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Cablegate: Central American Security Requirements: Nicaragua

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2593/01 3481557
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141557Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1812
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 4933
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 1813
RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//J2/J3/J5//
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 002593

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER PINS SNAR NU

SUBJECT: CENTRAL AMERICAN SECURITY REQUIREMENTS: NICARAGUA

Ref: State 163495

1. (U) Please find attached Post's updated assessment of Nicaragua's
current and medium-term security needs as requested in reftel.

A Chance to Build on Success
-----------------------------

2. (SBU) In the past year, Nicaragua achieved its highest level of
annual narcotics seizures to date and proved to be an effective
choke-point against traffickers of illegal narcotics, arms, and
immigrants transiting through the region. Nicaragua also utilizes a
community-policing model that has been successful in preventing the
rise of national-level gang activities. The Nicaraguan National
Police (NNP) and the Nicaraguan Navy have achieved these successes
despite such obstacles as low levels of funding, training, and a
scarcity of law enforcement-related equipment and gear. USG
resources could dramatically enhance the capabilities of the
Nicaraguan law enforcement regime, bolster goodwill with an
authentically independent Nicaraguan institution, and grant the
Nicaraguans a chance to build upon the solid foundations of their
recent successes.

Equipment Funding Needs
------------------------

3. (SBU) Nicaraguan law enforcement and security forces are
under-equipped and under-funded on a system wide basis. However,
after consultation with Nicaraguan officials Post has determined
that the needs are greatest in four equally important critical areas
(all prices in USD):

A) IT Infrastructure - A lack of modern computing equipment greatly
impairs the NNP's ability to share crucial law enforcement data
between its divisions and coordinate operations as one cohesive
organization. The following prioritized list of equipment would
significantly improve the situation:

200 Desktop Computers with Uninterruptible Power Supplies ($400,000
at $2000 per unit)
60 Black and White Laser Printers ($48,000 at $800 per unit)
Software licensing for all computers at $20,000
i2 Intel Analyst Notebook systems at $100,000
3 Computer Servers with racks ($90,000 at $30,000 per unit)
12 Internet Access/Service Leases for Servers ($24,000 at $2,000 per
unit)
3 Generators to support Servers ($75,000 at $25,000 per unit)
35 Digital Video Cameras ($17,500 at $500 per unit)
30 Digital Still Cameras ($4,500 at $150 per unit)
40 Digital Scanners ($6,000 at $150 per unit)
25 Photocopy Machines ($87,500 at $3,500 per unit)

Total: $872,500

B) Basic Gear - Nicaraguan law enforcement officials are often
lacking basic equipment necessities to ensure their safety while on
duty. The following prioritized list addresses this area of need:

225 pairs of Leather Boots ($22,250 at $100 per unit)
225 Hand Gun Holsters with Duty Belts ($33,750 at $150 per unit)
100 Ballistic Protective Vests ($50,000 at $500 per unit)
225 All Weather Parkas ($10,125 at $45 per unit)
100 First Aid Kits ($5,000 at $50 per unit)
225 Tactical Flashlights ($9,000 at $40 per unit)

Total: $130,125

C) Tactical/Communications Systems - The NNP's field effectiveness
is hampered by a lack of tactical communications systems. The
following prioritized list addresses this area of need:

150 Hand-held Radios ($112,500 at $750 per unit)
50 Vehicle-mounted Radios ($37,500 at $750 per unit)
30 Base Radio Systems with antennas and repeaters ($825,000 at
$27,500 per unit)
>L+=6Q-QQQ%4730 Hand-held GPS Devices ($7,500 at $250 per unit)
35 Night Vision Devices ($280,000 at $8,000 per unit)

Total: $1,262,500

D) Interdiction/Monitoring Equipment - Nicaragua's current
impressive interdiction record shows that the Nicaraguan law
enforcement establishment has a proven track record of effectively
using interdiction equipment. The past year has been the best yet
for interdictions in the history of Nicaraguan law enforcement.
This success is attributable, in part, to improved detections at the
land inspection station at Penas Blancas, where they are using one
Ionscan machine. However, the advent of the C4 Central American
Common Market has increased the volume of commercial traffic passing
through Nicaragua and strained Nicaraguan interdiction resources to
the breaking point. As such, Post proposes the following
prioritized equipment procurements:

4 Portable Ionscan Machines ($140,000 at $35,000 per unit)
2 X-Ray Inspection Machines ($150,000 at $75,000 per unit)
12 All Terrain Pickup Trucks ($252,000 at $21,000 per unit)
10 Sedans ($120,000 at $12,000 per unit)
35 Motorcycles ($280,000 at $3,000 per unit)

Total: $807,000

The total amount of Post's proposal for Nicaragua's police equipment
needs is $3,072,125.

Prison Management & Conditions
-------------------------------

4. (SBU) Nicaraguan prisons are generally overcrowded and are
equipped with substandard facilities for both prisoners and prison
staff. The Nicaraguan Government does not have adequate funding to
effectively address prison management issues. In particular,
Nicaraguan prison management officials could benefit greatly from
training on standard prison operations and practices.

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

5. (SBU) Looking ahead to the medium term, Post assesses that
repairs and improvements to Naval facilities damaged by Hurricane
Felix will be critical to helping Nicaragua maintain its maritime
interdiction capabilities. In addition, the cost of maintaining
Nicaragua's Naval interdiction fleet will grow significantly as the
Navy continues to upgrade its coastal patrol ability and range. The
purchase of a helicopter would also enable Nicaraguan authorities to
greatly enhance their anti-narcotics surveillance abilities.

Comment
--------

6. (SBU) Nicaragua, and in particular the Nicaraguan law enforcement
establishment, is committed to the success of the Merida Initiative.
However, the ability of Nicaraguan law enforcement officials to
effectively carry out their duties is being threatened by the
determination of the current Sandinista regime to politicize the
entire Nicaraguan law enforcement and security establishment. In
our view, a timely injection of USG support now would go a long way
towards helping the Nicaraguan police and military maintain their
institutional independence and operational effectiveness and have
the added benefit of helping to maintain political stability in
Nicaragua.

TRIVELLI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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