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Cablegate: Inl Support in 2007 Is Yielding Results

VZCZCXRO9568
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1772/01 2601621
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171621Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9969
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6282
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4316
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4995
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3784
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 5620
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7006
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 2279
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 6414
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7129
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5102
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0796
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001772

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL, WHA/BSC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR EAID KCRM PREL BR
SUBJECT: INL SUPPORT IN 2007 IS YIELDING RESULTS


Sensitive but unclassified -- please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Despite a dramatic reduction in NAS Brasilia
external activities since June 2006, while an internal
re-organization and new overall program strategy were being
developed, INL authorized the continued support of several projects.
In cooperation with other USG agencies at post, NAS support has
helped the Government of Brazil make important advances in its drug
prevention and law enforcement programs, including numerous seizures
of illicit narcotics and weapons, and the arrest of important drug
traffickers. In one notable example, intelligence developed via NAS
supported, DEA-vetted Sensitive Investigative Units (SIUs) helped
bring about the capture of Juan Carlos Ramirez-Abadia, a notorious
Colombian drug trafficker. NAS Brasilia looks forward to expanding
its counter-narcotics and law enforcement programs, in line with its
revitalized strategy, which will likely produce additional results.
END SUMMARY.

-----------------------------
SENSITIVE INVESTIGATIVE UNITS
-----------------------------

2. (SBU) NAS Brasilia has continued to support DEA-vetted Sensitive
Investigative Units (SIUs) via assistance such as travel, per diem,
and translation services, which has allowed DEA Brazil to cooperate
with the Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) to initiate several
investigations and develop important intelligence involving illicit
narcotics and contraband being trafficked through Brazil and
destined for the United States. Several operations have resulted in
the capture of high-level drug traffickers:

A. On August 7, Brazilian Federal Police, acting on intelligence
developed by the Sao Paulo SIU, captured Juan Carlos Ramirez-Abadia,
a Colombian national, in a raid on a luxury home near Sao Paulo,
from which authorities say he oversaw a multibillion-dollar drug and
money laundering ring stretching to Europe and the United States.
Ramirez-Abadia gained notoriety in the 1990s as a leader of the
still powerful Norte del Valle cartel based near Cali, and had
undergone extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance in a
bid to avoid being identified. The DPF seized U.S. and foreign
currency worth approximately USD 615,000, gym equipment worth USD
500,000, ten flat screen televisions, artwork, jewelry, and four
vehicles at Ramirez-Abadia's house in Brazil. Brazilian and
Colombian authorities also seized numerous assets, including
property valued at USD 4 million, jewelry worth approximately USD 1
million, nearly 70 vehicles, U.S. and foreign currency worth almost
USD 1.2 million, nearly 100 jet skis from one of Ramirez-Abadia's
companies, approximately 100 cell phones and 300 sim cards. On
August 10, the DPF arrested two of Ramirez-Abadia's accomplices in
Campinas, Sao Paulo: Colombian Jaime Verano Garcia and Brazilian
Eliseu Almeida de Machado, who reportedly carried more than USD
500,000 in Brazilian currency with them.

B. The DPF also worked closely with DEA Brazil and federal law
enforcement agencies in Argentina and Uruguay on operation "San
Francisco," a three-year long investigation based out of the SIU in
Sao Paulo. During the span of the investigation, the SIU
intercepted 38 telephone lines being used by a Colombian drug
trafficking organization headed by Gustavo Duran-Bautista.
Intelligence gathered while monitoring over 300,000 calls indicated
that the FARC (16th Front) was supplying Duran-Bautista with
Colombian cocaine, which was then smuggled by his export companies
out of South America, hidden in shipments of produce, and
transported to Europe and the United States via maritime routes. On
August 18, the Uruguayan Federal Police arrested Gustavo
Duran-Bautista, Angel Andres Duran Bautista, Julio Cesar Duran
Bautista, Juan Carlos Villamil Parra, and Fredy Reaiana, all of whom
are Colombian nationals. The DPF arrested two Brazilian pilots:
Neilson Mongeloso and Plinio Lopes Ribeiro. The Uruguayan Federal
Police seized approximately 485 kilograms of pure Colombian cocaine
and a Barron 55 airplane; the DPF are in the process of seizing over
23 properties -- including farms, houses, ranches, and apartments
located in six Brazilian states -- and another airplane and

BRASILIA 00001772 002 OF 003


helicopter. Thanks to the SIU intelligence, the DPF also anticipate
arresting nine other individuals involved in the Duran-Bautista drug
trafficking organization.

C. Based on wire intercepts, the Rio de Janeiro SIU received
information that the Beira Mar drug trafficking organization was
preparing to transport narcotics, firearms, and ammunition from
Pelotas and Porto Alegre, two cities located in the southern state
of Rio Grande do Sul. The SIU intelligence indicated that the
shipment was destined to the Primeiro Commando da Capital (PCC) --
one of Brazil's most powerful organized criminal gangs. On April
17, the operation led to the arrest on April 17 of five Brazilian
nationals, and the seizure of 50 kilograms of cocaine, 10 kilograms
of marijuana, various firearms, and ammunition.

D. On May 29, 2007, the DPF in the state of Parana, acting on
information provided by the Rio de Janeiro SIU, seized 174 kilograms
of HCL cocaine and a Cessna Skylane aircraft. The DPF also arrested
three Brazilian nationals at the Municipal airport in Marechal
Candido Rondon, Parana, which is located approximately 180
kilometers from Foz do Iguacu. This seizure is also believed to be
connected to the Beira Mar drug trafficking organization.

E. There have also been several instances of Mexican nationals
arrested for attempting to smuggle Colombian heroin out of Brazil to
Mexico (ultimately destined for the United States) and individuals
using express mail and the Brazilian Postal Service to send packages
containing heroin to the United States.

------------------------
OFFICER EXCHANGE PROGRAM
------------------------

3. (SBU) On March 1, 2007, representatives from Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay met in Asuncion to discuss the
Officer Exchange Program and sign a memorandum of understanding
(MOU). NAS Brasilia has funded TDY travel for up to six Bolivian
SIU officers to assist in SIU investigations targeting Spanish
speakers. It is anticipated that four more Bolivians will be
assigned to work at the Bolivia-Brazil border. The police officers
who are part of the program are positioned in neighboring countries
and are able to investigate, share real-time intelligence, and
target members of international drug trafficking organizations.
This cooperative exchange of officers has allowed agents from other
South American countries to build professional and comfortable
working relationships where none existed previously. It has also
allowed for the successful completion of International Controlled
Deliveries (ICDs), greater confidence in intelligence sharing, and a
more extensive use of the Centers for Drug Information (CDI)
terminal system for the exchange of information.

------------------------
DEMAND REDUCTION PROGRAM
------------------------

4. (U) In early 2007, the Brazilian National Anti-drug Secretariat
(SENAD) released the results of the 2005-2006 national household
drug consumption survey, jointly funded by NAS and SENAD. The
results indicated that since the last survey was done in 2001,
marijuana consumption had increased from 6.9% to 8.8% and cocaine
consumption had increased from 2.3% to 2.9%. NAS has also supported
SENAD's efforts to reach drug users via a toll free number which
provides educational material and information on stopping drug
abuse.

5. (U) The U.S. based Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program
(DARE) or as it is known in Brazil, PROERD, is the second largest
DARE program in the world and is implemented in all of Brazil's 26
states and the Federal District. Our support for regional and
international training during 2007 included funding the travel of
two educators, accompanied by an interpreter, to the 20th Annual
International DARE conference in Nashville, Tennessee.


BRASILIA 00001772 003 OF 003


------------------------
QUARTERLY DPF STATISTICS
------------------------

6. (U) The Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) have reported increased
drug seizures in FY 2007, compared to last year -- a phenomenon
attributable to both improved interdiction effectiveness and an
increase in the amount of drugs produced by neighboring countries
that is transiting Brazil. The following drug seizure and arrest
statistics are provided by the DPF, and are in kilograms, unless
otherwise noted.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th

Marijuana 34,230 25,516 32,508
Cocaine 3,000 2,439 3,032
Crack 25 57 152
Cocaine base 78 210 287
Heroin 38 5 11
Hashish 17 7 70
MDMA (units) n/a 27,000 26,738
Arrests (total) 40 28 40

-------
COMMENT
-------

7. (SBU) Despite improved cooperation with its neighbors, Brazil's
expansive territory and borders make effective border control and
narcotics enforcement in the vast Amazonian region -- more than half
the national territory -- a serious challenge. Interagency USG
coordination and NAS support have been key to achieving the kinds of
results noted above, and will remain vital to our future
counter-narcotics and law enforcement efforts.

CHICOLA

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