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Cablegate: Security Minister to Visit U.S. Southern Command

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #2237 2842300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 112300Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6291
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN JOSE 002237

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/PPC AND INL/LP
DOD FOR OSD POLICY:JALVERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2006
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV SNAR CS
SUBJECT: SECURITY MINISTER TO VISIT U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND
AND NEW MEXICO IN SEARCH OF ASSISTANCE

REF: SAN JOSE 2113

Classified By: Ambassador Mark Langdale per 1.4 (d).

1. (C) Minister of Public Security Fernando Berrocal has
requested Embassy assistance in organizing an official visit
to U.S. Southern Command, preferably on Wednesday, November
15, 2006. The visit would coincide with an official visit
with Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico that will take
place November 12-14. If the visit to SouthCom is approved,
Berrocal would return to Costa Rica on November 16, 2006.
The purpose of both visits is to explore possibilities for
security assistance to Costa Rica. Berrocal has indicated to
local media that he will sign an assistance agreement with
Richardson during his visit to New Mexico.

2. (C) According to his staff, the agreement Berrocal wishes
to sign is a State Partnership Program (SPP) agreement in
which the U.S. National Guard, in coordination with SouthCom,
would provide assistance to Costa Rica through exercises and
training opportunities. The Embassy supported Costa Rica's
request to participate in the SPP (although we have no
opinion as to whether New Mexico is the proper partner for
Costa Rica--see reftel). According to informal indications
from J-5 at SouthCom, approval of a New Mexico-Costa Rica SPP
program is likely and should occur in time for the November
visit.

3. (U) ACTION REQUEST: Please advise status of and likely
timetable for SPP decision for Costa Rica.
LANGDALE

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