US embassy cable - 09BRASILIA757

BRAZIL: BILATERAL ACCORDS A KEY COMPONENT IN COUNTERNARCOTICS APPROACH

Identifier: 09BRASILIA757
Wikileaks: View 09BRASILIA757 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Brasilia
Created: 2009-06-16 19:20:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: KCRM NAR PREL BR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 BRASILIA 000757 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2019 
TAGS: KCRM, NAR, PREL, BR 
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: BILATERAL ACCORDS A KEY COMPONENT IN 
COUNTERNARCOTICS APPROACH 
 
Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Marie Damour, Reason 1.4 
(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: Brazil,s strategy for dealing with the 
trafficking of illegal drugs has focused in part on creating 
a robust diplomatic framework in recognition that the 
"illegal traffic of narcotics represents a grave threat to 
the health and well-being of populations as well as a problem 
that affects their political, economic, social, and cultural 
structures of Brazil and its bilateral partners." As a 
result, Brazil has signed dozens of bilateral accords focused 
on achieving more effective cooperation with both regional 
partners and countries outside the region in the area of 
countering the trafficking and consumption of illegal 
narcotics.  The agreements evince a flexible approach *- 
varying lines of authority, use of either structured or 
ad-hoc frameworks, etc -* and willingness to tackle the 
broad spectrum of complex issues involved in combating 
narcotrafficking and transnational crime that could be useful 
if Washington decided to enhance bilateral or regional 
cooperation with Brazil on these issues, although it is not 
clear that the GOB would consider its existing bilateral 
accords to be a sufficient basis for a similar bilateral 
arrangement with the United States or for regional 
cooperation with the United States in the areas where it has 
agreed to work bilaterally.  End summary. 
 
2. (U) This cable analyzes a sample of 21 bilateral accords 
signed by Brazil between 1988 and 2005 (see appendix for a 
list of the accords).  While Post focused primarily on 
accords signed with countries within South America, we also 
looked at a small cross section of non-contiguous countries 
in different regions around the world to identify patterns 
and compare approaches.  A subsequent cable will seek to 
evaluate the extent to which the provisions of these have 
been put into effect. 
 
------------------------- 
Categorizing the accords 
------------------------- 
 
3. (U) Brazil has signed bilateral counternarcotics accords 
with every country in the region.  Of these, Post examined 17 
Brazil signed between 1988 and 2005.  In addition, Brazil has 
signed numerous accords on counternarcotics with countries 
outside the region.  For purposes of this cable, Post looked 
at accords Brazil signed with Lebanon, Mexico, Portugal, and 
Spain, which represent a cross-section of countries from 
North and Central America, Europe, and the Middle East with 
which Brazil maintains good-to-excellent relations.  (Note: A 
list of the accords examined is at para 21.  End note.) 
 
4. (U) These accords can be divided broadly into three 
categories areas: 
 
-- Cooperation accords to prevent use of and to combat 
illegal drugs and psychotropic substances; 
-- Accords that have an explicit or implicit counternarcotics 
component, but are not exclusively focused on them; and 
-- Accords to create permanent bilateral joint committees on 
variety of topics, some of which have been created to 
coordinate counternarcotics policies and actions. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Category 1: Counternarcotics accords 
------------------------------------- 
 
5. (U) In general, these accords tend to contain components 
found throughout all agreements and almost invariably are 
motivated by the parties, recognition that the "illegal 
traffic of narcotics represents a grave threat to the health 
and well-being of populations as well as a problem that 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  002 OF 007 
 
 
affects their political, economic, social, and cultural 
structures of Brazil and its bilateral partners."  The 
accords with Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and 
countries outside the region, such as Spain, Lebanon, and 
Mexico share much of the same language.  In the accords, the 
parties generally are called to: 
 
-- Exchange police and judicial information about persons 
involved in the production and trafficking of illegal 
narcotics, as well as illicit activities tied drug 
trafficking; 
-- Coordinate strategies for the prevention of use of illegal 
drugs, for the rehabilitation of addicts, for the control of 
precursor substances use to produce illegal narcotics, and 
for the combat of drug trafficking. 
-- Establish technical and scientific cooperation to identify 
and intensify measures to detect, control, and eradicate 
plantations for the production of illegal drugs; 
-- Exchange information on legislation in the area of illegal 
narcotics, psychotropic substances, and precursors and 
chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs; 
-- Exchange information on imports and exports of precursor 
chemicals that could be used in the production of illegal 
drugs 
 
6. (U) Other accords have additional levels of specificity. 
For example, Brazil,s 1999 accord with Spain has provisions 
for exchange of information on rehabilitation programs; 
exchange of information on transportation, cargo, mail, and 
other means used to transport illegal drugs, as well as on 
routes; and exchange of personnel to improve information flow 
and enhance expertise. 
 
7. (U) In most cases, exchanges are to be led by each 
country,s respective foreign relations ministry--in the case 
of Brazil, the Ministry of External Relations 
(Itamaraty)--and are conducted on an ad-hoc basis at the 
request of either of the parties to the accord.  In some 
cases, implementation of the accords are to be carried out by 
 comistas, (see more below) and on a few occasions the 
 comistas, are to be presided by Itamaraty jointly with the 
National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), which is run of the 
Office of the Presidency,s Cabinet for Institutional 
Security (GSI). 
 
8. (U) In the case of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, 
Brazil has signed amendments to the accords that provide for 
cooperation between the parties specifically in border 
regions.  Under these amendments, both parties agree to 
develop coordinated strategies for the prevention of illegal 
drug use and for rehabilitation of drug users in cities along 
their shared borders.  Implementation of these amendments 
tends to be delegated to SENAD. 
 
9. (U) Some accords, but not all, have provisions requiring 
information shared under the authority of the accord to be 
kept confidential according to each country,s laws and to 
only be used for the purposes outlined in the accord. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
Category 1: Exceptions in the case of source countries 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
10. (U) Source countries, such as Bolivia and Colombia, tend 
to break the pattern, and have more detailed agreements that 
mandate each country,s main counternarcotics authority as 
the principal go-between in the implementation of the 
accords, instead of each country,s foreign ministry.  This 
deviation from the norm in the 1999 accords with both 
Colombia and Bolivia is justified by the need for direct 
communications between counterdrug authorities, instead of 
through the foreign ministries, in order to make 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  003.2 OF 007 
 
 
&cooperation more efficient8.  In the case of the Colombia 
accord, implementation of the accord on the Brazilian side is 
delegated to the Ministry of Justice and in the case of the 
accord with Bolivia to both the Ministry of Justice and 
SENAD.  The accords with Colombia and Bolivia also include a 
more extensive set of areas in which the two countries pledge 
to work together.  Both in the case of Colombia and Bolivia, 
the countries pledge to share information on where precursors 
are grown, to jointly establish lists of precursors and 
chemicals substances, and to put into place a more extensive 
and rigorous system of controls on the legal and illegal 
movement of these precursors across their borders.  Some of 
these provisions include: 
 
-- Both parties will cooperate to ensure the control and 
oversight of commercial, customs, and distribution operations 
of precursors and chemical substances included in the list of 
substances and will share information on operations suspected 
of involvement in illegal use of such substances; 
-- Both parties will ensure that all import, export, 
re-exportation, transit, and distribution of precursors will 
have all relevant documentation; 
-- In the case of suspected illicit activity, both parties 
will share information on the type of precursor or chemical 
substance, name, address, telephone and fax, and clients of 
the vendor of the substances; will share information on 
routes vendors reported they will use; statistical data 
related to the supply and demand of precursors and chemical 
substances in each country; 
-- Requires the central authority in each country, upon being 
provided with a request based on credible information from 
the other party, to investigate either recipient of the 
precursors or chemical substances; 
-- The central authority of one of the parties can request 
from the other party information on the individuals or 
organizations that carry out the sale, importation, 
exportation, re-exportation, distribution, transportation or 
storage in order to initiate investigations. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
Category 2: Accords related to, but not exclusively 
drug-focused 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
11. (U) Brazil has also signed more general accords that 
impact Brazil,s ability to effectively counter the 
trafficking of illegal drugs, although these are not 
exclusively drug-focused. 
 
TRANSNATIONAL CRIME 
 
12. (U) For example, a type of accord that Brazil has signed, 
although infrequently, is police cooperation accords focused 
on transnational criminal activity.  In 2005, Brazil and 
Colombia agreed to one, although it has yet to be ratified in 
Brazil.  The agreement recognizes the threats to regional 
stability and security posed by drug and arms trafficking and 
money laundering and the relevance of law enforcement 
cooperation to maintain internal security and effectively 
combat organized transnational criminal activity.  The 
agreement calls for cooperation in the following areas: 
 
-- Drug trafficking; 
-- Arms trafficking; 
-- Trafficking in persons; 
-- Child sexual exploitation; 
-- Environment crimes; 
-- Money laundering; 
-- Contraband; 
-- Counterfeiting 
-- Intellectual property 
-- Cybercrimes 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  004 OF 007 
 
 
 
13. (U) Under the accord, the parties agree to share 
intelligence information related to the crimes outlined 
above, share database information, and undertake joint 
operations.  In addition, the accord calls for cooperation 
and &sharing of experiences8 in the area of public 
security, particularly in the areas of community policing, 
security at sporting events, protection of visiting 
dignitaries, kidnapping prevention, public order, and 
protection of civil and human rights, among others.  The 
agreement also calls for the creation of Bilateral Working 
Group on Police Matters (GTBP) to be run on the Brazilian 
side by the Ministry of Justice and the Brazilian Federal 
Police (DPF) that will meet annually, or more frequently on 
an extraordinary basis, and will develop a joint action plan 
to implement the accord. Finally, the accord calls for the 
police chiefs of the border areas to meet at least every two 
months for the purpose of evaluating the progress of the 
accord and making any necessary adjustments to its 
implementation. 
 
CONTROL OF AIRSPACE 
 
14. (U) Brazil has signed accords related to the control and 
combat the transit of aircraft involved in illicit activity 
with several countries, including Argentina, Colombia, 
Paraguay, and Uruguay.  These types of accords generally call 
for the combating of the transit of irregular aircraft 
through the parties, territory, implementation of an 
information exchange system, technical and operational 
training, and regular evaluations of the efficiency of the 
programs. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Category 3:  Comista,, or joint permanent committee 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
15. (U) The third category of accords Brazil has signed 
involve the establishment of joint permanent committees or 
'comistas,.  Brazil has signed agreements to create these 
bodies with about 40 countries, including most, but not all, 
South American countries, and with countries in every region 
of the world, to include Canada, South Korea, China, Iran, 
Egypt, France, India, Japan, Nigeria.  Brazil has sometimes 
signed accords to establish a single  comista, focused on 
multiple themes, with various subcomistas established to deal 
with more specific subjects.  For example, the Bolivian 
 comista, has a subcomittee on counternarcotics issues. 
Brazil has also created single-issue  comistas,.  For 
example, the counternarcotics accords Brazil signed with 
Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, Venezuela, Peru all provide for the 
creation of a  comista, focused exclusively on 
counternarcotics. 
 
16. (U) These single-issue  comistas, are generally 
established to implement the bilateral counternarcotics 
accords, and are empowered to come up with recommendations of 
measures to implement the accords, as well as evaluate the 
effectiveness of the measures undertaking by each country to 
implement the accords. They are also, for the most part, 
presided by the ministries of foreign relations of each 
country and are supposed to meet at least once a year, 
alternating hosting duties.  They can also meet more 
frequently on an extraordinary basis, but not without at 
least two months notice.  Some  comistas, can also 
establish &working groups8 and others can establish 
&subcommittees8 that can meet more frequently and focus on 
specific areas.  The Brazil-Paraguayan  comista,, uniquely, 
can create either or both sub-mechanisms. 
 
17. (U) There are exceptions to the rule that  comistas, 
are presided by the respective foreign ministries.  The 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  005 OF 007 
 
 
Brazil-Mexico  comista', on the Brazilian side is hosted 
jointly by Itamaraty with the Brazilian Federal Police; and 
both the Brazil-Peru and Brazil-Spain  comistas, are 
presided on the Brazilian side by both Itamaraty and SENAD. 
 
--------- 
Comment: 
--------- 
 
18. (C) Itamaraty has a robust multi-layered diplomatic 
framework that enables Brazil to work bilaterally with 
countries both in the region and outside of it.  Although it 
is hard to gage how effective these accords are at enhancing 
the effectiveness of counternarcotics cooperation, at a 
minimum the accords serve to establish counternarcotics 
cooperation as an important and priority goal for both 
countries.  As seen by the variations found within the 
accords, Brazil also has shown that it is willing and capable 
of maintaining a flexible approach that adapts itself to the 
circumstances each country presents.  Itamaraty has ceded the 
leading role to other agencies in some cases, such as with 
Bolivia and Colombia, and has shared the lead in others with 
the Presidency through SENAD.  Although the existence of such 
arrangements could be exploited as a means of moving forward 
with a bilateral accord, it is not clear why they were made 
or that the GOB would consider them as the basis for a 
similar bilateral arrangement with the United States. 
 
19. (C)  With regard to South American regional initiatives, 
these bilateral accords suggest the scope of activities that 
might be broadly acceptable within the region.  However, 
three notes of caution:  first, it is important to note that 
GOB officials are often unwilling to cooperate in broader 
fora on matters that they consider to be of strictly 
bilateral interest (e.g., border controls).  Second, by 
defining problems narrowly, policymakers often reject 
potential areas for cooperation as not being of legitimate 
interest to other countries.  For example, Brazilian 
policymakers tend to minimize the legitimacy of U.S. interest 
in drug trafficking through Brazil by noting that the drugs 
are destined for Europe and Africa.  Third, senior GOB 
officials tend to address drug trafficking in a reactive 
manner, rather than with a goal of putting a halt to emerging 
trends.  They have rebuffed some proposals to cooperate in 
targeting drug traffickers by dismissing the regionalization 
of criminal gangs and questioning evidence suggesting the 
spread of Mexican and Colombian drug cartels into other South 
American countries. 
 
20. (C) Finally, Itamaraty does not enter into agreements 
with the United States without considering their broader 
significance for the bilateral relationship, for Brazil,s 
leadership in the region, and for Brazil,s global standing. 
The GOB has been most willing to engage with us in areas that 
appear to confirm Brazilian equality with the United States 
(e.g., in trilateral cooperation), while resisting 
cooperation with us in areas where the United States will be, 
or will be seen to be, the dominant partner.  Within that 
framework, Brazil has been willing to cooperate with us in 
global fora and in joint activities with extra-regional 
developing countries, but has steadfastly resisted 
cooperating with the United States within South America or in 
South American regional fora.  End comment. 
 
21. (U) Begin appendix: Below is the list of bilateral 
accords examined for this cable. 
 
Argentina: 
-- 1993 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances(in effect in 1995); 
-- 2002 Accord on cooperation to combat the transit of 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  006 OF 007 
 
 
aircraft possible involved international illicit activity (in 
effect in 2006) 
-- 2005 Exchange of notes to amendment to 1993 to establish 
cooperation in the area of reducing demand for illegal drugs 
in border cities (in effect in 2005) 
 
Bolivia: 
-- 1988 exchange of notes to establish a joint permanent 
committee to coordinate bilateral relations (in effect in 
1988) 
-- 1999 Accord on cooperation to impede the illegal use of 
precursors and chemical substances used in the production of 
illegal drugs and psychotropic substances and psychotropic 
substances (in effect in 2004) 
 
Chile: 
-- 1990 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances (in effect in 1992) 
 
Colombia: 
-- 1997 Accord on cooperation to impede the illegal use of 
precursors and chemical substances used in the production of 
illegal drugs and psychotropic substances and psychotropic 
substances (in effect in 1999) 
-- 1997 Accord on cooperation to combat the transit of 
aircraft possible involved international illicit activity (in 
effect in 2006) 
-- 2005 Accord on Police Cooperation (not ratified) 
 
Peru: 
-- 1999 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances (in effect in 2002) 
 
Uruguay: 
-- 1991 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances (ratified in 1995) 
-- 2002 Exchange of notes to amendment to 1993 to establish 
cooperation in the area of reducing demand for illegal drugs 
in border cities 
-- 2002 Accord on cooperation to combat the transit of 
aircraft possible involved international illicit activity 
(ratified in 2008) 
 
Venezuela: 
-- 1997 Accord on cooperation to prevent, control, and combat 
the illegal consumption and trafficking of narcotics and 
psychotropic substances (in effect in 1990) 
 
Paraguay: 
-- 1988 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances(in effect in 1992); 
-- 2000 Accord on cooperation to combat the transit of 
aircraft possible involved international illicit activity (in 
effect in 2002) 
-- 2002 Exchange of notes to amendment to 1993 to establish 
cooperation in the area of reducing demand for illegal drugs 
in border cities (in effect in 2002) 
 
Lebanon: 
-- 2003 Accord on cooperation to combat the production, 
consumption and trafficking of illegal narcotics and 
psychotropic substances and to combat money laundering and 
other fraudulent financial transactions (not ratified) 
 
Mexico: 
-- 1996 Accord on cooperation to combat narcotrafficking and 
drug-dependency (ratified in 1997) 
 
 
BRASILIA 00000757  007 OF 007 
 
 
Portugal: 
-- 1991 Accord on cooperation to prevent the use of and to 
combat the illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances (ratified in 1995) 
 
Spain: 
-- 1999 Accord on the control of illicit trafficking and the 
prevention of the consumption of narcotics and psychotropic 
substances (ratified in 2004) 
 
End appendix. 
 
 
 
SOBEL 

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