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Cablegate: Merida Initiative - Central America - Arrival Of

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4986 3101928
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061923Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHBE/AMEMBASSY BELMOPAN 0000
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0000
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0000
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0000
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0000
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 0000
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0000
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0000
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0000
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC 0000
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DTRA DULLES WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/TREASURY DEPT WASHINGTON DC 0000
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS STATE 114986

SIPDIS
DEPT OF JUSTICE - PASS TO ATF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (D. KUMOR
W. KULLMAN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PBTS KCRM KHLS BH CS ES GT HO NU PM
SUBJECT: MERIDA INITIATIVE - CENTRAL AMERICA - ARRIVAL OF
ATF REGIONAL FIREARMS ADVISOR IN SAN SALVADOR

1. This cable announces the arrival of the Merida Initiative
- Central America funded Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) Regional Firearms Advisor (RFA),
Supervisory Special Agent Mark Jones, in San Salvador, El
Salvador.

2. SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITIES: Under the Merida Initiative,
the RFA will support the U.S. Government's efforts to enhance
the capacity of the seven governments of the Central American
region to combat arms trafficking and encourage the marking
and tracing of all firearms manufactured, imported,
confiscated or seized in the region. The RFA will also
support USG anti-trafficking programs in the region; promote
U.S. programs that seek to focus Central American states in
their efforts on identifying and curbing the sources and
methods of the illicit trade through the tracing of firearms
used in crimes; enhance national and regional law enforcement
cooperation; manage assistance to police and other justice
sector entities involved in reducing firearms crime and
violence; and, in coordination with other international and
USG agencies, support the expeditious destruction of excess
stocks and safeguard legitimate stocks from theft or illegal
transfer.

Specific tasks that will be carried out by the RFA include:

A. The RFA, supplemented by TDY ATF staff, will conduct
firearms assessments in each host nation to determine the
firearms trafficking threat in Central America; will assess
the effectiveness of existing host nation laws regarding the
marking and tracing of firearms, as well as laws aimed to
reducing the threat of the trafficking of firearms to,
through or within each nation. The RFA will also assess host
nation law enforcement firearms forensic capabilities.

B. Providing training and technical assistance based upon the
findings of the national assessments, on an individual
country and regional basis. The regional advisor will also
train customs, police and court officials in firearms
investigative, tracing and forensic techniques based upon the
results of the national firearms legislative and capacity
assessments.

C. Providing technical assistance to appropriate ranking law
enforcement and other justice sector officials to develop a
long-term strategy to strengthen anti-trafficking activities.

D. In conjunction with host country and other USG
organizations, will evaluate the most effective way to
increase the availability of information on illicit
trafficking and traffickers. This will include tools such as
the use of eTrace and ballistic identification technologies,
as well as the analysis of recovered firearms and ammunition.
The goal will be to increase regional and U.S. access to
accurate information.

E. Will Provide advice and assistance in the preparation of
documentation for the
procurement of technical services, training and commodities
and the monitoring of procurement actions, including drafting
source-origin waivers, bid solicitations, scopes of work, and
delivery and acceptance of items procured. This includes
equipment, including hardware and software, needed to
facilitate information sharing, such as eTrace access.

F. Implement anti-trafficking prevention activities, ensuring
that law enforcement and prevention activities are part of an
integral program.

3. CONTACT INFORMATION: RFA Supervisory Special Agent Mark D.
Jones may be reached at:

Mark D. Jones
Regional Firearms Advisor - Central America
Supervisory Special Agent
U.S. Department of Justice - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
U.S. Embassy San Salvador
(503) 2501-2220 (Desk)
(503) 7736-9784 (Cell)
Class E-Mail: jonesmarkd@state.sgov.gov
Unclassified E-Mail: jonesmd2@state.gov

4. HOW TO UTILIZE THE RFA - REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE: We
encourage Posts to contact the RFA directly to identify areas
in which the RFA can add value to Post and host nation law
enforcement efforts to reduce firearms trafficking to,
through and within your country, as well as the strengthening
of host nation firearms legislation and the enhancement of
national firearms investigative, forensics and tracking
capabilities. The RFA will prioritize requests for
assistance, and will coordinate with the other agencies (e.g.
FBI, DEA, U.S. ICE), including the Department, for requests
for assistance that require the involvement of other agencies
to fulfill a Post/host nation request. The expenses for the
RFA are centrally funded from Washington, and travel and per
diem costs incurred by the RFA in support of regional
firearms interdiction training and technical assistance to
host nation law enforcement personnel will not be charged to
Posts.

5. RFA OVERSIGHT AND MANAGEMENT: The RFA reports to ATF's
Office of International Affairs. Department of State program
management of the ATF Advisor falls under the Bureau of
International Security and Non-Proliferation - EXBS (POC:
Nils Johanson - FY 2008 Supplemental NADR funds) and the
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
(POC: Matt Steinhelfer - FY 2009 Omnibus INCLE funds). The
RFA is required to seek Country Clearance for all travel to
CEN countries, and will inform Posts in advance of projected
in-country activities in support of Merida Initiative
firearms trafficking and interdiction assistance activities.

6. WHA asks that Posts support the RFA in any way that they
can, including providing Public Affairs and logistics
support, and that upon the RFA's first visit to a CEN Post,
that the RFA be provided the opportunity to brief the entire
Country Team and Law Enforcement/Merida Working Group on the
assistance that he can bring to bear in each CEN country.
CLINTON

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