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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02TEGUCIGALPA3318
2002-12-09 22:47:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

HONDURAN ACTION ON SEVEN COUNTERTERRORISM

Tags:   PTER  PREL  KTIA  AORC  PARM  EAIR  EWWT  KCRM  HO 
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						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