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Cablegate: Ecuadorian Navy Proposes Info-Sharing Agreement

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S E C R E T QUITO 001049

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2029/12/21
TAGS: PREL MARR PINR SNAR MASS MOPS EC
SUBJECT: Ecuadorian Navy Proposes Info-Sharing Agreement

REF: HOTR IIR 6 828 0059 10; QUITO 883

CLASSIFIED BY: Heather M....


id: 241024
date: 12/21/2009 20:12
refid: 09QUITO1049
origin: Embassy Quito
classification: SECRET//NOFORN
destination: 09QUITO883
header:
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DE RUEHQT #1049/01 3552012
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 212012Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0578
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/CNO WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
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RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
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RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
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S E C R E T QUITO 001049

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2029/12/21
TAGS: PREL MARR PINR SNAR MASS MOPS EC
SUBJECT: Ecuadorian Navy Proposes Info-Sharing Agreement

REF: HOTR IIR 6 828 0059 10; QUITO 883

CLASSIFIED BY: Heather M. Hodges, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(A), (B),
(C), (D)

1. (C) Summary: Navy Commander Admiral Molestina approached the
Embassy on September 1 to propose formalizing information sharing
between the Ecuadorian Navy and USG. While Molestina's motivation
for signing such an agreement may include protecting his own
position and his personnel, other contacts within the Ecuadorian
Navy claim that the timing is good to formalize intelligence
cooperation. Such an agreement should be limited in scope
initially, but allow for future expansion. The Embassy supports
this initiative as a counter to increasing resistance by the
Ecuadorian military to engage with the USG. End Summary.

Navy Suggests Information Sharing Agreement

-------------------------------------------

2. (S/NF) Navy Commander Admiral Aland Molestina asked the
Embassy's Naval Attache on September 1 to initiate a request to
formalize information sharing between the Ecuadorian Navy and USG
(Ref B), to focus on maritime interdiction. The Defense Attache
Office in Quito has worked with counterparts in the U.S.
intelligence community and USSOUTHCOM to confirm the viability of
such cooperation, with positive feedback to date.

3. (C) Admiral Molestina explained that his motives for this
request were to ensure continued cooperation after potential
changes in military leadership in the next few months and to
protect personnel from unwanted political and judicial prosecution.
Molestina, who is also a candidate to become the next Chief of
Defense, may want to ensure that any intelligence relationship with
the USG is fully disclosed. Molestina has already raised the idea
with Minister of Defense Javier Ponce (Ref A).

4. (C) The USG signed two special unit information sharing
agreements with the Ecuadorian National Police in July 2009. The
Ecuadorian Navy has cited these agreements as a model for an
information sharing agreement between the two navies. According to
Ecuadorian Navy contacts, the current Ecuadorian political climate
is right to forge and receive approval for such an agreement.

Initially Limited But Open to Future Expansion

--------------------------------------------- -

5. (C) Any information sharing agreement between the U.S. and
Ecuadorian navies that would most likely be limited in scope --
defining the Ecuadorian Navy's role in support of U.S. efforts to
combat illicit activities in and around Ecuadorian maritime and
territorial domains. However, any such agreement should permit
multiple USG agencies to work at multiple levels with the
Ecuadorian Navy and associated agencies as necessary. In addition,
such an agreement should allow for future expansion to other
agencies or activities, following interagency coordination and
concurrence.

6. (S/NF) The Embassy supports establishing an information sharing
agreement between the U.S. and Ecuadorian navies. The Ecuadorian
Navy is currently the main player in interdiction and we need to
maintain cooperation. Signing an agreement would also mark a
departure from an increasingly negative trend in Ecuador to limit
military-to-military relations (Ref B).
HODGES

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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