US embassy cable - 05LIMA1094

PERU: NARCOTICS AFFAIRS SECTION, FEBRUARY 2005

Identifier: 05LIMA1094
Wikileaks: View 05LIMA1094 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Lima
Created: 2005-03-04 17:44:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: SNAR KCRM ASEC PREL PE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 LIMA 001094 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR INL/LP, WHA/PPC 
ONDCP FOR D. GEDDINGS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR, KCRM, ASEC, PREL, PE 
SUBJECT: PERU: NARCOTICS AFFAIRS SECTION, FEBRUARY 2005 
 
REF: LIMA 887 
 
--------- 
SUMMARY 
--------- 
 
1. (SBU) On February 9, Bryan Tuttle, NAS's Deputy Port 
Security and Maritime Advisor, was killed in an accident 
while assisting a drug investigation in the Port of Callao in 
Lima.   As part of the port security program, a Peruvian 
delegation visited Colombian facilities at the Bogota airport 
and the port of Cartagena to learn ways to upgrade Peruvian 
ports.  The annual cocalero marches and strikes have started 
in coca growing regions with cocalero leaders spreading 
stories that the GOP is fumigating coca plants, which is 
illegal in Peru.  After a slow start, the GOP has strongly 
refuted these spurious claims in the media, finally putting 
the cocalero leaders on the defensive.  Two public opinion 
surveys show the Peruvian public still does not perceive the 
links between coca and narcotrafficking and drug abuse.  The 
GOP has eradicated over 500 hectares of coca and seized over 
3 tons of cocaine in the first two months of 2005.  (END 
SUMMARY) 
 
--------------------------------- 
DEATH OF NAS USPSC BRYAN TUTTLE 
--------------------------------- 
 
2.  (U) On February 9, Bryan Tuttle, NAS's Deputy Port 
Security and Maritime Advisor, was killed in an accident 
while he was assisting at a drug investigation at the Port of 
Callao in Lima (Reftel).  NAS Director Keogh accompanied the 
body back to the U.S. with a DEA colleague.  Post held a 
memorial service for Bryan on February 14 that was attended 
by a large number of senior Peruvian Government officials. 
On February 15, Bryan was buried at Bay Pines Veteran's 
Cemetery in St. Petersburg, with a USCG Honor Guard, flag 
ceremony, and 21-gun salute.  Secretary of State Rice and INL 
A/S Charles sent letters of condolence to Bryan's family. 
Bryan will be honored with a posthumous award by the Peruvian 
Police.  Post has nominated him for the State Department's 
Thomas Jefferson Star Award for heroism. 
 
-------------------------------- 
COCALERO MARCHING SEASON BEGINS 
-------------------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU) Cocalero leaders Nancy Obregon and Elsa Malpartida 
kicked off the annual cocalero marching season by organizing 
road-blocking demonstrations in Tingo Maria and Tocache, key 
towns in the Upper Huallaga Valley.  They spread false 
stories of local illnesses from spraying of coca fields with 
chemicals to galvanize their followers.  Police easily freed 
road blockages and brought both areas under control. 
Cocalero hopes that the strike would spread to other cocalero 
hotbeds have fizzled for now.  Cocaleros plan more strikes 
and a March national cocalero congress in Lima.  Local civic 
leaders offered only tepid support or even opposed the 
cocalero-led strikes because of their harm to the local 
economy. 
 
4.  (SBU) The GOP was slow to react to the spurious cocalero 
spraying claims but subsequently weighed in forcefully in the 
media.  PAS and NAS had warned GOP leaders to take the wind 
out of cocalero sails early with adequate public information 
and effective police response; spraying claims have been 
around for years.  Mission efforts encouraged the GOP, civic 
leaders, and the media to respond aggressively to the 
cocalero's disinformation campaign. 
 
5.  (SBU) The GOP is also considering law enforcement options 
against cocaleros.  Prime Minister Ferrero and DEVIDA chief 
Ericsson denounced a video in which Nancy Obregon is heard 
admitting that the vast majority of coca is destined for 
narcotrafficking.  The State Prosecutor for Drug Offenses, 
Sona Medina, announced that she would evaluate the video for 
evidence to bring drug offense charges against Obregon. 
 
----------------------------------- 
COMMUNICATIONS PLAN FOR COCA ZONES 
----------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU)  NAS, USAID, and PAS worked with GOP counterparts to 
develop a communications plan for March's eradication in 
southern San Martin Department, especially the Polvora-Pizana 
area that is home base for cocalero leader Nancy Obregon. 
CORAH communicators have met with both DEVIDA and CHS, a NAS 
contractor, to coordinate the key messages to be delivered in 
the provinces.  The campaign will start before eradication 
and continue for several weeks afterward. The GOP will meet 
with local officials to demonstrate how coca is eradicated 
manually and to show them that our helicopters and planes do 
not have the capability to spray fields.  CORAH will also 
explain to local officials and residents dangerous nexus of 
coca, narcotraffickers, drug use, and environmental damage. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
ERADICATION OPERATIONS: PRESENT AND PLANNED 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (SBU)  As of February 28, CORAH eradicated  554 hectares 
of coca, eliminated 2,096 square meters of seedbeds and 
destroyed 5 maceration pits.  Since February 16, CORAH has 
been working in recalcitrant communities that had not honored 
 agreements to auto-eradicate their coca in exchange for 
Alternative Development.  Due to bad weather, aircrew 
rotations, lack of police for security, and a cocalero 
strike, we have only been able to actually work three days in 
these areas. 
 
8. (SBU)  CORAH is now moving assets to the PNP base in Santa 
Lucia  in order start eradicating  1,500 hectares of coca 
south of Santa Lucia in Alto Yanjanca on March 5 .  Little or 
no opposition is expected.  The plan is to  move  northward 
into the Polvora-Pizana area in April where we expect major 
opposition to eradication.  As CORAH did in San Gaban last 
year, it will start eradication is the outlying areas of 
Polvora-Pizana and work its way to the center "hotspot" -- 
home territory for Nancy Obregon, an outspoken cocalero 
leader.  The entire operation is projected to last for 4 
months.  The total estimated hectares in both areas is 3,000. 
 
----------------------------- 
TRAINING FOR CADA AND CORAH 
----------------------------- 
 
9. (SBU)  From February 27-March 4, a group from CORAH and 
CADA traveled to  Bolivia to learn about the eradication 
experience there and, more specifically, to learn about the 
"Red Hen" technology that merges GPS coordinates with videos 
and photographs of coca taken from an aircraft. 
 
----------------------------------- 
USG SUPPORT FOR DEVIDA MUST CHANGE 
----------------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU)  NAS and AID representatives met to discuss the 
best way to support DEVIDA.  In CY 2004, USAID provided more 
about $1.1 million to DEVIDA.  More than 40 percent of that 
amount went to administrative support functions, e.g., 
security, lights, telephone, water, and office equipment. 
For CY 2005, USAID will be giving more than $1.4 million to 
DEVIDA.  USAID wants to reduce  support for administrative 
support functions from 42% to 20 percent of the budget 2006. 
 
------------------------------------- 
DRUG SEIZURES AND SECURITY FOR CORAH 
------------------------------------- 
 
11. (SBU)  The DIRANDRO Special Operations Group (GOES) have 
been conducting interdiction operations in the Puerto Pizana, 
Polvora, Tocache, and Nuevo Progreso areas of the Huallaga 
Valley from the Santa Lucia Base (SLB).  One operation 
started on February 9 and is ongoing.  The results to date 
are: 34 cocaine-base labs and 1 HCl lab destroyed, 2 arrests, 
and large quantities of precursors chemicals destroyed.  In 
addition, DIRANDRO troops in Tingo Maria conducted an 
interdiction mission from February 13-17, which destroyed 34 
cocaine-base labs along with precursors chemicals. 
 
12.  (SBU) A poppy eradication operation was thwarted by bad 
weather in the area around Celendin in Cajamarca.  Two UH-2s 
and a C-208 aircraft departed Pucallpa on February 19, but 
diverted to Tarapoto because of rapidly deteriorating 
weather.  After 3 days of waiting in Tarapoto, the aircraft 
returned to Pucallpa. 
 
-------------------- 
AVIATION OPERATIONS 
-------------------- 
 
13.  (SBU) NAS and INL have purchased a Beechcraft 1900 D 
aircraft.  We expect delivery in July 2005.  Two C-26 
aircraft donated by the USG to the Peruvian Air Force are 
being rehabilitated in St. John's, Newfoundland.  They will 
be outfitted with modern avionics.  Both aircraft are to be 
delivered to the Peruvian Air Force in June 2005. 
 
14.  (SBU) DynCorp, the contractor tasked for overseeing the 
NAS aviation program, continues to be understaffed (four of 
six positions are vacant).  NAS and the Office of Aviation in 
INL/A at Patrick AFB are evaluating the situation.  Two of 
three vacant positions in the NAS aviation program will be 
filled within 60 days. 
 
15.  (SBU) Delivery of three UH-2s previously scheduled to 
arrive by ship in December 2004, has been rescheduled for 
March.  When the three new UH-2s arrive we plan to back-haul 
six of the older UH-1s, keeping the fleet strength at 18 
helicopters in Peru.  The plan is to have 24 UH-2s on line by 
end of 2005 or early 2006. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
SEAPORT SECURITY: PERUVIAN DELEGATION VISIT TO COLOMBIA 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
16.  (SBU) The NAS Port Security Program Officer escorted two 
representatives from Peruvian Customs and one from the PNP to 
study the NAS Bogota-sponsored port security program.  The 
delegation visited the Bogota international airport and the 
major seaport facilities in Cartagena.  Of special interest 
to the Peruvians were the Colombian police methods of 
conducting targeted cargo searches in conjunction with K-9 
units.  Peruvian Customs estimates that it now inspects about 
one-half of one percent of cargo exports -- significantly 
less than their Colombian counterparts who inspect up to 10 
percent.  The information exchange and study of Colombia's 
port security processes generated intense interest among 
delegation members on how best to improve current manifest 
review and cargo inspection processes in Peru's ports. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
CALLAO (LIMA) K-9 UNIT HANDLER REFRESHER COURSE 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
17.  (SBU) In March, the NAS-sponsored K-9 expert from the 
UK's Customs and Excise Service will conclude a one-month K-9 
handler refresher course for the Peruvian Customs K-9 unit, 
based out of the Port of Callao.  The presence of the UK K-9 
expert is especially timely, as the newly assigned K-9 unit 
leader has been receiving one-on-one K-9 unit leadership 
training.  NAS hopes to have a full-time U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection Advisor by July 2005 to expand this 
important facet of the port security program. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
NEW DATA: PERUVIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD COCA AND COCAINE 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
18.  (U) Two surveys of Peruvian attitudes toward coca leaf, 
drug abuse, and narcotraffickers were announced this month. 
The Peruvian social-marketing firm Arellano conducted a 
series of focus groups as well as interviews with community 
leaders and journalists in Lima. 
 
19. (SBU) The Arellano survey found that poverty (48 percent) 
and unemployment (24 percent) are the most important issues 
for the Lima populace.  Drug abuse is in fourth place at 7 
percent, behind crime at 13 percent; 2) For all income and 
education levels, drug abuse is perceived as a social problem 
with only a weak correlation to coca cultivation or 
narcotrafficking; 3) High-income groups and most older people 
have a positive view of coca even though they know it is used 
to make drugs. 4) Low-income people and those between 18 and 
25 are more aware of the dangers of consumption and are more 
likely to support eradication and other drastic actions. 
(NOTE: The GOP divides the population into 5 socioeconomic 
levels.  Level "A" is high income with 3 percent of the 
population; B is 14 percent, C is 29 percent, and the poorest 
are D and E at 35 and 19 percent, respectively. End Note.) 
 
20.  (SBU) The second survey, which was funded by USAID, was 
done by the Peruvian firm of Tironi Associates.  Tironi 
focused on Lima and five urban areas in the coca-growing 
regions.  USAID has gleaned three recommendations from the 
Tironi survey.  First, convince Peruvians that coca 
cultivation, narcotraffickers, and cocaine consumption are 
all closely linked, i.e., the coca leaf has one buyer, the 
narcotrafficker.  Second, convince Peruvians that safe and 
secure communities are not possible when drug abuse and 
narcotraffickers abound.  Lastly, convince Peruvians that 
much of the corruption in the government and society stems 
from narcotrafficking. 
STRUBLE 

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