US embassy cable - 02TEGUCIGALPA3318

HONDURAN ACTION ON SEVEN COUNTERTERRORISM CONVENTIONS STALLED PENDING CERTIFIED COPIES IN SPANISH

Identifier: 02TEGUCIGALPA3318
Wikileaks: View 02TEGUCIGALPA3318 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tegucigalpa
Created: 2002-12-09 22:47:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER PREL KTIA AORC PARM EAIR EWWT KCRM HO
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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TEGUCIGALPA 003318 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR S/CT, L, IO, EB, AND NP 
STATE FOR WHA, WHA/USOAS, AND WHA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2012 
TAGS: PTER, PREL, KTIA, AORC, PARM, EAIR, EWWT, KCRM, HO 
SUBJECT: HONDURAN ACTION ON SEVEN COUNTERTERRORISM 
CONVENTIONS STALLED PENDING CERTIFIED COPIES IN SPANISH 
 
REF: STATE 242866 (ALL NOTAL) 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Roger Pierce; 
Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D). 
 
1. (U) This is an action request; please see para. 10. 
 
2. (SBU) Summary: PolOff met December 6 with Honduran MFA 
Director General for Treaties Ivonne Bonilla to demarche 
Bonilla on the 1988 maritime counterterrorism (CT) convention 
and protocol and to get a status report on the GOH's slow 
action on becoming a party to five international and two OAS 
CT conventions, including the maritime convention and 
protocol.  Bonilla claimed the crux of the problem was that 
the MFA has not been able to obtain certified 
Spanish-language copies of the conventions.  Post requests 
immediate assistance from the Department, USUN, and USOAS to 
obtain the necessary documents.  End Summary. 
 
3. (U) PolOff met December 6 with Honduran MFA Director 
General for Treaties Ivonne Bonilla to demarche Bonilla on 
the maritime counterterrorism (CT) convention and protocol 
(reftel) and to get a status report on the GOH's slow action 
on becoming a party to international and regional CT 
conventions. 
 
Honduras Currently Party to Only Five CT Conventions . . . 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
 
4. (U) PolOff confirmed with Bonilla that the GOH is 
currently only a party to the following five international 
counterterrorism conventions: 
-- 1963 Tokyo Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts 
Committed Onboard Aircraft 
-- 1970 Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful 
Seizure of Aircraft 
-- 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful 
Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation 
-- 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes 
Against Internationally Protected Persons, and 
-- 1979 Convention Against the Taking of Hostages. 
 
 . . . But About to Become a Party to Two More 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
5. (U) PolOff congratulated Bonilla on the GOH taking action 
to become a party to the: 
-- 1997 Convention for the Suppression on Terrorist Bombings, 
and 
-- 1999 Convention on the Suppression of Financing of 
Terrorism Crimes (signed by the GOH November 11, 2001). 
The MFA had forwarded both to Congress in October, Congress 
approved both in early November, and since then Congress and 
the Executive Branch have been completing all the required 
steps.  Two decrees are now awaiting publication in the "La 
Gaceta," the Honduran version of the Federal Register, to 
become official.  Bonilla was not sure if the decrees would 
be published prior to the end of December. 
 
Two Down, Seven to Go 
--------------------- 
 
6. (U) PolOff confirmed with Bonilla that the GOH is still 
not/not a party to the following five international CT 
conventions, including the two maritime conventions: 
-- 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection on Nuclear 
Materials 
-- 1988 Convention for the Suppression on Unlawful Acts 
Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) 
-- 1988 Protocol for the Suppression on Unlawful Acts Against 
the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental 
Shelf (SUA Protocol) 
-- 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of 
Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation 
-- 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for 
the Purpose of Detection (signed by the GOH March 26, 1991). 
 
The GOH is not a party to the following two Organization of 
American States (OAS) CT conventions either: 
-- 1971 OAS Convention to Prevent and Punish the Acts of 
Terrorism Taking the Form of Crimes Against Persons and 
Related Extortion that are of International Significance 
(signed by the GOH February 2, 1971) 
-- 2002 OAS Convention to Prevent and Punish Acts of 
Terrorism (signed by the GOH June 3, 2002). 
 
MFA Claims Lack of Spanish Versions Key to Delay 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
7. (SBU) Bonilla claimed that the GOH did want to be a member 
to all of these conventions but complained that the MFA first 
needed certified Spanish-language copies of the conventions 
that would be suitable for forwarding to Congress for 
consideration.  Bonilla said that she had asked Honduran 
diplomatic missions to obtain certified Spanish-language 
copies of the conventions but they had not done so to date. 
She then showed PolOff drafts of letters from the Vice 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anibal Quinonez to the Honduran 
Ambassadors/Consul Generals/PermReps in Berlin, London, 
Montreal, Rome, the UN, and Vienna instructing them to obtain 
the needed documents.  Bonilla said that the letters would be 
sent shortly. 
 
8. (SBU) PolOff offered to assist if possible and Bonilla 
said that the MFA would greatly appreciate any USG assistance 
on this issue, as she was not optimistic that her diplomatic 
colleagues would obtain the necessary Spanish-language 
versions.  PolOff noted that obtaining the necessary OAS 
documents should not be difficult.  Bonilla agreed, but it 
was clear that she had focused more on the international CT 
conventions and was not very familiar with either OAS CT 
convention.  Political Section Chief plans to call Honduran 
OAS PermRep to urge him to take swift action to obtain the 
documents. 
 
9. (U) Following the meeting PolOff sent Bonilla hyperlinks 
to UN, OAS, IAEA, ICAO, and IMO websites on CT conventions 
that included the English text and status of the conventions. 
 
10. (SBU) Action request for the Department, USUN, and USOAS: 
Post requests assistance to obtain for the GOH certified 
Spanish-language copies of the five international and two OAS 
counterterrorism conventions mentioned previously.  Post 
suggests that the documents be given to one or more of the 
following: the Honduran Mission to the UN, the Honduran 
Mission to the OAS, the Honduran Embassy, or pouched to Post 
for delivery to the MFA. 
 
11. (U) Post point of contact is Deputy Political Chief 
Derrick Olsen, IVG phone: 539-4394, phone: (504) 236-9320 
x4394, fax: (504) 238-4446, unclassified and classified 
e-mail. 
 
Without USG Assistance, Delay Will Likely Continue 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
12. (C) Comment:  The GOH has been a good and reliable friend 
of the U.S. on counterterrorism, both under former President 
Flores and current President Maduro.  Maduro's government 
hosted a major U.S. military counterterrorism exercise in 
March and has quickly responded with freeze orders to all 
U.S. requests regarding suspect terrorist bank accounts.  No 
terrorist assets have been found in Honduran financial 
institutions, to date.  However, the GOH still has not 
designated a national coordinator for counterterrorism, filed 
its national report in accordance with United Nations 
Security Council Resolution 1373, and most of all, signed 
and/or ratified the five outstanding international 
conventions/protocols and two OAS conventions against 
terrorism.  There is no high-level coordinated GOH effort to 
ensure that the GOH rapidly becomes a party to these 
conventions, and thus, the process has bogged down in the 
bureaucracy over the issue of obtaining certified 
Spanish-language copies of the conventions.  Post would 
greatly appreciate Department, USUN, and USOAS assistance to 
jump-start this moribund process.  End Comment. 
PIERCE 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04