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09LIMA1290 2009-09-02 20:55:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lima
Cable title:  

NAS LIMA END OF MONTH REPORT - AUGUST

Tags:   SNAR KCRM ASEC PREL PE 
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1. (U) Summary:
* Ports Program Report
* Capture of Sendero Luminoso leader leads to NAS-PNP
collaboration seminar
* Aviation Report
* NAS Director and Deputy Meet with head of Police Education
directorate
* NAS Director and Deputy Meet with Huanuco Regional
President on New Police Academy
* Gearing up for Eradication in Tingo Maria
* Eradication Update



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Ports Program Report


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





2. (U) At the end of August, Peruvian Customs installed a
body scanner at the International Airport in Cuzco, thus
addressing a major narcotics trafficking vulnerability at
that port. The Peuvian Customs team that will operate the
machine will be trained the first week of September and the
unt is expected to be fully operational by mid-September.
The body scanner in Cuzco is one of four purchased by NAS and
provided to the GOP to detect and deter the smuggling of
narcotics ingested by, or taped to the bodies of, travelers.
Two body scanners have been operational at the Jorge Chavez
International airport in Lima for the past two years. One
more body scanner is slated to be placed in Tacna airport in
September.



3. (U) In August, Peruvian police and customs arrested 32
persons and seized 208 kg of cocaine HCL at the Jorge Chavez
International Airport in Lima and the International Post
Office.



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Capture of Sendero Luminoso leader "Mono" leads to
Re-education of PNP on Requests for NAS Air Support


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



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






4. (U) Peruvian National Police (PNP) on August 9 captured
Felix Victoriano Mejia Ascencio ("Mono"), who the GOP claims
is a high-ranking leader in the Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV)
faction of Sendero Luminoso.



5. (C) The Ministry of Interior Intelligence unit (DIGIMIN)
requested immediate NAS helicopter support to transfer the
prisoner, but did not provide specific, required information
to proceed with the operation. Without knowing the flight
path, landing zone location, weather in the area, number of
people needing transportation, weapons of those being
ferried, and whether the aircraft would be passing through a
"hot zone," the NAS UH-2s were not authorized to fly until
this information was received. As a result of this incident,
the NAS director conducted a seminar for all PNP commanders
in the coca growing zones, reviewing the requirements for
scheduling and authorizing a mission for NAS air assets.
There was also an executive session between the NAS Director
and the generals present, including the commanding general of
the Huallaga emergency zone, to discuss the future of CN
operations in the Huallaga valley. We are more confident
that future requests for NAS aircraft support will come with
the required information, allowing us to make an informed
decision about utilizing our aircraft while maintaining
standards and ensuring the protection of our flight crews.



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


Meeting with New Plan VRAE Coordinator


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





6. (SBU) On August 31, NAS Director and Deputy met with new
coordinator of Plan VRAE (Plan for the Apurimac and Ene River
Valley) Fernan Valer. Valer said that the situation in the
VRAE is grave and has the attention of everyone. He noted
that tackling problems in the VRAE is complex because the
area is characterized by drug trafficking, the presence of
Sendero Luminoso, extreme poverty, and the lack of state
presence. The state has no credibility with the population,
he said. Cultivation of coca is profitable, and eradication
and alternative development are not an option in VRAE at this
moment because security conditions do not permit it, he said.
Nonetheless, he said he feels pressure from the new Prime
Minister to demonstrate some sort of progress in his job
before the end of 2009. He is trying to obtain modular units
that the Ministry of Education owns, to use as schools,
health clinics, and the like in the VRAE. He noted that the
United Nations is providing him some technical assistance,
and said he is concentrating on obtaining permanent office
space and staff. He asked NAS Director whether NAS could
provide two vehicles to his office and USD 25-30,000 for
operating expenses. NAS Director said he would consider the
request. (NOTE: Valer presented a similar request to Charge
and USAID reps the previous week. The Embassy is sending a
negative response to Valer on behalf of all elements. END
NOTE.)



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


Aviation Report


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





7. (U) The INL/A ARMS (Aviation Resources Management Survey)
Team conducted a no notice inspection of NAS/PNP aviation
program August 1-5. The previous ARMS inspection was
conducted in 2007. Every 18 to 24 months INL/A reviews
flight program management, flight operations, maintenance,
training, and flight safety. The one area that required
immediate attention was the aircraft maintenance program and
maintenance management. Therefore, all aircraft were
required to undergo a 100 per cent inspection within seven
days or be grounded. All aircraft were inspected using teams
from PNP, Dyncorp, and NAS personnel. All grounded
deficiencies were written up and corrected prior to flight.
No missions were canceled.



8. (U) The NAS B1900D aircraft returned to Peru on 9 August
after completion of scheduled maintenance by the manufacturer
for depot-level work to comply with FAA Airworthiness
Directives and the installation of new emergency locator
transmitters and other equipment.



9. (U) Preparations continue to shift the air support
operations for eradication from Santa Lucia to the Tingo
Maria forward operation location in early September
timeframe. Minor construction of billets for standby flight
crews, security personnel, and security upgrades have been
completed as directed by Ambassador and RSO. DEA will have
limited facilities available. NAS constructed the facilities
and DEA reimbursed the cost.



10. (U) On 31 August, the Peruvian Air Force C-26 will deploy
to the north to Piura to support the DEA annual exercise "All
Inclusive."



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


NAS Director and Deputy Meet with head of Police Education
directorate


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





11. (C) NAS Director and Deputy met August 26 with General
Basilio Meza Motta, head of the Education directorate of the
Peruvian National Police (PNP). NAS Director stressed the
purpose of the meeting was to better understand future PNP
education plans including the available PNP budget for police
officer training in 2010; where the graduates will go after
training; whether the three police academies constructed with
NAS funding have sufficient teachers and supplies; how many
graduates will the PNP need in coming years; etc. General
Mesa responded that he did not know DIRANDRO,s (anti-drug
police) exact requirements, and admitted that he had many of
the same questions that NAS has. He suggested a follow-up
meeting with other PNP officials, including head of DIRANDRO
General Teddy Bartra.



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


NAS Director and Deputy Meet with Huanuco
Regional President on New Police Academy


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





12. (U) On August 19, NAS Director and Deputy traveled to
Huanuco to meet with Regional President Jorge Espinoza
Egoavil and the Mayor of Santa Maria del Valle, Anibal
Solorzano, as well as to visit the construction site of the
new police academy. President Espinoza signed and handed to
NAS Director a letter committing the regional government to
donate 1,123,000 soles to equip the academy. Mayor Solorzano
committed a 6.5 hectare site in Santa Maria del
Valle, overlooking the Huallaga River and on the major
highway, for the actual building. NAS will provide 22
million soles for the construction. When completed, the
academy will be able to train 320 students each year and add
badly needed police forces to a region of 500,000 inhabitants
and the focus of the eradication campaign projected for the
next two years. This is a model
agreement because unlike many other projects that are
entirely USG funded, this is a USG-GOP partnership with a
significant contribution by both the regional government and
the municipal government.



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


Eradication


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





13. (U) On August 12, NAS Lima hosted an eradication meeting
for the key GOP players regarding the new push into Tingo
Maria. General Juan Zarate (retired), head of CORAH, briefed
DIRANDRO head General Teddy Bartra, head of DIRAVPOL
(Aviation Police) General Guibert, and General Muguriza
(attending for Director General of the PNP General Hidalgo).
Zarate stressed that the move into Tingo Maria will represent
a new phase of eradication in Peru as it will be the
precursor to moving into the Monzon. He predicted that as
usual coca growers are likely to protest and attempt to
provoke authorities into using force thus creating an
incident that they can then use in their propaganda against
the Government. Furthermore, Zarate noted, Sendero Luminoso
uses the Tingo Maria area as a refuge and a logistics base.
The objective is to eradicate about 4500 hectares between now
and year end in the Tingo Maria and Aucayacu areas in Huanuco
Region using 400 eradicators.




14. (U) During August, CORAH eradicated 1,091 hectares of
coca in both San Martin and Huanuco Regions; 43 percent was
replanted coca. Total hectares eradicated year to date is


6360. Of particular interest is the sharp increase in number
of maceration pits discovered and destroyed during
eradication operations in Huanuco. In San Martin, 27 pits
were discovered in seven months; in two months of working in
Huanuco, 22 pits were discovered.
MCKINLEY