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04TEGUCIGALPA1197 2004-05-24 22:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

TEGUCIGALPA FY 2004 AND FY 2005 LGP REDUCTIONS

Tags:   ABUD AFIN AMGT ASEC KESS KICA KSEP 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TEGUCIGALPA 001197 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FOR DS/IP/FPO FREDERICK GARDNER, IP/WHA CRAIG MASS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ABUD AFIN AMGT ASEC KESS KICA KSEP
SUBJECT: TEGUCIGALPA FY 2004 AND FY 2005 LGP REDUCTIONS

REF: A. STATE 096070

B. POST HARDSHIP DIFFERENTIAL REPORT CRIME SECTION
ATTACHMENT A

C. TEGUCIGALPA 00883 QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT 1
QUARTER 2004

D. TEGUCIGALPA 00542 SECURITY ENVIRONMENT PROFILE
QUESTIONNAIRE

E. TEGUCIGALPA 00224 QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT 4
QUARTER 2003

F. TEGUCIGALPA 00224 ANNUAL CRIME EVALUATION
QUESTIONNAIRE

G. TEGUCIGALPA 00224 ANNUAL CRIME SAFETY REPORT FOR
OSAC

H. TEGUCIGALPA 02880 QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT 3
QUARTER 2003

I. TEGUCIGALPA 01951 QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT 2
QUARTER 2003

J. TEGUCIGALPA 00374 QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT 4
QUARTER 2002



1. (SBU) Summary: Post carefully reviewed and is modifying
the Local Guard Program (LGP) contract in order to meet the
requested 3.3 percent LGP reduction goal (approximately
$18,000) for FY 2004. RSO is currently working with the GSO
contracting office to negotiate a reduction in contract
vehicles cost as a result of these modifications. This
reduction could result in an additional 4 percent to the FY


2005. The total reduction to Post LGP will equal 7.5 percent
(dependent on the reduction in contract vehicle cost). Post
EAC has carefully reviewed these modifications/cuts and
unanimously agree that no further reductions can be absorbed
given the current security environment. The initial reaction
by members of the EAC was to find a way to maintain the
current program. Five Agency heads individually supported an
increase in ICASS cost to counter the budget cut (This idea
was researched but was found not to be feasible. Tegucigalpa
is a high crime threat post (borderline critical) with
ever-increasing real crime. Many EAC members questioned why
the Department was requesting funding cuts at a high crime
post. End summary.



2. (SBU) Since the third quarterly status report in 2002,
every subsequent report (QSR) submitted has contained
incidents of Mission employees being victimized - most events
occurring in and around the Chancery, USAID building and
residential areas of Mission employee housing. The following
list highlights specific examples of assaults that have been
on the increase during the last 18 months. During this same
time period, RSO issued more than twenty Mission-wide
security advisories via e-mail to employees and family
members. This list notes only the more egregious crimes
against Mission members and does not include harassment,
conventional thefts or crimes against Mission locally
employed staff (LES) outside of their official duties:

(Reftel J) The Milgroup Commander was assaulted by
three robbers outside a local pizza take-out store. He was
struck on the head with a brick, threatened with more severe
injury and robbed.

(Reference B) An EFM was robbed at gunpoint near a
bakery frequented by U.S. Mission families close to the
Embassy.

(Reference B) A USAID Honduran employee was robbed and
threatened by a motorcycle robber (Note - Robbers, often as
two-man teams, utilize medium-sized motorcycles. This MO is
so common that Mission security advice warns that any two men
on a medium-sized motorcycle should be considered armed and
dangerous until proven otherwise.) as she walked from her
parked vehicle to the USAID entrance (The USAID building is
directly across the street from the Chancery).

(Reftel H) Twelve Honduran Embassy employees were held
hostage and robbed at gunpoint while preparing a residence
for an incoming Mission family. Two employees suffered
injuries requiring medical attention. There were four
additional home invasions during the quarter against
non-Mission residences but they occured close or adjacent to
Mission residences.

(Reftel H) Three American TDY employees were threatened
and robbed at gunpoint by motorcycle robbers close to an
embassy perimeter entrance. One female was assaulted, beaten
and required medical attention. (10 stitches)

(Reftel E) An MSG was robbed at gunpoint by three men
traveling in a taxi close to the MSG house.

(Reftel C) The visiting mother of the MilGroup
Commander was robbed by a motorcycle robber as she exited her
vehicle.

(Reftel C) Another USAID Honduran employee was robbed
and threatened by an armed motorcycle robber as she walked
from her parked vehicle to the USAID entrance.

(Reference B) Peace Corps Country Director's home was
invaded by three armed men. The Director, his spouse and
daughter, and 6 Honduran house guests were held hostage,
assaulted and robbed at gunpoint as three men threatened
murder, kidnapping, and further reprisals if they reported
the attack.



3. (SBU) Additional circumstances affecting the Post
security program:

Honduras is the third most violent country in Latin America
and one of the most corrupt. These facts, combined with the
lowest per capita ratio of police in Latin America (5400
police for a population of 6 million and 1100 police in
Tegucigalpa for a population of 1 million - gang members
outnumber the police in the capital by 18:1.) exacerbate a
dangerous, multi-faceted criminal threat to Mission
employees, family members, and the resident American
community. Police response to emergencies is problematic and
unpredictable. During the recent home invasion of the Peace
Corps Country Director, the response time of the local police
was more than an hour - this, after nine people were
threatened and held at gunpoint by armed men.

Another example of the inability of the local police to
respond to an emergency occurred when the neighbor (they have
a shared wall) of the DCM (also the landlord of the current
DCM residence) was shot in the face inside his residence in
an assassination attempt. Fortunately, the victim fled to
the street and was spotted by an alert Embassy guard at the
DCM residence. The guard immediately notified the LGF
Command Center which in turn notified the local police and
dispatched the LGF residential sector mobile patrol to the
area. Upon arrival, the mobile patrol guards administered
first aid and took the victim to the hospital, saving his
life. Local Police arrived at the scene more than 45 minutes
later and only after being brought there by the Embassy
roving patrol.

In effect, the Post LGF is the Mission's police force and
first and last line of defense. The much-needed residential
security program is critical to maintaining Mission security,
morale, and an environment where American employees and their
families can feel safe. In times of emergencies, the only
help is the LGF which responds within minutes - minutes that
can save lives. The Embassy LGF accounts for more
apprehensions and detentions of criminals near Mission
facilities and residences than the local police. At any
given time during non-business hours, the local police have
only one patrol vehicle dedicated to an area greater than all
Mission residential sectors combined.

Currently, the Mission LGF is managed by InterCon, which has
operations worldwide. Since April of 1998, InterCon has had
19 guard deaths in Honduras. In Colombia during the same
time frame, InterCon has had 1 guard death. While InterCon
Honduras represents only 4 percent of InterCon's worldwide
operations, the Honduras operation has accounted for 40
percent of InterCon "line of duty" guard deaths and has had
more guards killed than all of InterCon's other overseas
operations combined, including Africa. This fact, combined
with a Honduran murder case closure rate of less than 1.5
percent, creates a dangerous environment where murder is
commonplace and crime pays well. (35 American citizens have
been murdered since 1997 and all but 3 cases remain open.)

In view of the information above, RSO has evaluated the local
guard contract and proposes the following deductions to
accommodate, as fully as possible, the mandated cuts.



4. (SBU) FY 2004 LGP reductions: The following is an
itemized list of reductions and cost savings.

Position Function Code Hours Cut Dollar Value
SD-3 9912 eliminated $1,094
M-9 5822 976 $1,288
M-10 5822 976 $1,181
M-11 5822 eliminated $3,865
M-12 5822 eliminated $3,543
C-11 5826 eliminated $1,096
G-2 5826 eliminated $767
CA-2 5826 255 $696
C-1 5826 2,078 $5,673

A total of $19,204 in savings equaling a 3.5 percent
reduction for FY 2004.



5. (SBU) FY 2005 reductions: RSO, in cooperation with GSO
contracting office, is working to negotiate a reduction in
vehicle cost as a result of a decrease in roving patrols from
six to five. While it is estimated that this could result in
a savings of nearly $16,000 per year, multiple issues
(dealing with local laws and regulations that are arcane,
complex and skewed in the interest of the GOH) could factor
into the final reduction figure.



6. (SBU) Post EAC concurs with the above planned guard
cuts. Any further reduction in guard force could have a
serious negative impact on Post morale. The home invasion
mentioned earlier has left many families feeling vulnerable
and has spawned numerous requests for static guard positions
at residences in addition to the roving patrols. The RSO
office is continuing an aggressive security awareness program
to counter threats faced by personnel and re-enforcing the
theme that security is a shared responsibility.



7. (U) POC for this cable is ARSO Dennis LeBow.
IVG-539-4504.
Palmer