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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05SANSALVADOR2942 2005-10-28 23:10:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Salvador
Cable title:  

Anti-Gang Cooperation Generates Multiple Benefits

Tags:   SOCI KHLS CVIS PINS KFRD ES GANGS 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SAN SALVADOR 002942 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP, CA/VO/I, WHA/CEN for Paul Degler

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI KHLS CVIS PINS KFRD ES GANGS
SUBJECT: Anti-Gang Cooperation Generates Multiple Benefits

REF: STATE 00109415



1. SUMMARY: Post persuaded two Salvadoran government
organs with a limited history of mutual coordination, the
National Civil Police (PNC) and the National Civil Registry
(RNPN,) to cooperate on biometrics collection during a five-
nation law enforcement operation against members of the
Salvadoran gang MS-13. The experiment was a success,
demonstrating that biometric fingerprinting technologies
available to the two Salvadoran agencies and to USG
organizations -- including the Department of State, DHS and
the FBI -- are compatible. The fingerprinting experiment
also demonstrated that continuing cooperation has the
potential to strengthen El Salvador's anti-gang efforts and
directly enhance US border security. End Summary.



--------------------------



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Convincing Two Salvadorans Agencies to Work Together


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. Two weeks prior to a jointly organized five-nation law
enforcement operation on September 7 and 8 against members
of the Salvadoran gang MS-13, Post's LEGATT and Consular
Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM) began working with the Anti-
Gang Task Force of El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC)
and officials of the host government's National Civil
Registry (RNPN) to optimize the success of the anti-gang
sweep. The EMBOFFS concentrated on encouraging and
facilitating cooperation between the two Salvadoran
organizations which had no history of working together.
Traditionally, the RNPN has had limited contact with the
PNC, in part to protect from unauthorized disclosure the
extensive personal data it holds on nearly all Salvadoran
citizens. For its part, the PNC has seen little reason to
seek closer relations with the civilian RNPN. However,
because the Consular Section has a lengthy experience of
productive cooperation with both Salvadoran agencies, the
FPM and LEGATT perceived that coordination between the
Salvadoran agencies could increase the success of El
Salvador's anti-gang efforts and potentially contribute
improved border security for the United States.



3. The LEGATT and FPM focused on working with the PNC and
RNPN because the PNC's Anti-Gang Task Force performs on the
front line of the country's anti-gang efforts. However, the
PNC has no adequately reliable method to confirm the true
identities of the many gang members about which it has
compiled information. The RNPN is ideally situated to
compensate for this shortcoming because it manages an
extensive data base that currently contains information on
more than ninety percent of Salvadoran citizens over the age
of 18. The RNPN data includes detailed biographic
information, photographs, digital fingerprints of the two
index fingers, and fingerprint cards for all ten fingers.
The RNPN uses this data to issue El Salvador's national
identification card (DUI), which is required to obtain a
passport and to conduct routine transactions in all
government institutions and private banks.



4. The LEGATT and FPM proposed that the RNPN make its
equipment for taking biometric fingerprints available to the
PNC and that the prints of arrested gang members be checked
against the RNPN data base to confirm the identities of the
arrestees. The PNC does not have equipment to take
biometric fingerprints, and PNC officials responded
enthusiastically to this proposal. RNPN officers were
reluctant, saying they could not agree without Ministerial
level approval. Consequently, on 2 September DCM Michael
Butler raised the issue with Minister of Governance Rene
Figueroa, who approved the pilot test.



--------------------------


The Anti-Gang Sweep


--------------------------





5. On September 7 and 8 law enforcement agencies in the
United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
conducted a coordinated operation focused against the MS-13
gang. The anti-gang roundup involved more than 6,400
government agents from all five coordinating countries and
resulted in approximately 660 arrests. More than 230
arrests were made in El Salvador.



6. The PNC took seven of the arrested gang members to a
RNPN facility, where biometric fingerprints were taken of
their index fingers. Using these biometric prints, the RNPN
confirmed the identities of five of the seven individuals
and recorded information on the remaining two, who had never
been issued a DUI. The RNPN provided the results of the
biometric printing and identity checks to the PNC via e-
mail, and PNC officials forwarded this information to the
Consular Section. In turn, the FPU electronically
transferred the biometric prints and identity information to
Consular Affairs, DHS, and FBI in the United States where
the information was successfully entered into the law
enforcement and IDENT data bases maintained by those
organizations.



--------------------------


What Does It Mean?


--------------------------





7. The pilot test conducted on September 7-8 produced
several positive results. First, it demonstrated that the
technology available to the RNPN and PNC are compatible for
the transfer of biometric and identity data and that
cooperation between the two agencies can strengthen El
Salvador's anti-gang campaign. Second, and of equal
significance to the U.S., the experiment demonstrated that
Salvadoran and US technologies are compatible and that
further cooperation between our two countries can contribute
to the security of US borders. The seven biometrically
fingerprinted gang members were entered into CLASS and IDENT
as being potentially ineligible for reasons of gang activity
(see ref authorization for ineligibility findings against
active members of Salvadoran-based gangs). Should they
apply in the future for visas, their identities and suspect
gang associations will be revealed to adjudicating consular
officers. Similarly, should any of the seven be detained by
US law enforcement authorities while attempting to enter the
US or for activities conducted in the US, information about
them will be readily available in the DHS and FBI data
bases. Additional success in a parallel consular-initiated
program will be reported septel.



--------------------------


Next Steps


--------------------------





8. Post will encourage continuing cooperation between the
RNPN and PNC. While scrupulously complying with El
Salvador's privacy right laws, this cooperation has the
potential to contribute significantly to El Salvador's
efforts to curtail gang violence and gang-related social
disruption. Post also will continue to seek ways to expand
anti-gang cooperation between El Salvador and the United
States. The security of both our nations will benefit.

Barclay