wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09GUATEMALA49 2009-01-16 12:04:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Guatemala
Cable title:  

GUATEMALA: BLUE LANTERN PRE-LICENSE CHECK,

Tags:   ETTC KMOC GT 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGT #0049 0161204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161204Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6803
					  UNCLAS GUATEMALA 000049 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KMOC GT
SUBJECT: GUATEMALA: BLUE LANTERN PRE-LICENSE CHECK,
050137875

REF: STATE 133162



1. (SBU) Summary: In response to reftel, PolMil Officer
researched the bona fides of the arms import company
Comercial Agricola Bolanos (CAB). The research included an
on-site inspection of CAB, an interview with the company's
owner, and records checks of both the company and the owner
with the Guatemala's Arms and Municions Control Department
(DECAM). As a result of the investigation, Post recommends
approval of reftel license. End Summary.



2. (SBU) On January 8, Emboffs conducted an on-site
inspection of CAB located at Calzada San Juan 4-34, Zona 3
Mixco, Guatemala City and interviewed the company's owner,
Jose Eduardo Bolanos. Bolanos was fully cooperative during
the interview, offered complete access to his records, and a
tour of the facility. CAB is located on the bottom floor of
a commercial retail location and includes a well-secured
storefront with good signage, security bars and a security
guard protecting the immediate area surrounding the store and
parking lot. The store has a small retail area and a weapons
counter. In the back of the store is a second room where
there is one clerical desk and a weapons storage room with
the owner's office located up one flight of stairs. Overall,
the retail, office and weapons storage room were
satisfactory; however, upon inspection, the Emboffs
discovered that a large quantity of weapons and ammunition
were placed outside the weapons storage room in the clerical
area and upstairs in the office, due to a lack of sufficient
space in the weapons storage room. The weapons storage room
itself is very secure with all of the necessary protective
measures needed including infrared motion detectors in the
walls and ceiling. The room is made of four solid cinder
block walls with one reinforced steel-grated wall. Bolanos
has plans to expand his business to increase the size of his
weapons storage room, which should be completed before large
volume orders are approved.



3. (SBU) According to Bolanos, he has been in the arms
industry for 14 years, starting in 1995. He is the sole
owner of this company and has a prior business history in the
agriculture industry. Bolanos imported about 100 weapons
from the U.S. in 2008, and stated that he would like to
import more from the U.S. (mostly .38 caliber), but he has
found that smaller orders (50 weapons or less) are more
likely to be approved than larger orders. (Comment:
Limiting the number of weapons granted under import licenses
may serve as a deterrent to the practice of arms wholesaling.
End Comment.) According to Bolanos, the recent reftel
license purchase of .38 and .22 caliber revolvers will be
sold in small amounts (five or six per sale) to distributors
throughout the city. In addition to the U.S. imports,
Bolanos imports most of his pistols from Argentina, with
additional imported rifles and ammunition from Bulgaria,
Italy, Turkey and The Philippines.



4. (SBU) CAB books and DECAM registries were well maintained,
and indicated that while CAB does sell some of the weapons
imported from the U.S. to other arms dealers, the company
also sells a substantial number of the weapons to private
citizens.



5. (SBU) CAB has a clean record with DECAM and has passed all
routine inspections without incident. According to DECAM's
Director, Colonel Hector Del Cid, CAB is a large-scale but
well managed weapons store that has always operated within
local laws and regulations. Based on the results of the
on-site inspection, interviews and a records check with
DECAM, Post recommends approval of the reftel license.

McFarland