students received
training in human rights observance as well as non-lethal
riot control techniques - essential in the current climate
featuring cocaleros armed with rock slings who menace
eradicators and their heliborne transport. (Note: For the
vast majority of the community audience, this was their
first dramatization of what a Fiscal does, in contrast to
cocalero rumor mills that tout PNP disregard of human
rights. End Note.)

7. (U) A sizeable press contingent accompanied the USG and
PNP delegations on the trip to both graduations. Press
coverage was favorable, with front page photographic and
print coverage of the ceremonies and the operational

8. (SBU) General Daniel Nunez Accame, Director of Training
and Doctrine for the PNP, explained how these ceremonies fit
into extensive plans for professionalizing the service and
increasing effectiveness of counter-narcotics operations.
The 2 NAS-developed satellite police academies for
"suboficiales" (the equivalent of enlisted troops in a
military organization or entry-level police officers in the
U.S. system, represent a well-defined strategy to attract
and train vetted recruits from the coca source zones. The
5/12 graduates were drawn from all over the Departments in
which the academies are located.

9. (U) General Nunez also detailed plans to start
preparatory schools for each of the academies. The schools,
supported with USG funds, would accomplish several
objectives. Potentially successful PNP cadets would be
identified and provided with academic preparation, to allow
the academies to devote less time for basic subjects. But
even the students who either realized they did not want to
pursue a career in law enforcement, or could not make the
grade for acceptance into the Academy, would have had a
solid grounding in the principles of rule of law, the
dangers of illicit coca cultivation and narcotrafficking,
and the importance of working with the police force that
would benefit them and the community whatever trade they
chose. The Santa Lucia preparatory school is planned to
open in August.

10. (SBU) Regarding the issue of whether recruiting police
from the coca regions would be an invitation to corruption,
General Nunez allowed that there was this potential, in that
policemen would already know some narcotraffickers in the
area. But the countervailing criteria were more important:
locally recruited police would have greater access to the
informants who would also come from the area. More
important, the community members would respect the policemen
and have a stake in preventing harm to them during the
course of operations. NAS police advisor has ensured that
extensive vetting of all students and polygraph tests for
some lessen the chances of future corruption.

11. (SBU) Comment: This first surge of police graduates
bodes well for upcoming eradication and interdiction plans,
in an increasingly difficult operating environment. They
will be key in boosting police presence and backbone when
faced with violent cocalero and narcoterrorist reactions.
The professionalism of the Santa Lucia and Mazamari
operational demonstrations showed what competent, motivated
PNP troops can do with the proper training, equipment and
resources. Taking the press along proved to be a public
relations success for the PNP and USG, with reporters seeing
first hand what a professional police force can accomplish.
The high level of attendance by local communities is an
indication of support that should pay dividends for licit
economic activities and stability in these areas. In
August, NAS will support the start of a new police academy
in Ayacucho - a town through which 70 percent of cocaine
passes en route to foreign destinations.

© Scoop Media

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