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Cablegate: Shootdown: Visit to Cindacta Iv

VZCZCXRO6600
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1124 2351304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221304Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2307
INFO RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8376
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6519
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 2621
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001124

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/BSC AND L

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SNAR MOPS BR
SUBJECT: SHOOTDOWN: VISIT TO CINDACTA IV

REF: A. STATE 54183
B. STATE 70837
C. BRASILIA 806
D. 07 BRASILIA 1868

1. In late July, a team from MLO Brasilia and SOUTHCOM
visited CINDACTA IV, the regional air traffic control center
responsible for almost fifty percent of Brazil's territory
and controlling the most commonly used routes for drug
traffickers. The team reported that the CINDACTA was working
efficiently and professionally, with modern equipment much in
evidence. (Comment: This could be a result of Minister
Jobim's efforts to ensure that Brazil's air traffic control
system has the resources to improve its overall performance.
End Comment) According to MLO, the controllers there
demonstrated "excellent awareness" of traffic in the
CINDACTA's AOR.

2. In response to questions from the U.S. team, controllers
were well aware of shootdown procedures but were not
authorized to share them at that time. Local controllers
confirmed that they did not have the authority to order a
shootdown. Controllers were able to confirm that no
shootdown had ever been ordered in their AOR and that the
chances were remote that one ever would be. Nevertheless,
they were able to state that the shootdown law has led to a
marked decrease in the number of illegal trafficking flights
in their region, even though intercepts have been infrequent.
(Note: In the first half of 2007, the Brazilian Air Force
reported successful intercepts of all forty suspect tracks
detected and two forced landings. End Note)

3. COMMENT: The situation encountered at CINDACTA IV matches
our expectations as reported in ref d. CINDACTAS have no
shootdown authority of their own. We are still seeking
specific information as to Brazil's procedures for ordering a
shootdown from Air Defense Command Headquarters (COMDABRA) in
Brasilia.
SOBEL

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