US embassy cable - 03GUATEMALA427

MANPADS THREAT CONSIDERED MINOR IN GUATEMALA

Identifier: 03GUATEMALA427
Wikileaks: View 03GUATEMALA427 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Guatemala
Created: 2003-02-18 17:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: MCAP PTER ETTC GT PARMS
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 GUATEMALA 000427 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/11/2013 
TAGS: MCAP, PTER, ETTC, GT, PARMS 
SUBJECT: MANPADS THREAT CONSIDERED MINOR IN GUATEMALA 
 
REF: STATE 38880 
 
Classified By: Robert E. Copley for reason 1.5 (d). 
 
1. (C) The information below is keyed by paragraph number 
to reftel questions. 
 
Paragraph 7. General Information: To our knowledge, the 
Government of Guatemala (GOG) does not possess MANPADS. 
However, black and gray arms markets exist in Guatemala and 
exotic weapons systems are said to occasionally move 
through them.  Given the involvement of a Guatemala-based 
arms dealer in the recent diversion of Nicaraguan assault 
rifles to Colombian rebels and rumors of surplus MANPADS in 
the region due to internal conflicts, we cannot rule out 
the possibility that a very small number of MANPADS may be 
held or obtained by non-state groups in Guatemala. 
 
Paragraph 8. Government Cooperation: The GOG can be 
expected to cooperate in the effort to control MANPADS, 
especially if we can provide it with specific information 
about the existence of such weapons.  Guatemala's export 
control regulations would technically prohibit transfers 
but enforcement mechanism are inadequate and further 
limited by rampant corruption at all levels of the GOG. 
 
Paragraph 9. Feasible Arguments: The GOG will be receptive 
to the need for responsible action against the MANPADS 
threat and will appreciate the magnitude of liability if a 
successful MANPADS attack were to be traced to its failure 
to take action.  Guatemala does not have a state-sponsored 
air carrier, but depends heavily on tourism for foreign 
exchange earnings. 
 
Paragraph 10. Financial Incentives:  Not applicable since 
Guatemala does not have an official MANPADS stockpile to be 
destroyed. 
 
Paragraph 11. Other Incentives: The bilateral relationship 
is currently more fluid than usual.  This is an election 
year and Guatemala was recently decertified for lack of 
cooperation against narcotics.  Some, but not all, parts of 
the GOG are anxious to cooperate with the USG.  The GOG 
faces large and growing internal dissent which will tend to 
focus its attention on elections above all else. 
 
Paragraph 12.  Government Contacts and Engagement 
Activities:  The Ministers of Defense, Interior, and 
Foreign Relations are the appropriate officials to contact 
regarding this initiative.  Guatemala has appointed an 
Inter-Institutional Coordinator for Security, roughly 
equivalent to a Terrorism Czar.  The May 2003 Special 
Conference on Security in Mexico would be an excellent 
venue for approaching Guatemalan officials on this issue. 
Hamilton 

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