Cablegate: Managua Inl Report for Oct-Mar, Fy 2006
DE RUEHMU #1438/01 1841824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031824Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6814
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS MANAGUA 001438
DEPT FOR INL/LA, INL/RM AND WHA/CEN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NU KJUS
SUBJECT: MANAGUA INL REPORT FOR OCT-MAR, FY 2006
1. (U) Summary: Over the last six months, INL supported
Nicaraguan Navy and Police operations have resulted in
substantial seizures and arrests. According to DEA
statistics, 9.3 kilos of heroin, 1,538.6 kilos of cocaine and
52 kilos of marijuana were seized. Nicaraguan authorities
arrested 41 people in conjunction with the seizures. INL
Managua also provided training to law enforcement officials
and supported anti-corruption activities.
2. (SBU) Highlights:
-- December 17, 2005: The Nicaraguan National Police (NNP)
seized 809 kilograms of cocaine and arrested 6 subjects. The
NNP seized the cocaine from vehicles along the
Chinandega-Corinto highway. The cocaine was brought in by
boat to the Port of Corinto and then loaded into the
vehicles. The NNP successfully apprehended the captain of
the boat and seized the boat and communication equipment used
by the drug traffickers. (Comment: This seizure is also
significant because it occurred on the Pacific Coast, which
may indicate a shift in routes by drug traffickers. Drugs
are traditionally moved up the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua by
boat or overland from the Costa Rican border.)
-- December 17-20: INL funded a DEA-supported NNP operation
which involved deploying NNP teams to the Nicaraguan borders
with Costa Rica and Honduras and the Managua airport in order
to deter the flow of drugs overland through Nicaragua. The
NNP focused on "blind spots" along the Nicaraguan border with
Costa Rica, which officers stationed permanently at the
border are unable to cover. The operation resulted in a few
small seizures and arrests, but more importantly, it shifted
drug trafficking patterns and deterred the use of traditional
routes. The operation also resulted in better intelligence
and information on the methods and routes used along the
-- February 22: The NNP seized over 500 kilograms of cocaine
at the Penas Blancas vehicle inspection station. The NNP
pulled over a suspicious vehicle as it crossed the border
from Costa Rica. The drugs were discovered in a 20-foot long
steel bridge girder hidden under scrap metal, oil filters,
and dirt to mask the scent of the drugs -- which was so
effective that the K-9s did not alert on the drugs until the
girder had been taken apart. The vehicle was apparently
headed to Guatemala. (Comment: Post is funding urgently
needed repairs at Penas Blancas to improve working conditions
and officers' effectiveness in detecting contraband.)
3. (U) INL supported NNP anti-narcotic activities:
-- INL Managua funded three deployments monthly of the NNP's
Mobile Interdiction and K-9 units.
-- INL Managua supported the deployment of the Nicaraguan
National Police Chemical Precursor Inspection Unit (CPIU) for
4 and 5 day operations for two months.
-- We sponsored the trip of an NNP officer to San Diego, CA
to coordinate with DEA and regional counterparts on an
ongoing narcotics case.
-- INL sponsored the travel of two NNP officers to Costa Rica
to coordinate investigative efforts into an organizations
shipping cocaine from Costa Rica to Guatemala via Nicaragua.
-- INL funds funded basic maintenance at Penas Blancas and
repairs to NNP equipment.
4. (U) Training:
-- The NNP Deputy Chief of Police attended an FBI Retrainer
Conference in Panama City Oct. 16 - 21.
-- INL sponsored an NNP Police officer to attend an anti-gang
conference in El Salvador in November.
-- Six NNP officers attended training in Costa Rica on
vehicle inspection techniques, sponsored by INL.
-- INL sponsored NNP officers to attend a mini-IDECs and
IDECs (International Drug Enforcement Conference) in Latin
5. (U) Naval program:
-- The second Dabur refurbishment was completed and repairs
are set to begin on the third boat.
-- We provided over USD 20,000 in spare parts to the
Nicaraguan Navy for maintenance of their fast boat fleet.
6. (U) Anti-corruption activities (with Post's Resident
-- INL sponsored the Nicaraguan Attorney General's trip to El
Salvador to meet with a DOJ representative and attorney
generals from other Central America countries and discuss
pending corruption cases in the region.
-- Post held the annual 'Mini Dublin' meeting and used the
opportunity to promote discussion among donor nations on
-- INL sent two NNP officers to Panama City for a Money
7. (U) Demand Reduction:
-- INL provided funds to the OAS for a Culture of Lawfulness
program in Nicaragua. The first training sessions for
teachers may begin in July and August.
-- DARE materials were translated into the Miskito language
and we are planning to print additional materials in Spanish
and English to be used on the Atlantic coast.