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05SANSALVADOR2680 2005-09-27 20:20:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy San Salvador
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SAN SALVADOR 002680 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2015

REF: A. STATE 176485


Classified By: Ambassador H. Douglas Barclay. Reasons: 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Officials at the highest levels of the Government of
El Salvador have, thus far, responded positively (ref. b) to
Post demarche on DHS's Secure Border Initiative (SBI), and
seem to fully grasp the fact that the USG intends to move
very quickly to implement an accelerated deportations
program. Furthermore, during DCM's September 23 call on
Minister of Government Rene Figueroa, Private Secretary to
the Presidency Elmer Charlaix, and Presidential
Communications Secretary Julio Rank, all of whom constitute
Saca's "inner circle," all three acknowledged that
accelerated deportations are imminent, and that the question
for them now becomes how to manage its political and fiscal
impact here.

2. (C) At one point, Rank wondered out loud whether the GOES
should not take a "leadership" role among its neighbors on
this issue, and implied that whichever country gets to the
"front of the line" to cooperate with the USG could well
receive more benefits for its cooperation. At one point in
the meeting, Figueroa described the fiscal impact of
increased deportations on a number of government entities,
such as airport operations, the immigration service, and law
enforcement. Figueroa was especially concerned about
accelerated deportations of hardened criminals, including
gang members ("maras"), at a time of alarming increases in
violent crime. In this regard, he specifically raised two
major points: the GOES desire to re-start negotiations on a
bilateral prisoner exchange agreement, and the need to build
a second maximum security prison (which he estimated would
cost USD 7 million) to hold the most dangerous deportees.

3. (C) At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that
high-ranking GOES officials and key post country team members
would constitute a working group to begin addressing the SBI
issue. We expect that, at these meetings, the GOES will come
prepared with a laundry list of needs to address the fiscal
impact of the deportations on GOES institutions. There is
little doubt that SBI will place a major burden on San
Salvador airport operations and the ability of Salvadoran
immigration to process the dramatic increases in "normal"
returnees. There is also likely to be a significant burden
on the Salvadoran national police and the penal system caused
by an increase in criminal deportees. In anticipation of
what will undoubtedly be a call for financial assistance from
the GOES, Post has come up with the following list of
possible incentives for the GOES, which will also be of
concrete benefit to the USG as we seek to ensure that
Salvadorans deported from the U.S. do not return.

Bilateral Agreements:

-- Accelerated negotiations on a bilateral prisoner exchange
agreement based on the U.S.-Mexico model.

--Accelerated negotiations on a bilateral extradition treaty.

Use of DHS Processing Fees:

-- Finance construction of a GOES penal facility.

--Establish a national jobs and vocational training center.

DHS non-financial support to GOES consulates for deportee

--Provide office space and administrative equipment to GOES
consular officers at a central detention center, to
facilitate issuance of travel document.

--Commitment to send a hard copy file of each criminal
deportee's history upon the deportee's arrival in El
Salvador, in addition to diplomatic notification.

Use of Post INL funds:

-- Provide a modest amount of funds under INL's country port
security program to purchase computer and other necessary
equipment to process increased deportee flow through El
Salvador International airport.

--Request additional INL assistance to purchase biometric
fingerprint scanners at the El Salvador International
airport, other immigration offices, and Salvadoran National
Police (PNC) offices so that all incoming criminal deportees
could be fingerprinted upon arrival;

4. (C) Comment: President Saca and the GOES pride
themselves on the "special relationship" they enjoy with
President Bush and the USG, and point to their support on
Iraq, CAFTA, and a whole range of multilateral and regional
issues as clear examples of their commitment to this
relationship. Much like his decision to send troops to Iraq,
support of SBI could be a domestic political liability to
President Saca. In this regard, we must think creatively
about ways to give Saca political cover to take a regional
leadership role in supporting accelerated deportations, such
as the signing of extradition and prisoner exchange
agreements, while using whatever funding is available to us
to ameliorate the burden of deportations on GOES
institutions. Post would welcome Department reaction to the
use of these possible incentives, as well as identification
of any additional incentives, financial or otherwise.