Cablegate: Foreign Minister On Pondering Initiative On

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LIMA 002554


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2015

Classified By: Ambassador J. Curtis Struble for Reason 1.4 (B, D)

id: 34123
date: 6/7/2005 22:06
refid: 05LIMA2554
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LIMA 002554


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2015

Classified By: Ambassador J. Curtis Struble for Reason 1.4 (B, D)

1. (U) This is an action message for WHA and INL. See para

2. (C) In the course of a meeting to discuss Venezuelan
meddling with Peruvian extremist groups, Foreign Minister
Rodriguez Cuadros told the Ambassador that the inroads
Bolivarian movements have made among cocaleros in Bolivia and
Ecuador (sic) leave him convinced that there needs to be a
U.S. ) Andean San Antonio II conference to review the fight
against narcotics. The Foreign Minister said that he and
President Toledo had mused on the situation. While the basic
multi-pronged approach (interdiction, eradication and
development) to the fight against narcotics was sound, there
needed to be some adjustments. Rodriguez Cuadros expressed
concern that the agricultural chapter of the FTA could
mortally wound traditional Andean producers. Peru did not
have the means to offer the sort of compensation Mexico had
provided to domestic producers facing market opening under
NAFTA. That compensation had not been effective in any
event, the Foreign Minister judged, though illegal migration
to the United States had provided something of a pressure
release. The release value in Peru, he feared, would be
cultivation of coca and opium poppy. The Foreign Minister
said that he was considering language encouraging a review
and/or a San Antonio II conference in the joint communiqu
that the Andean Community will issue when its Presidents meet
in Lima in July. He offered to have a confidential dialogue
with us on the matter.

3. (C) The Ambassador said he was without instructions on
the issue but, speaking personally, he thought trying to
address this issue within the Andean Community was a mistake.
Venezuela,s agenda would not line up with those of Colombia
and Peru, while the government of Bolivia (and perhaps
Ecuador) would not have the ability anytime soon to take
forward-looking decisions. On the issue of the FTA
agricultural chapter, the Ambassador said, the issue was
often misidentified. Peruvian traditional agriculture was in
a crisis and would remain in one with or without an FTA. The
minifundia of the mountain provinces were simply too small to
allow farmers to escape poverty. The Embassy was working
with GOP agencies to develop a strategy that would push the
export-oriented productive chain into the Sierra and absorb
excess traditional labor in more productive activities.

4. (C) Rodriguez Cuadros acknowledged that addressing the
issue within the Andean Community might not be the best way,
but insisted there needed to be a dialogue on the matter
either between Peru and Colombia and the United States or

5. (C) Comment: A couple of different factors appear to be
intersecting in the Foreign Minister,s mind. The Government
of Peru is concerned (we believe with reason) that the
increased pace of eradication in Colombia is displacing coca
cultivation in this direction. At the same time, higher
prices for coca leaf are fueling the determination of radical
cocaleros to avoid eradication through any and all means. A
number of senior GOP officials have voiced dismay that the
Administration,s FY-06 budget request reduces resources
earmarked for Peru by sixteen million dollars; we believe
that the Foreign Minister sees a San Antonio II conference as
a means to leverage more development assistance out of
consumer nations. As regards the FTA agricultural chapter,
the Foreign Ministry is out of line with Peru,s trade
negotiators. The latter have, to be sure, called repeatedly
for flexibility on the U.S. side citing the threat of
increased coca cultivation. That said, Peru,s chief FTA
negotiator and his boss have repeated told the Ambassador
that a chill wind blows from the Foreign Ministry in the
director of the agreement. Recently Ambassador Alzamora, who
is the principle MFA official on FTA issues, published an
op/ed highlighting his concern over the impact the agreement
might have on sierra agricultural producers.

6. (C) Recommendation and Action Request: By happy
coincidence, the country team is briefing the Prime Minister,
the head of Devida and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs,
Interior and Defense this Friday on U.S. assistance levels.
Our purpose in doing so is to convey the message that (a) our
assistance is greater than the GOP thinks; in particular the
FY-06 request level for the fight against narcotics will
still be well above the average level of assistance in the
1990s (b) other USG obligations are putting pressure on our
budget and Peru should expect USG assistance to decline,
particularly as its growth rate drives up per capita income
(c) the GOP needs, therefore, to have a budget plan that
takes on some of the activities supported by the
international community and (d) Peru needs to reach an
article 98 agreement with us to retain valuable assistance
that is slipping away. The Ambassador recommends that the
Department provide instructions by COB Thursday for him to
tell the Foreign Minister officially that calling for a
review of drug policy in the Andean Community declaration
would be unwelcome and unhelpful. Instead, we suggest that
we identify the upcoming visit of INL DAS Jonathan Farrar as
an opportunity to begin a bilateral discussion of Peru,s
concerns regarding our joint efforts to fight narcotics.


=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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