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Cablegate: Building Police Presence - and Better Futures -

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #3066/01 2542147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112147Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6804
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 5060
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7577
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP QUITO 1446
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF STATE AIR WING PATRICK AFB FL
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RHMFIUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-CI/G-M/G-OLE//
RUCOWCA/COMLANTAREA COGARD PORTSMOUTH VA
RUWDQAA/COMPACAREA COGARD ALAMEDA CA

UNCLAS LIMA 003066

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LP
STATE FOR WHA/PPC
ONDCP FOR LT COL RONALD GARNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM ASEC PREL PE
SUBJECT: BUILDING POLICE PRESENCE - AND BETTER FUTURES -
EAST OF THE ANDES


1.(U) SUMMARY: The 3 NAS-sponsored police Pre-Academies, with
a total of 764 students enrolled this year, are starting to
provide a better-prepared pool of candidates for the 3
NAS/PNP Academies East of the Andes, that now graduate around
1000 new police each year. In 2007, half of the Mazamari
pre-Academy students passed the PNP entrance exams: next year
the goal is 70 percent. The main goals for all these
Academies -- augmenting well-trained CN police East of the
Andes and increasing state presence, as well as improving
community-police relations, are being achieved, despite some
bumps in the road. Additionally, local economies are
receiving a boost, educational opportunities are opening, and
women and indigenous groups are being integrated into
national structures. In a study of the impact of the
pre-Academies/Academies in Mazamari, assessors found the
locally recruited students are contributing not only to
security in previously lawless zones, but are also a source
of pride to wide family circles, and they embark on
professional careers. END SUMMARY.

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BACKGROUND
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2.(U) To redress the lack of police presence in Peru's
lawless coca growing zones -- security is the prerequisite
for broader state presence, development, and social inclusion
-- NAS developed a beachhead program in 2004 consisting of 3
Police Academies (in the towns of Santa Lucia, Mazamari and
in 2005, Ayacucho) to train recruits from East of the Andes.
These recruits commit to serving 3 years in counter-narcotics
duties. Over 1000 students are currently in training. By the
end of 2008, 3000 new police will have passed through the
program and the first graduates will be moving on to regular
policing duties. To meet the annual intake of 350 recruits
in each Academy, NAS set up pre-Academies in the same towns
to provide a pool of qualified local candidates. Currently
764 school-leavers between the ages of 17-25 are enrolled in
the 3 pre-Academies. (Note: Peru has a young population - 65
percent is under 29. Most living East of the Andes have
scant hope of a professional career. The demographics show
this trend will continue during the next 10 years, providing
a significant challenge to this and the next government. End
Note).

3.(U) During a rotation at NAS Lima, INL/RM Foreign Affairs
Officer Keira Goldstein looked at the functioning of the
pre-academies as feeder schools for the main NAS/PNP
Academies at Santa Lucia, Mazamari and Ayacucho. Goldstein
did a field visit to the pre-academy at Mazamari, (VRAE),
where she interviewed representatives of the local
government, social service providers, community leaders,
police, and the students and teachers of the pre-Academy to
assess the efficacy of the program. The information below is
based on her report.

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MAZAMARI - POOR YET A "REGIONAL ENVY"
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4.(U) Mazamari is a typical impoverished Peruvian town yet an
exceptional one, described by its governor as a "regional
envy". Most residents are farmers with an average income of
10 soles (3.15 USD) a day. The town has no paved roads, no
potable water, and no university or trade school. The
population of around 20,000 has a significant Ashaninka
minority. The presence of a PNP base and the Police Academy
sets Mazamari apart. Both Presidents Toledo and Garcia have
visited, along with several of Ministers, because of the
Academy/Pre-academies, that provide local youth a chance for
a professional career in a town with no other options. The
police base, built in 1965, has provided Mazamari with
increased security and prevented it from becoming a center of
narco-trafficking. Thus, both the challenges and the
potential in Mazamari are substantial.

- - - - - - - - - - -
ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
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5.(U) All PNP Academies accept students through a national
exam process. Aspiring police must pass medicals, a test of
physical abilities, academics, psychological evaluation, and
a personal interview. In the NAS/PNP Academies, men and
women are trained together, and must pass the same entrance
exams (except men are tested on upper body strength and women
on abdominal strength). A set number of indigenous
applicants are accepted into the NAS/PNP Academies without
having to pass the academic portion of the entrance exam
(administered by a Peruvian university to ensure fairness).
The second year the Academies were in operation they
encountered a problem: not enough locals were passing the
entrance exam. Academy slots were being filled by students
from coastal cities: such recruits have typically resisted
serving East of the Andes. In response, NAS opened
pre-Academies to bolster the skills of local applicants.

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ACADEMY AND PRE-ACADEMY GOALS
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6.(U) The goals for both the Academies and pre-Academies
include: augmenting counter-drug police East of the Andes,
improving community-police relations, creating ethical police
with a sense of community service, supporting development of
the local economy, improving the overall level of education
east of the Andes, integrating women and indigenous groups
into national structures, and paving the way for
significantly increased state presence east of the Andes.
Stated narrowly, the goal of Mazamari's Academy is to
graduate 350 well-trained police each year. The goal of the
pre-Academy is to prepare local candidates to pass the
entrance exam so that 100 percent of the Academy students in
Mazamari are from East of the Andes.

7.(SBU) The pre-Academy in Mazamari opened in March 2006.
Administering NGO CEPTIS works closely with local governing
officials, providers of social services, and police at the
base/Academy (e.g. the Base Commander teaches the civics
course at the pre-Academy, students practice swimming at the
base pool, and police instructors provide specialized
physical fitness training). CEPTIS has instituted screening
to weed out potential narco "plants". In the most recent
round of recruiting, 250 people applied for 160 spots in
Mazamari's pre-Academy (in Ayacucho, over 600 people competed
for the 280 places in that pre-Academy). Once accepted,
students attend academic classes on week-nights and do
physical fitness training Saturday mornings. Heavy emphasis
is placed on reading comprehension since levels are low
throughout Peru. All students have to run the same sprint
and endurance distances and practice formation drills before
each evening's Academic classes.

8.(U) Teachers are carefully selected. In Mazamari, 6 of the
8 academic teachers teach in the local private school that
donates classroom space to the pre-Academy in the evenings.
CEPTIS monitors instructor performance, use of appropriate
teaching techniques and the syllabus. Teachers commented on
the differences between teaching students in regular schools
and the pre-Academy. In regular school, the students do not
believe academic success will improve their lives and so do
not work hard. In the pre-Academy, the students had to
compete to be there: they have a chance to prepare for a
professional career. Teachers emphasized how motivated
students are to learn -- this was apparent during class
observation.

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IMPACT
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9.(SBU) The Pre-Academy/PNP Academy in Mazamari appear to be
achieving three broad kinds of change. First, local
businesses are benefiting, with an increase in the number of
restaurants and services. Second, the Academies are
improving community-police relations. Locals used to stone
police patrols, but with local recruits, this has stopped.
The assessors observed that the students are a source of
pride, touching a wide family circle. Impoverished children

asked what they wanted to be when they grew up
enthusiastically shouted "Police!" A parent of a pre-Academy
student said he hoped his child would be able help rebuild
the security terrorists had destroyed. A leader in the
indigenous communities, with 2 sons in the PNP, considers her
community to be safer now that their own people are joining
the police. Third, policy decisions advocated at the
NAS-funded Academies are having nation-wide implications.
All 19 police Academies in Peru are now moving from a 3-year
degree program to a condensed 1-year program. This shift is
important for the goal of expanding the PNP by 20,000 in 5
years. The recruitment of women and indigenous has pushed
national policy in a more inclusive direction.

10. (U) The easiest measurement of the impact of the Mazamari
pre-Academy is how many of its students passed the police
entrance exam. Out of the 151 students, 62 passed the exam
(41 percent). CEPTIS has set an internal goal for the coming
session of a 70 percent acceptance rate. Regardless of
whether they passed the entrance exam, anecdotal evidence
suggests additional results from the pre-Academy.
Educational levels are being raised. Students are
responsible for cleaning their classrooms and townsfolk
observed that students were also cleaning the area around the
school. The underlying hope is that all students leaving the
pre-Academy, whether they pass of fail, will have a better
education, a greater respect for the police and more
commitment to community service.

11. (U) Comment: This substantial police training program
has run into the usual bumps in the road as it is being
developed. However, the pre-Academies/Academies are
providing a window of opportunity and educational advancement
in the Upper Huallaga and VRAE -- areas where illegal
activities are rife for lack of alternatives. The
pre-Academies are still a work-in-progress, but students
involved in town clean-up auger well for a future commitment
to community service. Problems remain with coordinating
pre-Academy and PNP entrance exam schedules. There needs to
be careful calibration of recruitment practices to represent
the population and meet police needs. Nonetheless, an
indication of the success of the NAS pre-academies is that
several private academies have also sprung up to prepare
students for entrance to the NAS/PNP Academies.
NEALON

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