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Cablegate: Nas Panama Monthly Report and Local Developments: July

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #1438 2392132
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 272132Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1056
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC

UNCLAS PANAMA 001438

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KJUS MCAP PM
SUBJECT: NAS PANAMA MONTHLY REPORT AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENTS: JULY
2007

1. (U) This cable provides a brief overview of NAS/Panama
activities and law enforcement and counternarcotics developments
during July 2007.

PENDING GOP INITIATIVES
-----------------------

2. (SBU) Issues we have been following closely -- rollout of a
coast guard service, reorganization of the Technical Judicial Police
(PTJ), and reforms to the criminal procedure code -- were on
stand-by during the month of July, largely owing to the local
congressional recess. On the positive side, the Ministry of
Government and Justice (MOGJ) gave the green light to signing an
inter-institutional agreement solidifying the role of the
NAS-financed Joint Intelligence Coordination Center (JICC). The
JICC serves as a center for information sharing and requests
regarding major crime issues. We expect the signing ceremony to
take place in the near future.

CNIES - NOTAM STILL PENDING
---------------------------

3. (SBU) NAS and ECON reached out on several occasions to senior
officials at both the MOGJ and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to
reiterate the requirement that a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) be issued
in order for the USG to reestablish the suspended Cooperating Nation
Information Exchange System (CNIES) feed. As of this writing, no
NOTAM has been issued. DCM will raise the issue at his next meeting
with MOGJ Minister Olga Golcher.

MEETING WITH CANADIAN OFFICIALS
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) NAS and DHS/CBP met with Daniel Perrier of the Canadian
Border Services Agency to discuss issues related to Panama's Customs
Service and the Guabala inter-agency checkpoint on the Pan American
Highway. The Canadians agreed with us that Panamanian Customs is
overly focused on revenue collection and needs to focus more on
enforcement. NAS is in a position to support additional CBP-led
training programs on the enforcement side. The Canadians concurred
with us that the GOP needs to dedicate resources to the Guabala
checkpoint as well as develop a plan for rotational leadership at
the site. We agreed to jointly reiterate that message to the MOGJ.


NEW INITIATIVES WITH NATIONAL AIR SERVICE
-----------------------------------------

5. (U) Two DYNCORP instructors working for INL Air Wing (INL/A) in
Colombia visited Panama to provide maintenance pilot training to the
National Air Service (SAN). The training was coordinated through
INL/A, and DYNCORP provided the instructors at no cost. We hope
this is the start of a regular exchange of pilot and mechanic
training between Colombia and Panama. We are planning to invite SAN
and National Maritime Service (SMN) officials to INL/A at Patrick
AFB in September to discuss additional training possibilities.

CEREMONIES AND CONFERENCES
--------------------------

6. (U) We received prominent press coverage of the graduation
ceremony for close to forty senior-level National Police (PNP)
officers in the NAS-financed police management course led by the
Southern Police Institute (SPI) of the University of Louisville.
Strong GOP support for our ongoing police modernization program was
evinced by the participation of Minister Golcher in the graduation.
The DCM presided over a well-publicized donation ceremony for
roughly $148,000 in computer equipment for our crime mapping and
analysis program (INCRIDEFA). NAS provided financial support to the
Attorney General's Office to host an OAS/CICAD experts' meeting on
combating maritime-based trafficking. EATON

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