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Cablegate: Mexico Steps Up On Haitian Earthquake Relief

VZCZCXRO9367
RR RUEHCD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
DE RUEHME #0274/01 0271410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271409Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0225
RUEHC/USAID WASHDC 0003
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 000274

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
HAITI EARTHQUAKE TASK FORCE
USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA
WHA ROBERTA JACOBSON
NSC DAN RESTREPO
WHA/MEX EWDWARD LEE
WHA/CAR V DE PIRRO
IO/UNP B NARANJO
IO/UNP M GARUNCKIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID MX HA PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: Mexico Steps Up on Haitian Earthquake Relief

REF: 10 STATE 4090; 10 STATE 4208; 10 STATE 4854

MEXICO STEPS UP ON HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF

1. Poloff called the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE)
January 21 to express thanks to the GOM for Mexico's abundant
assistance efforts following the Haiti earthquake. Poloff
encouraged the SRE to register the GOM's efforts with the United
Nation's Financial Tracking System, designed for the organization
and distribution of international donations. The GOM's efforts in
responding to the Haiti disaster demonstrate a willingness to
assume a wider role in dealing with these kinds of crises.

2. Poloff conveyed to SRE Director for Technical Cooperation
with Latin America and the Caribbean, Sonya Gonzalez, the USG's
thanks for the enormous outpouring of charitable efforts from the
GOM and Mexican people in response to the earthquake in Haiti.
Various Embassy offices (e.g. AID, ODC) worked closely with the GOM
in coordinating delivery of Mexico's assistance. SRE Director for
Programs of National Execution, Nadi Cruz, told Poloff January 21
that the GOM had raised $8 million USD to donate directly to the
United Nations. In addition to this financial contribution, the
GOM responded with the following:

* The day following the earthquake, President Calderon held
a press conference calling on all Mexicans to demonstrate their
solidarity with Haitians by making donations to the Mexican Red
Cross and announcing the GOM's assistance package to Haiti.

* SRE deployed an Initial Damage Assessment Team to
determine assistance package requirements. The Civil Protection
Chief of Emergency Management was deployed along with approximately
40 Mexican search and rescue personnel, water distribution
personnel, and two generators. The search-and-rescue personnel
began drawing down last week, returning to Mexico City aboard a
Mexican Navy aircraft.

* The Mexican Air Force (MAF) flew two C-130 aircrafts to
move GOM personnel to and from Haiti. The aircraft will fly any
additional missions necessary. A "Phase-D" Team (consisting of
kitchen support, search and rescue teams, dogs, specially trained
handlers and other unidentified entities) is on standby for
deployment.

* The Mexican Navy (SEMAR) also deployed the hospital ship
"Huasteco," which arrived in Haiti on January 20. The vessel has
an ambulance helicopter and 400 tons of supplies, 25 doctors, 100
tons of food, light generators, mobile kitchens, four water
purification plants, and three large tents on-board.

* Additionally, the SEMAR ship Papaloapan left Mexico City
January 22, with the expectation that it will arrive in Haiti
Wednesday, January 27. The ship is carrying two Mi-17
helicopters, 38 tons of food, medicine, and supplies, such as
blankets and sleeping mats.

* SEMAR also deployed a CASA 295 fixed-wing transport
aircraft to support personnel on the ground. The Mexican Navy ship

MEXICO 00000274 002 OF 002


Oaxaca stands on alert for deployment if needed.

* The Mexican Red Cross has already positioned 8,000 tons
of food in the city of Veracruz, and it sent a shipment of 120 tons
January 21.

3. Poloff informed Cruz that the UN Office for Coordination of
Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) established a Financial Tracking
System (FTS) to catalogue and distribute international donations,
and asked Cruz whether SRE had registered Mexico's donations. Cruz
said that the SRE had an outdated website that it had used to
register donations on a much smaller-scale during previous
disasters, but that keeping track of all the Haiti contributions
had overwhelmed the office.

4. Cruz understood the importance of international coordination
and told Poloff she would make an effort to begin documenting
contributions made through SRE, other GOM agencies, and the Red
Cross, before conveying them to the FTS. Poloff sent Cruz and
Director General for Technical and Scientific Cooperation, Maximo
Romero Jimenez, a more detailed description of the FTS and a link
to the website. Poloff also suggested that the GOM designate one
national non-governmental organization that could receive
individual donations and register them in the FTS.

5. Cruz expressed frustration to Poloff that the SRE had faced
difficulty contacting JTF Haiti to reschedule a landing time for
the GOM's C-130, which will carry additional food and supplies to
Haiti. While originally scheduled to land in Haiti on January 22,
the C-130 was delayed, unable to depart on-time, and lost its
original landing time. It was rescheduled for January 27 at
approximately 2:00 am after countless calls to JTF Haiti, according
to Cruz. Poloff reiterated that the Port-au-Prince airport now
averaged over 100 flights a day, three to four times the pre-crisis
numbers, simply jamming the airport with landings. Cruz said
Mexico would greatly appreciate being informed of whether any new
cancellations that would allow the GOM's C-130 an earlier arrival.
(Note: To facilitate the SRE's efforts to secure landing times for
its planes, the GOM needs to establish an on-the-ground liaison
officer with the UN and JFT Haiti and not try to coordinate
disaster assistance from SRE Mexico City. End note.)

6. Comment: Mexico has been working with us and in
international fora to create an institutionalized capacity to
respond to disasters on the international scene; its effort in this
instance has demonstrated an increased political will to tap that
capacity. End comment.

MINIMIZE CONSIDERED
FEELEY

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