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Cablegate: Paraguay: Poloffs Key to Advancing Mpp Objecives

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASUNCION 001351

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/BSC - DOUGLAS BARNES
WHA/EX (HEINECK)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: HR PA
SUBJECT: PARAGUAY: POLOFFS KEY TO ADVANCING MPP OBJECIVES

REF: 2007 MPP - ASUNCION

1. This is an Action Request. See para. 6

2. Summary. Post's Political Section is currently staffed
by an 02 Polcouns and three 04 Poloffs. The poloff slots
have proven critical to advancing post's MPP Goals in the
areas of Democracy, Counter Terrorism, and Combating
Transnational Crime. Post understands the Department does
not/not plan to fill either of the two 04 Poloff slots that
become vacant in Summer 2006 leaving the Political Section
with just one 02 PolCouns position and one 04 Poloff. This
cut in staffing will significantly impact Post's ability to
advance effectively the key MPP objectives noted above. Post
requests WHA concurrence and assistance for reinstating at
least one of the two Poloff positions currently slated for
elimination this coming Summer 2006. Post registered this
request in its 2007 MPP submission. End Summary.

3. Post's three 04 poloffs each assume an important role in
advancing key MPP goals.

-- The incumbent in the 04 Poloff position currently slated
for rotation in 2007 is post's Human Rights and Democracy
Officer. This officer prepares post's contributions to the
annual human rights, religious freedom, and TIP reports and
advocates improvements as well as program support. He
monitors and reports on key human rights and democracy
developments. With at least three elections scheduled for
2006, he will lead the Embassy's extensive outreach efforts
with Paraguay's electoral commission and key political
leaders to shore up prospects for free, fair and transparent
elections. He works closely with Government officials to
develop and implement projects to combat TIP. He is a key
Embassy liaison with civil society, party leaders, and
government officials on human rights issues.

-- The incumbent in one of the two 04 Poloff positions
currently slated for elimination is dedicated to counter
terror issues. As Department is aware, we have reason to
remain concerned about terrorist financing occurring in the
Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Paraguay. This officer monitors and
reports on these issues, including by producing post's
contribution to the annual Terrorism Report and the INSCR
report on money laundering and advocates a more pro-active
GOP response in addressing these concerns. She maintains
close contact with judges and prosecutors on cases involving
money launderers/terrorist financiers counseling the front
office on when to intercede to ensure the cases stay on track.

-- The incumbent in the second of the two 04 Poloff slots
currently slated for elimination is post's PolMil Officer.
He liaises closely with post's DAO and ODC offices and
appropriate Paraguayan counterparts in analyzing the
political military situation in Paraguay and advocates
respect for civilian authority over the military. He has
assumed the lead for post in reporting on peasant unrest in
the countryside and, more importantly, has analyzed and
reported on evidence of FARC involvement in the kidnapping
and assassination of the daughter of a former Paraguayan
President. He maintains close contact with the political
party led by imprisoned coup-plotter Lino Oviedo.

4. When post acquired in 2004 the two 04 poloff slots
currently slated for elimination, responsibility for
advancing post's counter terror objectives shifted from the
ECON section to the POL section. This shift in
responsibilities has enabled the ECON section to dedicate
greater attention to corruption issues affecting Paraguay's
application for an MCA program, develop and monitor
implementation of U.S. funded IPR projects, work closely with
U.S. businesses in seeking prosecution of IPR violators, and
analyze and report more extensively on significant economic
developments. Should the Political Section lose two of its
04 poloff positions, post will need to consider seriously
shifting lead responsibility for its counter terror
objectives back to the ECON section but with the cost of
compromising ECON section's ability to achieve some of the
important objectives described above.

5. At a time when Democracy Promotion, Counter Terrorism,
and Combating Transnational Crime head the U.S. foreign
policy agenda, reducing the number of officers with an
important responsibility for advancing post's efforts in
these areas will undercut significantly our ability to be
effective. Retaining both 04 Poloff slots slated for
elimination would be ideal. If, however, the Department
decided to reinstate only one of the those two slots, post
would look at combining the most vital elements of those two
officers' portfolios including counter terrorism
responsibilities and reporting on concerns relating to FARC
activities and possible unrest in the countryside.

6. Action Request: Post requests WHA concurrence and
assistance for reinstating at least one of the two 04 poloff
positions currently slated for elimination this coming Summer
2006.
JOHNSON

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