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Cablegate: Scenesetter for the February 23-26 Visit of Attorney General

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0517
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO

UNCLAS BRASILIA 000184

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
FROM AMBASSADOR SHANNON FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER
STATE FOR WHA, WHA/BSC, USOAS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KJUS KCRM JUS OAS BR
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR THE FEBRUARY 23-26 VISIT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
ERIC HOLDER TO BRAZIL

1. (SBU) I want to warmly welcome you to Brazil for your visit to
Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, and to attend the 8th Meeting of
Justice Ministers of the Americas (REMJA). The Government of
Brazil (GOB) is enthusiastic that you have decided to attend the
REMJA, and you will be eagerly received at your Brazil-specific
meetings. Within the broader bilateral relationship, justice and
law enforcement issues are among those with the greatest potential
and where Brazil's growing international clout can be significant
as we seek to obtain our objectives in South America, in
multilateral organizations, and increasingly in other regions of
the world. At the same time, longstanding wariness in some sectors
of Brazilian government and society with regard to U.S. dominance,
motives, and actions continues to require careful handling as
Brazil asserts itself on the global stage, and puts a premium on
regular dialogue and sustained relationship-building. Nonetheless,
the GOB remains genuinely interested in developing a deeper
relationship with the Obama Administration, and your engagement
with Brazilian government leaders will provide a significant boost
to our efforts to pursue a closer partnership on law enforcement
issues.

Brazil's Rapid Ascendancy...

2. (SBU) Brazil is changing rapidly. Already one of the world's
top-ten economies before the financial crisis, the continuation of
solid economic management and better-than-expected performance has
brought Brazil out of the crisis earlier than most countries and in
a relatively stronger position. In addition to its open and stable
economy, Brazil's ascendancy is being driven by solid democratic
institutions, a competitive private sector, an ample resource base,
and a government intent on reaching beyond Brazil's traditional
role as a leader of South America. While continuing to pursue
stability among Brazil's ten South American neighbors, President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim have
spent seven years aggressively reaching out to Africa, the Middle
East, and Asia, as well as taking a prominent role in global trade,
climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, and economic
discussions. With its increasing global economic and diplomatic
prominence, U.S. law enforcement interests in Brazil are also
increasing, as the growth in legal trade, travel, communication,
and finance in and through Brazil bring with them increased
opportunities for criminal exploitation.

...Is Coupled with Emerging Country Problems

3. (SBU) Brazil's emergence on the global stage comes even as the
country continues to face notable challenges at home, which also
touch directly on U.S. law enforcement interests. Some 50 million
Brazilians, mostly in the northeast, are among the poorest in Latin
America, and the gap between rich and poor is among the highest in
the world. Although many jurists are top-flight, Brazil's judicial
system is often described as dysfunctional, hobbled by overlapping
jurisdictions, lack of training, stultifying bureaucracy, and
overwhelming backlogs. Persistent and widespread corruption
affects all three branches of government. Enforcement capability
suffers from lack of training, bureaucratic rivalries, corruption
in some agencies, and police forces too small to cover a country of
almost 200 million inhabitants. The slums of Rio de Janeiro, S????o
Paulo, and other major cities often have little government
presence, opening them to exploitation by increasingly powerful
criminal gangs. Murder rates in many Brazilian cities are ten
times those in the most violent U.S. cities, and Brazil now ranks
second only to the United States in consumption of cocaine, in
addition to being a major transit point for drugs headed to the
Europe and the United States.

Successful Cooperation on Law Enforcement...to a Point

4. (SBU) USG law enforcement agencies (LEAs) with a presence in
Brazil all enjoy a cooperative and active relationship with
Brazil's Federal Police (DPF). Over the last several years, we
have made a concerted effort to reach beyond traditional contacts


to non-traditional executive branch agencies and non-executive
branch partners, including state and municipal governments,
legislators, the private sector, and civil society. We have made
new inroads with the judiciary and prosecutors, and spearheaded
landmark Mission programs aimed at bringing them together with
police to address common law enforcement objectives. This outreach
has paid dividends in opening new areas of cooperation with eager
partners and in increasing the chances of arrests, prosecutions,
and convictions in cases important to the United States.

5. (SBU) At the same time, our increasing cooperation has been
viewed with caution by some political elements of the GOB, who are
concerned to maintain an equal partnership between our two
countries and protect Brazilian sovereignty. This has had the
effect of limiting cooperation to operational levels, and has
occasionally placed limitations on cooperation even at those
levels. This divide between policy and operational levels has been
most noticeable as we seek to help Brazil strengthen its borders
against international organized crime; generally good cooperation
at an operational level has been offset by a reluctance to engage
at a policy level on common threats in South America.

Prospects for Enhanced Policy Cooperation Are Growing

6. (SBU) Over the last months, the prospects for deepening our
partnership have improved considerably. Brazil is rethinking its
security and law enforcement strategies as it prepares to host the
soccer World Cup in 2014 in twelve separate venues, and as Rio de
Janeiro begins preparations to host the summer Olympic Games in
2016. The worsening situation in Bolivia with respect to drug
trafficking has led the GOB to consider ways of working more
closely with the United States. And in addition to hosting the
REMJA, Brazil will host the once-every-five-years UN Crime Control
Conference in April, and has launched a candidate to head the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime.

7. (SBU) Your visit comes as Brazil gets back to business after the
Carnival break and before electoral races for the October elections
for Brazil's next president, most members of congress, and all
state governors begin in earnest this June. Although a new
government will take office January 1, 2011, I believe there is
ample opportunity to strengthen our collaboration across the full
range of security issues that will carry through from this
government to the next.

8. (SBU) As you meet with Brazilian officials, I believe you will
find them eager to increase our ties. Police, prosecutors and
judges all require additional training, and we have been
particularly attentive to ways in which we can foster cooperation
among the different branches. Prosecutors and judges, in
particular, need basic training to help them move toward a more
efficient accusatory system, and need specialized training in
specific areas of interest to the United States: gangs and
organized crime, drugs, trafficking in persons, and money
laundering.

9. (SBU) The presence of U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in
Brasilia has amply demonstrated its value to our interests.
However, as Brazil's global economic and political clout continues
to grow, I expect that our needs in the law enforcement area will
continue to rise. I am currently reviewing our law enforcement
presence in Brazil, and will value your input on how we can best be
equipped to effectively combat international crime, organized
crime, drug trafficking and terrorism in partnership with Brazil.
SHANNON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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