Cablegate: Spain: Incsr 2009-2010 Report, Part 1

DE RUEHMD #1139/01 3311310
P 271310Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 97228

1. (U) As requested in Ref, Post's submission for the
"International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Part 1,
Drugs and Chemical Control," follows in paragraph 2. Post will send
statistical data on seizures for the full 2009 calendar year as soon
as this information is available. POC for the INCSR, Part 1 in
Spain is Hugh Clifton. Telephone: 34-91-587-2294, email:

2. (U)

I. Summary

Spain remains the primary transshipment and an important market for
cocaine imported into Europe from South and Central America. Spain
continues to be the largest consumer of cocaine in the European
Union (EU), with 3 percent of the Spanish population consuming it on
a regular basis, although in 2009 its government continued to claim
that domestic cocaine consumption is no longer on the increase.
Spanish National Police, Civil Guard, and Customs Services, along
with autonomous regional police forces, increased the law
enforcement operational tempo during 2009. Across the board - for
heroin, cocaine, hashish and ecstasy - the amount of drugs seized by
law enforcement officials in Spain is expected to be lower in 2009.
Spanish law enforcement officials attribute this to a combination of
factors: increased maritime enforcement and port controls
discouraged drug traffickers from sending their shipments to Spain,
while Spain successfully dismantled drug cartels in Spain. As of
the end of September 2009, law enforcement officials had seized only
a third as much heroin as was seized in 2008. Also as of the end of
September, the Spanish security services had only seized half as
much hashish and ecstasy as in 2008 while cocaine seizures were at
two-thirds of 2008 levels.

The Spanish government ranks drug trafficking as one of its most
important law enforcement objectives and Spanish drug enforcement
continues to maintain excellent relations with U.S. counterparts.
The United States continues to expand the excellent bilateral and
multilateral cooperation in law enforcement programs it has with
Spain, as symbolized by ongoing joint operations throughout the
year. Spain is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

By most reports, Spain remains the principal entry, transshipment,
and consumption zone for the large quantities of South American
cocaine and Moroccan cannabis destined for European consumer
markets. However, Spain disputed a November 2009 report by the
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction that Spain
is still the largest consumer of cocaine in the EU, arguing that the
findings did not take into account the latest data on Spain's
efforts to curb consumption. Spain is also a major source and
transit location for drug proceeds returning to South and Central
America. Colombia appears to continue to be Spain's largest
supplier of cocaine from Latin America.

Spain continues to face a sustained flow of hashish from its
southern neighbors, Morocco and Algeria. Maritime smuggling of
hashish across the Mediterranean Sea is a very large-scale business.
Spanish police continued to seize multi-ton loads of Moroccan
hashish, some of which is brought into Spain by illegal immigrants.
The majority of heroin that arrives in Spain is transported via the
"Balkan Route" from Turkey, although Security Forces in 2008 have
noticed recent efforts to transport it into Spain by boat. The
Spanish National Police have identified Turkish trafficking
organizations that distribute the heroin once it is smuggled into
Spain. Illicit refining and manufacturing of drugs in Spain is
minimal, although small-scale laboratories of synthetic drugs such
as LSD are discovered and destroyed each year. MDMA-Ecstasy labs
are rare and unnecessary in Spain as MDMA labs in the Netherlands
prefer shipping the final product to Spain. However, the Ecstasy
trafficking trend has been to transship small quantities to the U.S.
through cities in Spain to foil U.S. Customs inspectors who are wary
of packages mailed from Belgium or the Netherlands.

Spain's pharmaceutical industry produces precursor chemicals;
however, most precursors used in Spain to manufacture illegal drugs
are imported from China. There is effective control of precursor
shipments within Spain from the point of origin to destination
through a program administered under the Ministry of Health and
Social Policy's National Drug Plan, known by its Spanish acronym of

III. Country Actions against Drugs in 2008

Policy Initiatives. The PNSD provides overall guidance and
strategic directives for Spain's national policy on drugs. In
January 2009, Spain approved its new PNSD for 2009-2016, which aims
to have citizens more involved in the fight against drugs, with the

MADRID 00001139 002 OF 004

hope to prevent and/or lower consumption, delay the age for initial
consumption (currently at age 20 for cocaine and heroin, and age 18
for hashish), and to guarantee assistance to drug addicts. On
January 23, 2009, the Council of Ministers approved a plan for
drug-trafficking related assets to be confiscated and used to
finance programs and activities of the security forces in the fight
against drugs, drug-prevention programs, provide help to
drug-addicts, and facilitate their social and labor insertion.

In June 2009, the Ministry of Health and Social Policy reported that
domestic cocaine consumption continued to stabilize following a
decline in 2007. Similarly, cannabis use reportedly stabilized.
The Ministry touted these developments as evidence that its
prevention-based policies are effective.

In July 2009, Spain hosted a mission by the International Narcotics
Control Board (INCB), the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring
body for the implementation of the UN's international drug control
conventions. Spain held wide-ranging talks with the INCB, which in
its annual report released in February, congratulated Spain on the
decreased cocaine use by Spanish youths aged 14-18 years old.

Spain is a UNODC Major Donor and a member of the Dublin Group, a
group of countries that coordinates the provision of
counternarcotics assistance.

Law Enforcement Efforts. The Spanish law enforcement agencies
responsible for narcotics control are the Spanish National Police
and the Civil Guard, both of which fall under the domain of law
enforcement and civil security matters within the Ministry of
Interior. The Spanish Customs Service, under the Ministry of the
Treasury, also carries a mandate to enforce counternarcotics
legislation at Spain's borders and in Spanish waters. Because of
the economic crisis, the Spanish Customs Services' intervention
ships in the Cantabrian Sea area reduced their activity to 15 days
per month in order to cut fuel expenses. The U.S. DEA Madrid
Country Office continued to work with Spanish authorities in several
of the more significant seizures and arrests this past year.

Large-scale cocaine importation in Spain is principally controlled
by Colombian drug traffickers, though Galician organizations also
play an important role in the trafficking of cocaine into and within
the country. Spanish authorities recorded several large seizures of
cocaine in 2009. For example, a speed boat in Ribeira (A Corua)
with 4,000 kilos of cocaine was stopped in January by the Spanish
IRS (the drugs could have reached a market value of 120 million
Euros). In February, a fishing boat with 5,000 kilos of cocaine was
seized 800 miles from the Canary Islands. In June, 900 kilos of
cocaine were seized in Alicante and Murcia. In September
authorities seized 1,500 kilos of cocaine and dismantled a
laboratory in Ciudad Real.

Hashish trafficking is controlled by Moroccan, British, and
Portuguese smugglers and, to some extent, nationals of Gibraltar and
the Netherlands. All year long and across the country, Spanish
authorities recorded large seizures of hashish in 2009. Security
forces began the year with what would be their largest operation of
2009 when police in January seized 11,000 kilos of hashish in an
underground parking lot in Seville. A slew of large-scale
operations followed, including 7,000 kilos seized in February. In
April, 2,100 kilos were seized in Ibiza while another 3,000 kilos
were seized in a boat near Cadiz. In June security forces seized
13,750 kilos of hashish in five different operations around Spain.

Spanish law enforcement officials, concerned about the increasing
quantity of heroin coming into Spain from Turkey, in July launched a
joint operation with France which ended with the seizure in Madrid
of 92 kilos of heroin, the largest amount seized so far this year.

In March, the Spanish National Police notched their largest seizure
of "speed" in recent years, when they captured more than 35 kilos of
amphetamine sulphate in a single raid in Zaragoza.


--- Heroin - Cocaine (MT) - Hashish - Ecstasy
(KG) (MT) (MT) (pills x 1000)

2001 631 - 34 - 514 - 860

2002 275 - 18 - 564 - 1,400

2003 242 - 49 - 727 - 772

2004 271 - 33 - 794 - 797

2005 174 - 48 - 670 - 573

MADRID 00001139 003 OF 004

2006 454 - 47 - 451 - 408

2007 227 - 38 - 653 - 491

2008 548 - 28 - 682 - 535

2009 187 - 19 - 298 - 282

Corruption. Spain's Organized Crime Intelligence Center (CICO)
coordinates counternarcotics operations among various government
agencies, including the Spanish Civil Guard, National Police, and
Customs Service. Under their guidance, law enforcement cooperation
appears to function well. Spain neither encourages nor facilitates
illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs
or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions. There is no evidence of corruption of
senior officials or their involvement in the drug trade, but there
continue to be isolated cases involving corrupt law enforcement
officials who were caught facilitating drug trafficking. For
example, in early 2009 authorities arrested nearly a dozen Civil
Guard officers, including a Lieutenant Colonel, in the Barcelona
area for ties to drug traffickers dating back to the mid-1990s. The
corrupt officers are accused of tipping off thieves on drug
shipments so that they could steal and re-sell the goods and divide
the spoils. The case, with 27 defendants, went to trial in November

Agreements and Treaties. Spain is a party to the 1988 UN Drug
Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972
Protocol and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Spain is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and
the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its
three protocols. A 1970 extradition treaty and its three
supplements govern extradition between the U.S. and Spain. The
U.S.-Spain Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty has been in force since
1993, and the two countries have also signed a Customs Mutual
Assistance Agreement. Spain has signed bilateral instruments with
the U.S. implementing the 2003 U.S.-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal
Assistance Agreements. Both countries have ratified these
agreements. None have entered into force.

Cultivation/Production. Coca leaf is not cultivated in Spain.
However, there has been concern in recent years regarding
clandestine laboratories in Spain. In October, a cocaine laboratory
was dismantled in Ciudad Real. The Ministry of Interior reported
the lab was capable of producing more than 50 kilos per week, making
it the largest laboratory dismantled in the last eight years. Some
cannabis is grown in country, but the seizures and investigations by
Spanish authorities indicate the production is minimal. Opium poppy
is cultivated licitly under strictly regulated conditions for
research, and the total amount is insignificant. In 2008 Spain was
added to the list of nontraditional countries authorized to export
narcotic raw materials (NRM) to the United States. This enabled
Spain to join the other "non-traditional" NRM exporters, Australia,
France, Hungary, and Poland, as the only countries allowed to supply
approximately 20 percent of the NRM required annually by the United
States. Traditional exporters India and Turkey have preferred
access to 80 percent of the NRM market. Spain is not a significant
production zone for synthetic drugs. While not a significant
producer of MDMA/Ecstasy, limited production of the drug has been
reported in Spain.

Drug Flow/Transit. Spain is the major gateway to Europe for cocaine
coming from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. Traffickers
exploit Spain's close historic and linguistic ties with Latin
America and its extensive coastlines to transport drugs for
consumption in Spain or distribution to other parts of Europe. The
DEA continues to note that Colombian cocaine continues to be sent
first to Africa and then smuggled northward into Spain. Spanish
police note that the country's two principal international airports,
Madrid's Barajas and Barcelona's El Prat, are increasingly entry
points for much of the cocaine trafficked into and through Spain,
and substantial numbers of body cavity smugglers continue arriving
by air. Those two airports remain key transit points for passengers
who intend to traffic Ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, mainly
produced in Europe, to the United States. These couriers, however,
are typically captured before they leave Spain or when they arrive
in the U.S., due to strong bilateral collaboration. Spain remains a
major transit point to Europe for hashish from Morocco, and Spain's
North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are principal points of
departure. Spanish law enforcement has disrupted many drug
shipments through its use of the Integrated External Surveillance
System (Spanish acronym SIVE), deployed on its southern coast. In
2009 Spain expanded the use of SIVE by installing a fixed radar site
in Ibiza, the first among a series of SIVE sites planned for the
Balearic Islands, which are increasingly used as new transport
routes for hashish originating from Morocco and Algeria.

Domestic Programs/Demand Reduction. The national drug strategy
identifies prevention as its principal priority and the government

MADRID 00001139 004 OF 004

implemented an awareness campaign targeting Spanish youth and school
children. The PNSD closely coordinates its demand reduction
programs with the Spanish National Police, Civil Guard, Ministry of
Health and Consumer Affairs, and Ministry of Public Administration.
Spain's autonomous communities receive central government funding
and provide drug addiction treatment programs, including methadone
maintenance programs and needle exchanges. Prison rehabilitation
programs also distribute methadone. As of early September, the
government had contributed nearly 4 million euros to assist private,
nongovernmental organizations that carry out drug prevention and
rehabilitation programs.
In July 2009, the Delegate of the Government for the National Drug
Plan announced that beginning in the fourth quarter of 2009, "nine
or 10" Spanish hospitals would begin to administer, on an
experimental basis, a vaccine against cocaine addiction.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Bilateral Cooperation. The United States enjoys excellent bilateral
and multilateral cooperation in law enforcement programs it has with
Spain. Spain hosted two visits by the Secretary of Homeland
Security in 2009 while the Ministers of Justice and Interior each
visited Washington during separate visits. In anticipation of
increased bilateral cooperation during Spain's assumption of the
rotating EU Presidency during January-June 2010, a liaison officer
from the Department of Homeland Security began a rotation at the
Ministry of Interior. DEA worked very closely with its Spanish law
enforcement counterparts during 2009, contributing to numerous
successful joint investigations. The Coast Guard and JIATF-S in
September hosted a delegation of senior Civil Guard officials for a
visit to discuss best practices in counter-narcotics programs and
preparations are underway for a delegation of senior
counternarcotics officials from CICO to visit JIATF-S, SouthCom, and
the Drug Enforcement Administration in January 2010.

Road Ahead. As drug traffickers continue targeting Spain and its
government recognizes the rewards of collaboration, the U.S. will
continue close coordination with Spanish counternarcotics officials.
Spain will continue to be a key player in the international fight
against drug trafficking. The U.S. and Spain are natural partners
in Latin America. Our expanding partnership will benefit Latin
America in its counternarcotics efforts, as well as Spain and the


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