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Cablegate: Ipr Training for Mexican Customs at Veracruz

VZCZCXRO1109
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #4144/01 2152135
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 032135Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8284
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1314
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 0368
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 004144

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TPP/MTA/IPE/WALLACE/URBAN
STATE FOR WHA/MEX
STATE PASS USTR FOR MELLE/MCCOY/SHIGETOMI/BAE
JUSTICE FOR CCIPS/MERRIAM/KOUAME AND OPDAT/DELUIGI
COMMERCE FOR ITA/MAC/NAFTA/WORD AND
ITA/MAC/IPR/WILSON/WRIGHT
COMMERCE PASS USPTO FOR RODRIGUEZ/BERDUT/MORALES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR SNAR MX
SUBJECT: IPR TRAINING FOR MEXICAN CUSTOMS AT VERACRUZ


Summary
-------

1. (U) The Embassy, together with the Departments of Justice
and Homeland Security, held a five-day training seminar on
detecting, detaining, and deterring the importation of
pirated and counterfeit goods for Mexican customs and law
enforcement officials at the Port of Veracruz. The seminar
was financed by a combination of DOJ grant money from
State/INL and by the Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Section.
Via a number of interactive roundtables and practical
exercises, the course focused on the importance of
inter-agency cooperation in protecting intellectual property
rights at the border and in following up seizures of
infringing goods with appropriate administrative actions and
criminal procedures. An instructor from the World Customs
Organization (WCO) also explained the resources made
available by that UN organization for tracking particular
shipments and liaising with customs colleagues from other
countries. The Mexican reaction to the course was very
positive, and the Embassy plans to hold further IPR customs
trainings in other key Mexican ports. End summary.

Students and Instructors
------------------------

2. (U) The July 23-27 seminar was attended by 43 Mexican
customs officers, 24 of whom were from the Port of Veracruz
(the country's largest port on the Gulf of Mexico), including
Francisco Serrano, Customs Administrator for Veracruz. The
remaining 21 customs officers came from other major Mexican
ports and from Customs headquarters in Mexico City. Four
attendees came from the Office of Attorney General of the
Republic (PGR - rough equivalent of the Department of
Justice), two from the IPR crimes unit and two from the
financial crimes unit. Four attendees were from the
enforcement division of the Mexican Institute of Industrial
Property (IMPI - rough equivalent of the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office), and another three were federal police from
the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) and the Federal
Preventive Police (PFP).

3. (U) The USG course instructors consisted of an IPR
prosecutor from DOJ's Computer Crimes and Intellectual
Property Section (Marie-Flore Kouame), a DHS/CBP
international trade specialist from the Los Angeles Strategic
Trade Center (Marjorie Ottenberg), a DHS/CBP officer from the
Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico (Ludmila Rosario), and two
DHS/ICE agents from Consulate General Monterrey (Raul Aguilar
and Jose Silva). DOJ also funded the participation of Renato
Zurita, an Ecuadorian customs official affiliated with the
World Customs Organization. The Embassy recruited three
Mexican IPR lawyers who represent major U.S. rights owners,
as well as Gilda Gonzalez and Guadalupe Nava, IMPI's
enforcement chief and her deputy, respectively, to
participate as instructors as well. Two of the PGR attendees
(Leobardo Aguilar and Isaac Giron) referred to in para 2 also
participated as instructors in various segments of the
program.

Seminar Program and Themes
--------------------------

4. (U) Day One of the seminar was dedicated to presentations
on the importance of IPR, a roundtable featuring PGR and IMPI
officials on the basics of Mexican IPR law, and sessions on
the role customs agencies can play in protecting IPR. The
first half of Day Two focused on how government agencies can
improve collaboration with the rights holders, while the
second half of the day provided instruction on how to follow
up seizures of infringing goods with criminal investigations.
During both the morning and afternoon sessions, the
attendees were broken up into four groups (with the PGR,
IMPI, and federal police representatives evenly distributed
among them) to work through practical exercises on profiling
incoming shipments and launching criminal investigations.
Day Three focused on the nuts of bolts of container
inspection and inter-agency cooperation in the Mexican
context. As Mexican customs can only hold suspect goods for

MEXICO 00004144 002 OF 002


a limited time on their own authority, the group exercises
revealed the importance of their communicating effectively
with IMPI (to find out whether the goods in question are
pirated or counterfeit, and to possibly have IMPI confiscate
them if they are) and the PGR, which has the power to
initiate criminal investigations. During the second half of
Day Three, the attendees began working on a draft outline of
an IPR manual for Mexican port inspectors incorporating much
of the material covered in earlier sessions. This manual,
when completed, will be distributed to Mexican front-line
customs inspectors nationwide. Day Four began with Renato
Zurita discussing the information resources and international
contacts made available by the World Customs Organization.
One lesson learned during exploration of the WCO website was
that Mexico has not been inputting records of recent seizures
into the WCO enforcement database, something Mexican customs
officials admitted they needed to change. The afternoon of
Day Four was spent at the Port of Veracruz, where Mexican
customs opened and inspected several recently arrived
containers that had been identified as high-risk by the
course participants and instructors earlier in the week. Day
Five was devoted to a review of lessons learned, nailing down
next steps on finalizing the draft IPR manual for Mexican
port inspectors, and the graduation ceremony that was
presided over by Embassy CBP AttachQ Renee Harris and Port
Administrator Serrano.

Looking Ahead
-------------

5. (U) Evaluations by the Mexican attendees were very
positive, particularly with respect to the heavy focus on
inter-agency cooperation among Customs, PGR, IMPI, and the
federal police, which will be codified in the IPR manual, a
project which, when completed, will represent a significant
concrete deliverable of the exercise. Just as important were
the personal connections made among the various agencies, and
between the USG and Mexican participants and instructors,
which we are confident will result in more coordinated
Mexican IPR enforcement efforts as well as better bilateral
cooperation in attacking cross-border flows of pirated and
counterfeit products. The Embassy plans to hold two more IPR
customs seminars next year: one in Manzanillo, Mexico's
principal Pacific port, and another in Nuevo Laredo, the
busiest border crossing for cargo shipments.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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