Cablegate: Nas Monthly Report June 2005
131121Z Jul 05
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 006563
DEPT FOR INL/RM, INL/LP
DEPT FOR WHA/AND
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM PTER CO
SUBJECT: NAS Monthly Report June 2005
1. (SBU) Summary: In June 2005, the Colombian National
Police (CNP) spray program eradicated 9,884 hectares of coca
and 41 hectares of poppy. Anti-Narcotics Police (DIRAN)
destroyed four cocaine HCL laboratories and captured nine
metric tons of cocaine, one ton of cocaine base, and 70
kilos of heroin. End summary.
Eradication and Interdiction
2. (SBU) Eradication: During June, OV-10s operating from
Apiay and Villavicencio, Meta Department, sprayed
approximately 1,504 hectares of coca. AT-802s operating
from Caucausia, Antioquia Department, sprayed approximately
6,521 hectares of coca. T-65s operating from Popayan, Cauca
Department, sprayed 1,859 hectares of coca and 41 hectares
of poppy. In total, CNP aircraft sprayed approximately
9,884 hectares of coca and 41 hectares of poppy during the
month of June. Thus far in 2005 the CNP eradication program
has sprayed more than 95,512 hectares of coca and 1,020
hectares of poppy.
3. (SBU) Armed narco-terrorists fired on eradication and
COLAR aircraft 13 times during June, resulting in 38
impacts. The AT-802s and T-65s were struck six times each
and OV-10s and UH-1Ns were struck once each. In the Plan
Colombia Helicopter Program, ground fire struck UH-1Ns four
times this month, UH-1HIIs once, and the UH-60Ls 19 times.
4. (SBU) During June, COLAR Plan Colombia helicopters
continued to support CD Brigade troops and eradication
operations in Caucausia and Apiay, as well as Infrastructure
Security Strategy (ISS) training and operations in Saravena
and training operations in Tolemaida. Plan Colombia
helicopters transported 4,213 passengers, including 100
medical evacuation patients, and 76,000 pounds of cargo
during 2,417 flight hours, 1,940 of which were dedicated to
the Eradication Program.
5. (SBU) On June 22, the Plan Colombia Helicopter Program
(PCHP) received the final four UH-1HII aircraft for the
Infrastructure Security Strategy (ISS) Program. These
aircraft will arrive in Saravena, Arauca Department,
approximately July 10, pending nationalization and
acceptance inventories. Four aircraft are currently on loan
from other Plan Colombia bases to Saravena. These aircraft
support a Quick Reaction Force trained to respond to
terrorist attacks along 174 kilometers of petroleum pipeline
in the department of Arauca. On June 6, the first ISS-
supported combat mission in Saravena resulted in 14
6. (SBU) PCHP helicopters provided crucial support to joint
operations with the Colombian Army Counter-Narcotics Brigade
(CD BDE) and the Colombian Departmento Administrativo de
Seguridad (DAS) in which Colombian authorities captured the
second in command of the FARC's 44th Front. PCHP aircraft
also provided reconnaissance support during a successful
hostage rescue mission.
7. (SBU) Interdiction: On June 9, elements of the Colombian
Army Counter-Narcotics Brigade (CD BDE) conducted an
operation to capture suspected narco-terrorists drug storage
sites. The CD BDE uncovered 18 drug deposit locations on
the road between Tumaco and Ipiales in Narino Department and
captured nearly 1.5 tons of cocaine HCL, as well as weapons
and precursor chemicals.
Air Bridge Denial (ABD)
8. (SBU) GOC assets tracked 4326 aircraft contacts over
Colombia in the month of June; 36 were declared
Unidentified, Assumed Suspect (UAS). Of these, the GOC
intercepted two, but Colombian pursuit stopped when the
aircraft reached the national borders. One of the aircraft
landed at Maiquetia airport in Venezuela, where Venezuelan
police arrested the four occupants.
9. (SBU) In June, the CNP aviation operational tempo was
almost twice that of the previous month. The three largest
components of ARAVI's fleet clocked 2,677 mission hours. The
UH-1HII helicopters flew 784 mission hours with an
operational readiness (O.R.) rate of 47 percent. Thirty-one
percent of the UH-1HII helicopters require depot-level
structural repairs. Bell 212 helicopters flew 367 mission
hours with an operational readiness rate of 66 percent, and
UH-60L helicopters flew 230 mission hours with an
operational readiness rate of 68 percent.
10. (SBU) During June, DIRAN destroyed four cocaine HCL
laboratories and captured nine metric tons of cocaine, one
ton of cocaine base, and 70 kilos of heroin.
11. (SBU) On June 16, joint operations with the Colombian
Air Force and a DIRAN Task Force attacked a FARC 16th Front
camp 117 miles east of San Jose del Guaviare in an attempt
to capture Comandante Negro Acacio. Colombian forces killed
four FARC guerrillas and captured two M4 carbines (with M203
grenade launchers), one AK47, and a 9mm pistol. DIRAN
reported no casualties. Several computers were also seized,
but Negro Acacio was not captured.
12. (SBU) On June 17, a US Coast Guard aerial platform
detected a go-fast boat and initiated a Firewall event. A
Colombian Navy Casa 235 continued to track the boat while a
Colombian Air Force UH1-HII, from Barranquilla, Atlantico
Department, flew to the Santa Marta DIRAN base and picked up
seven DIRAN Jungla Commandos. The COLAF UH1-HII intercepted
the Go-fast with over 1.6 tons of cocaine, and the Junglas,
with the help of the Police ARAVI helicopters, captured all
five crew members. The USG-provided Firewall communications
net was employed throughout the event.
13.(SBU) From June 29 thru July 1, a CNP Task Force of 100
Junglas, 300 Carabineros, and support aircraft conducted
operations in Valle de Cauca department against Diego
Montoya, the Cartel del Norte de Valle, and the AUC.
Colombian forces surrounded and searched suspected camps and
farms, but only documents and one AUC member were seized.
Law Enforcement/Public Security
14. (SBU) Training: At the Espinal Training Center, 55
students graduated from the four-month Jungla Basic Course.
Three new Carabinero Mobile Squadrons began their seven-week
training course, and NAS sent 55 DIRAN students, four
Carabineros, and 12 Colombian Army students to training in
the United States.
15. (SBU) Seaport Security Program: DIRAN's new 12-member
polygraph unit, established to ensure the integrity of
police working in the airports and seaports, began
examinations of Bogota DIRAN and airport police personnel
June 27. After months of training and orientation, they
are beginning a period of "on-the-job training" with
guidance from a U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) polygraph examiner. Airport personnel
examinations will last into August.
16. (SBU) In June, the spray complaints group received 92
complaints and is investigating 15 other cases. Three new
complaints were paid during June, bringing the total
complaints paid to 15. The environmental office will do a
verification trip accompanied by representatives from the
United Nations (SIMCI), Organization of American States
(CICAD), and the U.S. ONDCP.