Cablegate: Ecuador's Proposed Revisions to Security
DE RUEHQT #2299/01 2831909
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O 101909Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7876
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RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2711
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UNCLAS QUITO 002299
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MASS MARR EC
SUBJECT: ECUADOR'S PROPOSED REVISIONS TO SECURITY
COOPERATION DIPLOMATIC NOTE
REF: A. SECSTATE 132344
B. QUITO 2064
1. (U) Action Request - See Paragraph 7.
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Following internal meetings between
Ecuador,s MFA and MOD, Post has received a response to
Embassy,s diplomatic note on FY08 security cooperation
containing several proposed revisions. The MFA clearly
communicated the desire to continue military cooperation but
said the 1997 diplomatic note required updating in some
sections for greater clarity. Post requests Washington,s
review of the GOE text and instructions on how Post should
respond. With all FY 08 military training/activities on hold
until this is resolved, this is an urgent request. END
3. (U) Post delivered Ref A diplomatic note on FY08 security
cooperation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via official
channel on September 20 and hand delivered a courtesy copy on
the same day to Bolivar Torres, Director General of
Sovereignty at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The
September 20 diplomatic note referenced Diplomatic Note No.
065/97 of October 8, 1997, that provides protection for U.S.
armed forces personnel. Since then, Post has been in
constant contact with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
Defense to monitor progress on providing a response. A
ten-day UNGA-linked foreign trip delayed senior attention,
but Foreign Minister Espinosa and Minister of Defense met on
October 8 to discuss the issue.
4. (SBU) On October 9, PolChief, MilGroup Commander, and
PolOff met with MFA Under Secretary of Sovereignty Jaime
Barberis to hear the GOE reaction. The focus was the
language of the 1997 diplomatic note. Barberis emphasized
that the GOE is very interested in continuing military
cooperation and exercises and appreciates their value in
fighting the common threat of narcotics trafficking. He said
the 1997 diplomatic note required updating for greater
clarity and to align with the Correa Administration's
position. Barberis expressed regret that there was not
sufficient time to complete the exchange of notes before the
new U.S. fiscal year began. He added that military-related
issues receive high visibility under the current
administration and thus the Foreign Ministry has given this
issue priority for analysis. Barberis stated that the FY08
calendar of activities is acceptable to the GOE, but that in
future years, the GOE wanted more time to analyze the
proposed activities to ensure that each exercise is in
Ecuador's best interest, thus the addition of a new Article 3
providing additional time for analysis.
5. (U) Under Secretary Barberis provided a document with the
GOE's desired changes to the Embassy's Diplomatic Note No.
065/97 of October 8, 1997. He stated that the MFA will
deliver a diplomatic note on October 10 that will contain the
same text. Post has faxed the document (in Spanish) to
WHA/AND and provides unofficial translation in paragraph 8.
6. (SBU) In our initial review, Post noted substantive
changes or additions to Articles 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 14 of
the Ecuadorian document. None appear to be unworkable, but
some will clearly need some change or clarification.
-- SUBJECT MATTER: Article 3 requiring earlier coordination
on the schedule of military cooperation activities is
completely new, and our understanding is that the amount of
time requested is negotiable, but that the GOE wants
sufficient time to review and approve the contents of the
exercise calendar. Post can engage the GOE six months prior
to the new calendar year regarding a notional calendar with
the goal of having a calendar approved within the first nine
months of the preceding year. Post is concerned that
additional changes and exercises may become available after
the official approval of the calendar, and that the time
involved in resubmission for approval and exchange of notes
may invalidate the possibility of such changes and
opportunities. Therefore, Post proposes additional language
that subsequent changes to a GOE approved calendar NOT
require an additional exchange of diplomatic notes, but
rather could be handled through official communication at the
-- WEARING UNIFORMS: Article 6 adds a phrase at the end of
the sentence limiting the location of use of military uniform
to areas of the exercises. Post understands that the GOE is
attempting to limit the visibility of foreign military
presence within Ecuador. Post suggests that the phrase by
modified, adding language to specify that it refers to
personnel &subject to this agreement8 and within &and in
transit to and from8 the assigned area.
-- DRIVERS LICENSING: Article 7 has been renamed. During a
follow-up telephone discussion with the MFA, Patricio Troya
of the Directorate of Sovereignty confirmed that the omission
of the second paragraph of the original note, regarding the
acceptance of medical licenses and credentials, was an error
by the MFA, and that the second paragraph will be included in
the official diplomatic note. Therefore, Post proposes that
the title of the Article be changed back to the original:
-- FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Article 8 is completely rewritten.
Under Secretary Barberis verbally confirmed that transit for
logistical purposes would also be covered under Freedom of
Movement. Post believes the GOE language would need to be
broadened to include exercise-linked logistical activities
and transit to and from exercises.
-- STATUS OF PERSONNEL: Article 9 adds a sentence referencing
the Vienna Convention at the end of the first and second
paragraphs, similar to language used in the Manta FOL
agreement of November 19, 1997, under Article VII.
-- CLAIMS: Article 10 has been rewritten, adding language
referring to coordination with Ecuadorian authorities and
specifying that Ecuador will assume responsibility provided
that these projects have been previously approved by the
Government of Ecuador.
-- SECURITY: Article 14 omits original text and adds new
text. Post suggests in paragraph two, at the end of the
first and third sentences, that additional language be added:
&, and in transit to and from the exercise area8.
Additionally, Post suggests that each reference to &United
States personnel8 in this article include additional
clarifying text to specify that the restriction in carrying
arms is for personnel &subject to this agreement", or other
such appropriate language so that it does not prohibit other
USG personnel in country from carrying arms, as appropriate
to their duties and in conformity with host country
7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests Washington review of
the GOE text and instructions on how we should respond.
8. (U) Begin text of post's unofficial translation of GOE
ARTICLE I: PURPOSE
The parties shall jointly participate in the Exercises
scheduled to take place in Ecuador between October 2007
and 30 September 2008. In connection with the Exercises,
United States Armed Forces will deploy to Ecuador to perform
training, medical, and engineering and constructions projects.
ARTICLE II: DEFINITIONS
As used in this agreement, "United States personnel" shall
mean military and civilian personnel of the United States
Armed Forces temporarily present in Ecuador in connection
with the Exercises.
ARTICLE III: SUBJECT MATTER
The Exercises scheduled in this agreement, such as the
timeline, must be prepared and agreed upon by both Parties,
and specify that the timeline of Exercises to be executed the
following year must be approved within the first six months
of the preceding year.
ARTICLE IV: RESPECT FOR LAW
It shall be the responsibility of the United States personnel
to respect the laws of Ecuador and to abstain from any
activity inconsistent with the spirit of this Agreement.
Authorities of the Government of the United States of America
will take necessary measures to that end.
ARTICLE V: ENTRY AND EXIT
United States personnel may enter and exit Ecuador with
United States Government identification and with collective
or individual travel orders. Passports and visas will not be
required. The Embassy of the United States in Quito will
notify the Government of Ecuador with the appropriate
timeliness the list of names and dates of arrival and/or
departure of the personnel assigned to these exercises.
ARTICLE VI: WEARING UNIFORMS
United States personnel may wear their uniforms while
performing official duties in Ecuador and within the assigned
area for the execution of the Exercises scheduled in this
ARTICLE VII: DRIVERS LICENSING
Ecuadorian authorities shall accept as valid, without a
driving test or fee, a driving permit or license issued by
the appropriate United States authority to United States
personnel for the operation of military of official vehicles.
Vehicles owned by the United States need not be registered,
but shall have appropriate identification markings.
(Omitted from new text, but verbally confirmed to be included
in diplomatic note) The Government of Ecuador shall accept as
valid medical credentials and licenses issued to United
States personnel by appropriate United States authorities.
ARTICLE VIII: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
United States personnel in Ecuador shall enjoy freedom of
movement within the designated Exercise area and the right to
undertake those activities deemed necessary for the
performance of their mission, said activities must be
evaluated and approved by the Government of Ecuador. United
States personnel transiting outside the designated Exercise
area will be subject to Ecuadorian law under the same
conditions as accorded to administrative and technical staff
assigned to the United States Embassy in accordance with the
1961 Vienna Convention for Diplomatic Relations.
ARTICLE IX: STATUS OF PERSONNEL
The Government of Ecuador shall accord to United States
personnel in Ecuador in connection with these Exercises,
status equivalent to that provided to the administrative and
technical staff of the United States in accordance with the
1961 Vienna Convention for Diplomatic Relations. United
States personnel will be subject to Ecuadorian civilian and
administrative authorities for acts committed outside the
performance of their mission.
Notwithstanding this article, if it becomes necessary for
Ecuadorian authorities to temporarily detain any United
States personnel, the Ecuadorian authorities shall
immediately notify the Embassy of the United States of
America in Ecuador, and coordinate for their return to United
States control. The nature of this paragraph does not affect
the submission of United States personnel to the civil and
administrative laws as expressed in the preceding paragraph.
Ecuadorian authorities and United States military police
investigators shall cooperate in the investigation of any
crimes believed to be committed by or against United States
ARTICLE X: CLAIMS
Both Parties shall waive any and all claims against each
other for damage, loss, or destruction of the other's
property arising from activities to which this Agreement
With respect to claims against the United States other than
contractual claims and those waived pursuant to this Article,
the Government of the United States of America shall pay
just, fair, and reasonable compensation in settlement of
meritorious claims arising out of the acts or omissions of
United States personnel or which are otherwise incident to
the Exercise activities of the United States Armed Forces.
These claims shall be expeditiously processed and settled by
United States authorities in accordance with United States
laws in coordination with the appropriate Ecuadorian
The Government of Ecuador will grant the ability for the
successful execution of operations related to the Exercises
as agreed upon, as well as assume responsibility for the
costs of those claims arising from the use of land or other
property interest by the Armed Forces of Ecuador and the
United States for this purpose.
Expenses incurred from the resolution of claims provided for
in this Agreement will be the borne by the responsible party,
except for those provided for in the preceding paragraph.
The Government of Ecuador shall accept full responsibility
for any claims arising from the use of projects constructed
in whole or in part, during these Exercises, provided that
these projects have been previously approved by the
Government of Ecuador.
ARTICLE XI: IMPORT AND EXPORT
United States Government property imported into or acquired
in Ecuador by or on behalf of the United States Armed Forces
in connection with these Exercises, shall be free of all
Ecuadorian inspections, duties, taxes, and other charges.
Title to such property shall remain with the Government of
the United States of America which may remove such property
from Ecuador at any time, free from export duties, taxes, or
other charges which would otherwise be assessed upon such
property after importation into, or acquisition in, Ecuador.
Such property may be removed from Ecuador, or disposed of
therein provided that disposition of such property in Ecuador
to persons or entities not entitled to exemption from
applicable taxes or duties shall be subject to payment of
such taxes and duties by such person or entities.
Personal property of United States personnel may be imported
into and used in Ecuador free of all inspection, duties,
taxes, and other charges during the period of time the
owner's services in Ecuador. Such property shall normally be
exported or transferred to other United States personnel.
The transfer of such property to persons or entities in
Ecuador who are not exempt from importation duties and
restrictions can be made only under terms and conditions,
including payment of applicable duties and taxes, imposed by
the Government of Ecuador. The exportation of such property
and of property acquired in Ecuador by United States
personnel for personal use shall be free of all Ecuadorian
duties, taxes, and other charges.
ARTICLE XII: PUBLIC UTILITIES
The United States Armed Forces and United States personnel
may use water, electricity, and other public utilities and
facilities on terms and conditions, including rates or
charges, no less favorable than those available to the
Ecuadorian Armed Forces in like circumstances, unless
otherwise agreed. The Government of Ecuador shall, upon
request, assist United States authorities in obtaining water,
electricity, and other public utilities and facilities.
Ecuadorian authorities shall permit the United States Armed
Forces to use radio communications for the conduct of the
official duties of United States personnel. The Government
of Ecuador shall notify the United States Armed Forces of the
radio frequencies for local and international official
communication to be used for this purpose. Ecuadorian
authorities shall permit United States personnel to use
United States Armed Forces organic communications systems for
their official duties.
ARTICLE XIII: USE OF TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES
Vehicles, vessels, and aircraft operated by the United States
Armed Forces shall not be subject to the payment of landing
or port fees, pilotage, navigation or over flight charges, or
tolls or other use charges, including light and harbor dues
while in Ecuador. Aircraft operated by or for the United
States Armed Forces shall observe local air traffic control
regulations while in Ecuador. Vessels owned or operated by
the United States Armed Forces shall not be subject to
compulsory pilotage at Ecuadorian ports.
ARTICLE XIV: SECURITY
The parties shall cooperate in taking such steps as may be
necessary to ensure the security of United States personnel
and property in Ecuador pursuant to this Agreement.
Security personnel from the United States participating in
these Exercises are authorized to carry weapons during the
execution of their official duties and within the designated
Exercise area. No other United States personnel is
authorized to carry weapons during their stay in Ecuadorian
territory, except if the nature of the exercise deems
otherwise. In this case, Ecuadorian authorities will
authorize United States personnel to carry weapons within the
designated Exercise area. United States authorities must
present a list of weapons that will enter Ecuador in order to
be approved by Ecuadorian military authorities. The list
will include a description of the weapons, along with the
name of the person to whom the weapons is assigned. No other
weapon other than that approved by Ecuadorian authorities
will be permitted nor will any other United States personnel
be allowed to carry weapons or munitions other than those
ARTICLE XV: IMPLEMENTATION
Arrangements to implement this Agreement shall be entered
into by appropriate authorities of the Parties as required.
Any differences regarding the interpretation or application
of this Agreement shall be resolved by consultation between
End text of unofficial translation of Ecuadorian document.