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Diplomacy in Action

Newsletter: The INL Beat, Fall 2010


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
   
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The State Department Responds to Pakistan Flooding

 

Date: 2010 Description: Huey-II helicopter dedicated to flood relief efforts by the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. - State Dept Image Huey-II helicopter dedicated to flood relief efforts by the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Since the start of heavy rains and flooding in Pakistan on July 30, the State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has dedicated seven Huey-II helicopters to flood relief efforts. These helicopters have transported over 1,345 stranded individuals and Government of Pakistan officials and have carried 192,873 pounds of cargo associated with flood relief efforts since August 23.

Two of INL’s Cessna Caravan airplanes are being utilized for food relief support, including shuttling maintenance crews between operating locations and flying reconnaissance missions to survey flood-ridden areas of the country.

In addition, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government has begun deployment of 12 INL-funded steel suspension bridges to replace bridges washed out by flooding. These bridges are part of INL’s ongoing Border Security Program, which builds roads and bridges to enable law enforcement authorities to access remote areas near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. One of these bridges has already been installed I Chakdara, Dir. Six bridges will be deployed to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts of Dir and Swat. One has been sent to South Wazieristan. Four additional bridges will be deployed to sites to be selected by Pakistani officials.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, to which INL has provided significant assistance, are actively supporting flood relief activities by establishing medical and relief camps for flood victims.


Petraeus Visit to Kandahar

 

Date: 07/19/2010 Description: General Petraeus thanks Afghan National Police Colonel Mohammed Anwar for his service and leadership at the Kandahar training center. - State Dept Image
General Petraeus thanks Afghan National Police Colonel Mohammed Anwar for his service and leadership at the Kandahar training center.
On July 19, General David H. Petraeus, commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visited the Kandahar Regional Training Center (RTC) for the Afghan National Police (ANP). Built by INL in 2004, the Kandahar RTC has provided specialized training to 17,747 Afghan volunteers in the ANP ranks. General Petraeus thanked Afghan National Police Colonel Mohammed Anwar for his six years of service as the basic training director at the Kandahar RTC. Colonel Anwar has been a police officer for 28 years. He was born in Kandahar. His wife is a school teacher. His son, who was also a policeman, was killed two years ago by the Taliban.

The police are a critical element to restoring security and protecting civil rights in Afghanistan. The training provided at the Kandahar RTC, the Central Training Center in Kabul, and six other RTCs around the country is one of the many ways that INL is working with the Afghan Ministry of Interior, the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A), and the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) to support the recruiting, training, capacity building, and professionalization of the police in Afghanistan. The ANP has grown to over 100,000 officers and our goal is to develop the police force to 134,000 by October 2011. The training is provided to new recruits and police already in the force, and includes counterinsurgency techniques, human rights, core policing functions, and literacy training.


INL Hosts a Delegation from Jordan in New York City to Address Domestic Violence

 

Date: 2010 Description: NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Brigadier General Mohammed al Zubi, the head of the Family Protection Department, and members of the Jordanian delegation pose during the seminar's closing ceremony. - State Dept Image
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Brigadier General Mohammed al Zubi, the head of the Family Protection Department, and members of the Jordanian delegation pose during the seminar's closing ceremony.

In July, 2010 an INL-funded delegation from the Government of Jordan visited New York City for a seminar on the city’s approach to domestic violence and child abuse prevention and prosecution. The visit, which is part of a partnership program between INL, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Government of Jordan, brought 14 Jordanian officials from the Public Security Directorate Family Protection Department (PSD/FPD) and other agencies for a two-week seminar. The goal of the seminar was to illustrate New York’s coordinated approach, exchange views and best practices, and identify initiatives for potential adoption by Jordan. A closing ceremony, held on August 5th, was chaired by INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary William McGlynn and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The interdisciplinary delegation was comprised of police officers from FPD, prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice, forensic physicians from the Ministry of Health, and social workers from the Ministry of Social Development. The group observed how various New York City agencies address and coordinate on domestic violence and child abuse, including the police department, the district attorneys’ offices, the medical examiner, hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies.

The seminar was sponsored by INL and coordinated by NYPD. The INL program in Jordan provides ongoing assistance to the Government of Jordan in three areas: reduction of gender-based violence, intellectual property rights enforcement, and anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism.


INL Visit to the Baghdad Police College

 

On August 23, the Baghdad Police College (BPC) demonstrated its course of instruction to INL. INL Baghdad Director Francisco Palmieri, General Michael Smith, U.S. Forces-Iraq, and other INL officials attended the event along with the media.

Major Al-Haj Mohamed Ali, Director General of Public Relations at the Baghdad Police College gave welcoming remarks and introduced the Dean of the BPC, Major General Riyadh Abdul Baqi Salman, who came to the college as a student in 1981. The last class to graduate from the police college was in January 2010 with 1,542 cadets in comparison to the first class of 1944 which had only 8 cadets. “The Baghdad Police College mission is to provide Iraq with the best prepared law enforcement officers, namely policemen,” Maj. Mohamed Ali remarked.

As the U.S. Department of State prepares to accept responsibility for advising and mentoring police leadership from the U.S. military in 2011, State is working closely with high-level officials from the Ministry of Interior, including the leadership of the BPC. These coordination efforts are to insure that U.S. foreign assistance to police development will support the goals established by Iraq for the future training of the police forces. The change from military leadership of police training assistance to State leadership will emphasize the importance of establishing police primacy – the police are responsible for internal security while Iraq’s military protects the country from external threats.

A recent milestone at the BPC is the first all-female class of Police officers. These women will be graduating by the end of this year. “Because of the culture here in Iraq, we need female police commissioners to help work cases,” he said during our tour to the institute. “If a child is involved as a witness to a crime, they tend to respond more readily to females and women can get more information that can be used to develop cases.” Sabah said his female class represents a major step forward in the way Iraqis think about security forces in Iraq.

At each BPC training site visited by INL, presenters echoed a consistent theme: trust and respect. The students trust and respect not only the BPC cadre, but also the relationship that exists between the U.S. advisors and the instructors and leaders of the BPC. These instructors and students of the BPC face a challenging future. First they must overcome the training, learn it, absorb it, and live it. Then after graduation, when they are out on the streets of Iraq, they will use these skills to protect its citizens and work toward building the trust in the police forces necessary to increase stability in their country. The efforts of the students witnessed by INL during this visit to the BPC, they are taking that responsibility very seriously.


Bolivia And The United States Work Together To Fight Trafficking

 

Bolivia and the United States joined together to stop narcotic and human trafficking. Officials from both countries began refurbishing and equipping of the police unit in Puerto Quijarro, Santa Cruz (border with Brazil), known for its dedication in its fight against these illicit activities.

The United States Embassy, through its Narcotics Affairs Section donated $30,000 to fund the renovation of a vehicle and purchase of computers and writing materials for the office.

On September 2, NAS director Susan Keogh and the commanding general of the institution “Verde Olivo” Oscar Nina inaugurated the project by breaking a bottle of champagne in the place where the offices were remodeled. "I greatly appreciate the great effort made by the United States Government to assist our police work," said Oscar Nina. Susan Keough noted that Bolivia and the United States are united to achieve a common goal: restoring freedom and human dignity to thousands of victims who are exploited by criminal gangs in the corrupt labor and sexual markets.

In less than a month, the NAS has supported the opening of three offices dedicated to combating trafficking in border towns. The first was in Desaguadero, the second in Yacuiba, and the third was the new Puerto Quijarro office. The office has a goal of opening three additional units in the cities of Villazon, Tarija, and Cobija.


INL Funds TV Broadcast to Afghanistan

 

Date: 2010 Description: Daoud Sediqi, the popular creator and former host of ''the Afghan Star'' poses with Sabrina Bahir, INL program officer managing the VOA grant. - State Dept Image
Daoud Sediqi, the popular creator and former host of ''the Afghan Star'' poses with Sabrina Bahir, INL program officer managing the VOA grant.
On September 10, a groundbreaking television program, Karwan (Caravan), premiered in Afghanistan. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funded this new $1,019,000 initiative with Voice of American (VOA). The program is hosted by Daoud Sediqi, commonly referred to as the Ryan Seacrest of Afghanistan. Prior to his arrival in the United States, Daoud was the popular creator and former host of “Afghan Star.” This enormously popular Afghan show was modeled on “American Idol.”

The weekly 30-minute television show will be broadcast in Afghanistan to an estimated 11 million viewers in Dari and Pashto. The show targets Afghan youth, presenting viewers with critical social and political issues facing their country. Messages on the harms of drugs, public health, drug demand, alternative livelihoods, trafficking, counternarcotics law, justice reform, and other areas related to INL programs will be included in every episode.

Daoud will follow the lives of Afghan Americans living in the United States and broadcast it back in Afghanistan. Programs will be broadcast on radio and Internet platforms as well as on television. The program will be produced with a creative mix of off-site remotes, in-studio discussion and direct audience feedback through social media sites, giving viewers in Afghanistan a chance to comment on what is important to them.

Recently, “Caravan” producers and Daoud Sediqi briefed Assistant Secretary David Johnson, Principal Deputy Secretary Bill McGlynn, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols on the seroes. INL program officers working on Afghanistan and Pakistan issues also attended.


Merida Funded Canine Training Program Shows Early Success

 

Date: 07/15/2010 Description: Left: INL-funded canine team responding to the car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on July 15, 2010. Right: Canine teams are trained in the fight against drug trafficking. - State Dept Image
Top: INL-funded canine team responding to the car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on July 15, 2010. Bottom: Canine teams are trained in the fight against drug trafficking.
Date: 07/15/2010 Description: Left: INL-funded canine team responding to the car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on July 15, 2010. Right: Canine teams are trained in the fight against drug trafficking. - State Dept Image

 

On August 13, 2010, a ceremony was held at the El Paso Canine Center in El Paso, Texas to recognize the final group of Mexican Customs (SAT) canine teams to graduate from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Canine Program. Funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs under the Merida Initiative’s Canine Training Program, 44 handlers, 50 canines, and 6 instructors have graduated from CBP’s Canine Program. This eight-month training initiative -- which includes the successful completion of the Basic Narcotics, Firearms, and Currency Detection Course for all canine teams -- supports the creation of a 21st Century Border Infrastructure, one of the foundational goals of the Merida Initiative.

 

Date: 2010 Description: Pottery bear used to smuggle cocaine. - State Dept Image
Pottery bear used to smuggle cocaine.
With the ability to detect over 20,000 different scents, Merida funded canines have proven to be an effective weapon in the fight against arms and drug trafficking. On July 26, 2010, April graduate, K9 “Reno” of the CBP Canine Center in El Paso, recently detected over a kilo of cocaine stuffed inside teddy bears during a routine inspection at Mexico’s World Trade Center packing facility. On July 30, 2010, K9 “Jim,” also an April graduate, seized 2.62 kilos of heroin at the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. K9 “Jim” was able to successfully detect a scent which later revealed to be heroin inside small wooden crates packed with candy

Another Merida funded canine team, the Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) Explosive Detection Canine Lucy and handler were on the scene in response to the car bomb that occurred in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on July 15, 2010. Lucy, a graduate of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Front Royal Canine Academy is one of the nine SSP canines capable of detecting specific explosives. She received her ATF-canine certification though Merida funding, and participated in the NAS-sponsored canine training in Guatemala last year.


United States Selected to Participate in the First Year of the UN Anti-Corruption Review Mechanism

 

Date: 2010 Description: The kick-off meeting for the UN Convention Against Corruption review mechanism hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes. - State Dept Image
Kick-off meeting for the UN Convention Against Corruption review mechanism hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes.

In a random selection process, the United States was will be reviewed in the first year of the peer review mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Entering into force in 2005, the UNCAC commits states parties (1) to criminalize corrupt conduct, including bribery, (2) to undertake measures to prevent corruption in its first instance, (3) to engage in international cooperation, including mutual legal assistance and extradition. The treaty also provides a unique roadmap to assist law enforcement in the recovery of assets stolen by corrupt officials.

 

In November 2009, the United States joined with more than 140 states parties in adopting a terms of reference for the establishment of a peer review mechanism, which provides for two countries to conduct a review of a third country on its implementation and adherence to the UNCAC’s provisions. All states parties to the UNCAC will be reviewed in two four-year cycles.

 

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted the kick-off meeting for the UNCAC review mechanism in June 2010, during which INL Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Verville led the U.S. delegation and served as a “teller” to randomly select the order in which countries would be reviewed. In addition to being selected as a country under review in 2010, the United States was also selected as a member of the 2-country review team for Fiji. The review process for the United States will commence upon the completion of a self-assessment checklist focused in this first round on criminalization and international cooperation. The second review cycle will focus on implementation of the UNCAC’s prevention and asset recovery provisions.


Afghanistan’s Good Performer’s Initiative: Paving the Way for Economic and Social Change

 

Date: 2010 Description: Jirga member Taj Muhammad consults with villagers regarding a road extension project. - State Dept Image
Jirga member Taj Muhammad consults with villagers regarding a road extension project.

In Afghanistan, the challenge of getting agricultural goods to market is driven not only by the security environment, but also by a lack of quality roads, which in turn prevents reliable access to markets. The inability to get perishable goods to market, in turn is a key factor in the development of an opium economy. For a group of communities in northwest Kabul province, a paved road empowered them to develop viable alternatives to growing poppy.

Comprising 21 villages, the Shakar Dara corridor northwest of Kabul (translated literally, the name means “Sugar Valley”), is a prolific producer of apricots, peaches, and grapes, and has been served by a single, deeply rutted dirt road for as long as anyone can remember. “That road,” notes local official Haji Mohammed Ibrahim, “was only good enough for a donkey.”

Residents banded together and approached the local Community Development Council about funding a road paving project. Enter the Good Performer’s Initiative (GPI), a fund administered by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counternarcotics, which first rewarded Kabul Province for reducing poppy cultivation and, later, for remaining poppy-free.

 

Date: 2010 Description: Jirga member Taj Muhammad consults with villagers regarding a road extension project. - State Dept Image
Paved road.
Former Mujahedin commander Mullah Taj Muhammad, now a Wolesi Jirga member who lives in nearby Khaza village, championed their cause. The project was ultimately funded by $597,000 in GPI assistance. A $487,000 shortfall was made up through direct funding from the U.S. and U.K. governments. All told, the road is 7.7 km in length, and connects the villages of Kochkin, Karizmeer, Dolana, Balakarez, Charkhil and Ghaza.

Visiting the area to consult with villagers about a possible extension of the road, Taj Muhammad was asked what difference the project had made in the lives of villagers. “Before, people did not have access to the city, to the big fruit markets like the one in Khayar Khanosh,” says Taj Muhammad. “There used to be huge transport costs to get fruits into the city markets. A sack of apricots [now costs half as much] to move to market.”

Taj Muhammad is quick to note the economic benefits of the project itself: “The builders used more than 3,000 local people to help build the road. The value of the land here has gone up. Even the head of a bank is building his home here. And now, the security forces can get to the villages when they have to.”



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