All records of commodities donated by the USG to the Government of Belize (GOB) are kept by the NAS on a Microsoft Access database. This database has been maintained since 2001. All records kept before 2001 have been extremely difficult to track. All donations to the host government are approved or disapproved by the post counter-narcotics and Law Enforcement Committee, which meets several times per month. Monitoring of donated goods is done informally throughout the year. The NAS makes periodic visits to each of the locations where goods have been donated throughout the year. Items that are found missing or being used improperly are recorded. Disposable items such as fuel and oil are closely monitored. DEA aids in monitoring donated items to the police department's Anti-Drug Unit.
On-site inspections are regularly conducted for all large items donated. Vehicles that are still in use are regularly monitored to insure that they are maintained properly and used for their intended purpose. The narcotic detection canines are closely monitored and are relocated if misused or underutilized. The Anti-Drug Unit is visited several days per month to ensure that all items remain in place.
The provision of large items is documented in a Memorandum of Understanding format. Smaller items are documented through a single receipt that clearly states the intended use of the items.
The Belize Defense Force (BDF) has a vessel, which is maintained by the Anti-Drug Unit. The Anti-Drug Unit maintains a total of three boats, all of which have received upgrades and general maintenance work to keep them operational. The vessels have been provided with four T-tops. The T-tops, which will be installed in the spring of 2005, will provide protection for radio and radar equipment.
Four new 250HP Yamaha motors were purchased in synchronization with the refurbishment of a 35-foot and a 40-foot go-fast vessel in 2004. Those vessels are currently in the possession of the BDF Maritime Wing. They will be turned over to the Belize Coast Guard upon its initiation in April of 2005. All new items were found to be in place and in working condition.
Two Ford Ranger pick up trucks were donated to the Anti-Drug Unit in 1999. One of these vehicles is in operation and located with the ADU K-9 unit. The other is in need of repairs. Both vehicles have well over 200,000 mile so them. One 2002 Ford Cutaway van was donated for road interdiction purposes to the Anti-Drug Unit in January 2003. This vehicle is used for at least one road interdiction mission per month. All tools and materials purchased specifically for this vehicle were found to be in place.
One 2003 Ford F-250 was donated to the ADU of Belize. One 2003 Prado was donated to the canine unit in Belmopan. Both are well maintained. The Anti-Drug Unit and the Canine Unit depend on USG donated vehicles as their main source of transportation.
Six new canines were purchased for the GOB during 2003. Of those six canines, four narcotics canines were placed with the ADU K-9 unit and one explosive detection canine and two narcotics detection canines were placed with the Belize Airport Authority. One narcotics canine was removed from the Belize airport Authority due to lack of usage and temperament issues and relocated with the Belize Police Department. Two canines purchased in previous years have been retired due to old age and health issues. One trainer is currently attending a canine handler instructor certification course through CSI International in Miami and Panama. Once the K-9 instructor returns to the country, he will be able to train and certify all narcotics and explosive detection canines and handlers in Belize.
All office equipment donated to the canine unit was found to be in place. This includes one desk, two file cabinets, a safe, a table and six chairs, a computer, a printer, and a fax machine. All items were found to be in superior condition and used for their intended purpose.
The INL-funded kennels have been properly maintained. GOB continues to fund this unit. All dogs are properly cared for.
Radio tower, repair work, and radio installation were completed in 2002. Communication equipment in Belize has not been fully functional in the past. Post predicts an end to the constant repairs.
The Belize Port Authority received boat radios, an HF radio, a base station radio and a Navtex receiver through the Maritime Communication Project in 2004. All items were located at the National Maritime Communication Center and were in working order.
The BDF Airwing received aircraft radios and base station radios in conjunction with the Maritime Communication Project. The BDF aircraft currently conducts all air surveillance pertaining to narcotics interdiction. All radios were in place and functioning correctly.
The ADU received two boat radios and a base radio in conjunction with the Maritime Communication Project in 2004. All radios were found to be in place.
A counternarcotics electronic intelligence surveillance system was deployed to Belize in July 2004. This system's ability to track suspicious plane traffic has reduced the number of planes landing in Belize.
The JICC received equipment to upgrade antiquated computer systems in 2003. Seven computers and monitors, back-up power supplies and three printers were donated. They also received a laptop computer, digital camera and two file cabinets that previously belonged to the money-laundering unit. All items were found to be in good working condition and used for their intended purpose.
The Police Information Technology Unit received five licenses for Memex software through the NAS office in October of 2004. They are currently developing a Wide Area Network for the entire police department so they can record all case files electronically. The GOB purchased two servers to run the system. The project is expected to be up and running by mid-February of 2005.
The Magistrate's court received eight complete computer systems, a server, 2 printers, eight back-up power supplies, a scanner and nine monitors this year. They were used to replace computers lost to fire in the Paslow building in 2002.
The Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) office was using old computer systems that were desperately in need of replacement. The NAS provided eight complete computers, eight printers, nine-back-up power supplies, one sever, one scanner, one desktop photocopier and a fax. They were handed over upon the DPP's relocation in September of 2003. This has enabled the staff to share case files.
The Supreme Court received ten complete computers, seven printers, ten back-up power supplies, one desktop photocopier and one fax in 2003.
The Security Sector of the Commercial Free Zone (CFZ) received a computer in 2003.
The National Drug Abuse Control Council received two computers, printers, backups, a server and accessories for the transnational digital government project in 2004. The hardware has been installed in the NDACC office. A pilot program is being run to computerize records kept at all Belizean immigration border points. The equipment has been found to be in its proper location and used to the fullest extent.
Belize Immigration received a variety of technical equipment in 2004 to enforce their documentation of suspicious travelers arriving and departing from all border points and the airport in Belize. They were recipients of 10 computers, printers, scanners, and back-ups. The equipment at the airport has been installed. However, the other equipment was found to be in storage in Belmopan. Immigration plans to install the equipment as soon as the machine-readable passport program is in place. Intentions are to network these systems with the transnational digital government project.
Four computers, two printers, and a server were donated to the Maritime Wing of the Belize Defence Force in 2003.
The ADU received four computers and a server in 2003. Two computers are based at the Belmopan ADU and the ADU house in Belize City. All computers were found in their proper location and were in working condition.
Office supplies donated to the Security Unit of the Commercial Free Zone (CFZ) in 2001 are in use as intended. Sophisticated items such as the contraband detection kit and night vision goggles are stored in locked rooms and brought out when the need arises. A digital camera, and office furniture were donated to the CFZ in 2003. These items were used to furnish a new office for the Chief Security Officer and his staff. The camera was found to be in possession of the Management Office of the CFZ. The Chief Security Officer was urged to locate the camera and to reclaim possession. The Management Office relinquished possession of the camera and placed it back with its intended unit.
One member of the Anti-Drug Unit is responsible for assigning the use of tools or equipment and for ensuring that the items are returned. This has been an effective method for the unit to keep track of their commodities.
Secure storage for sample narcotics at the Police Canine Unit was provided through donation of a safe and refrigerator.
Four pairs of night vision goggles were purchased in June of 2002. The goggles were found to be out-of-commission due to dead batteries. DEA purchased new batteries this year that are in need of replacement. It appears that the goggles are stored at times powered "on" which drains the batteries. ADU was advised to insure that goggles are powered off when in storage.
Most equipment has been found to be used for its intended purpose. Post has had problems in the past year with boat motor and parts disappearing and units not adequately maintaining them. The Countenarcotics Committee determined that post could no longer provide maintenance for Police Department vessels. The Belize Defence Force Maritime Wing received four new motors this past year. They have an adequate security system in place and have been responsible for maintenance.
Narcotics interdiction is not a high priority for the Government of Belize because the GOB is improperly equipped and ill-suited to conduct counternarcotics missions.
Post has redirected its INL funding over the past few years. All 2004 projects focus more on institution building and less on interdiction, which continues to lead to few successes. A major focus of 2005 is further development of the crime scene unit thorough training and equipment purchases. Fingerprint capabilities continue to improve.
The Belize National Coast Guard will be a major focus for both the Government of Belize and post in 2005. The initial maritime communication infrastructure provided by the NAS has significantly improved coordination between air and maritime assets in both search and rescue and narcotics interdiction.
In 2004, EUM responsibilities were divided between the NAS Logistics Coordinator, the NAS Police Adviser, the U.S. Customs Advisor, NAS Communications Technician, the NAS Computer Systems Manager, the Facility/School Administrator, Warehouse Manager, and the NAS Director. When items are received, warehouse personnel inspect the item and complete a receiving report. The Logistics Coordinator certifies receipt to initiate payment. The Warehouse Manager enters the item into the NAS inventory management program after which it is distributed to the final user. The recipient will sign an appropriate NAS-issued form detailing items received and final destination. Non-expendable supplies are entered into the inventory management system by type and quantity. Post also uses the serial number (if available) and NAS asset tags to identify the item. Nomenclature, organization and location are recorded when an item is issued for follow-on instructions. The warehouse data entry technician can provide computer reports of items by asset identification tag, by type, or by location. These reports are used to conduct annual inventories
All NAS personnel help to supervise and monitor distribution of property to host nation organizations and to conduct inventories and property reconciliation. In addition, the NAS fleet manager provides day-to-day EUM of the NAS-provided vehicle fleet, maintenance and spare parts. Consumption rates are entered into a software and monitored by the Logistics Coordinator and the respective program managers. When items are transferred to host government agencies, the receiving agency signs a receiving report accepting the item.
On-site inventories are conducted by the NAS Director, NAS Police Advisor, NAS Communication Technician, NAS Computer System Managers, NAS Port Advisor, and NAS Logistics Coordinator. Spot checks are regularly conducted when a program officer visits a field site. The Facilities/School Administrator assists with periodic inventories of commodities and provisions for both the Regional Anti-Narcotics School and the SAIA Canine Narcotics Detection Units at field sites. The Computer Systems Manager assists with periodic inventories of computer equipment primarily located in Guatemala City, while the communications technician conducts detailed inventory of all communications equipment located around the country and at the radio repeater sites. The NAS Fleet Manager provides day-to-day End Use Monitoring of the NAS-provided vehicle fleet, maintenance, and spare parts.
The NAS warehouse issues all items using standard receiving reports to verify receipt by the receiving agency. These records are verified by the NAS Logistics Coordinator and monitored by NAS program officers during field inspections. Periodic on-site visits, generally performed at least quarterly, are the primary means of assessing resource status and helps to minimize loss or misuse. All sites with NAS equipment are visited at least semiannually. Post inspects even the remote sites with only unattended radio equipment three to four times a year as part of routine assistance or service visits. Routine trips by the NAS program managers and technicians provide an opportunity for EUM, assessment of impact on existing program resources, and identification of additional requirements/deletions to increase project effectiveness.
The host nation counterpart agency, SAIA, assists NAS personnel with on-site inventories upon request. SAIA has been very cooperative with NAS efforts to implement EUM procedures.
The NAS procured 20 vehicles for the SAIA program in 2004. The SAIA and MP vehicles are used nationwide by the respective agencies in support of counternarcotics operations. All SAIA vehicles provided by the NAS receive routine preventive and corrective maintenance by the NAS/SAIA automotive shop. When the shop is not capable of performing the maintenance, the work is evaluated and contracted out. The MP vehicles are evaluated by the NAS mechanic, reviewed by the Logistics Coordinator and provided routine preventive and corrective maintenance from a local contractor.
Poor road conditions in areas of counternarcotics operations cause tremendous wear and tear to the vehicles. Continuous maintenance to vehicles is necessary. Negligent drivers involved in accidents have been obligated by the SAIA administration to pay for the repairs in most cases. The NAS has implemented a driver's education course for the SAIA. This course is resulting in better driving habits.
SAIA occasionally acquires seized vehicles for counternarcotics operations. The NAS continues to work with the GOG to incorporate seized vehicles into the SAIA to maximize the use of limited resources. The NAS also provides limited preventive and corrective maintenance for these vehicles. There are three seized vehicles used by SAIA throughout Guatemala.
The NAS supports the SAIA's nationwide UHF/FM secure/non-secure radio network. The network consists of handheld radios, vehicle radios, base stations and a nationwide system of 14 remote site repeaters. This system provides nationwide command and control of counternarcotics operations. Remote repeater sites are inventoried on scheduled visits.
Due to the change from VHF to UHF frequencies of the SAIA radio communications, the NAS completed upgrades and modifications for the entire SAIA radio communications system throughout the country with the radios purchased in 2004. DEA donated five repeater stations to NAS in support of the SAIA network. The NAS and SAIA communications technicians conduct regular maintenance and End Use Monitoring inspections of all communications equipment throughout the host nation.
The NAS maintains cellular phones with their respective accessories to assist in providing essential telephone communications. NAS officers and advisors, the SAIA, the Public Ministry, and Minister of Government personnel are assigned this equipment. Most units are maintained by the NAS radio laboratory.
In 2004, the NAS purchased 59 computers with their respective monitors, 12 laptops, 53 printers, 1 fax, 52 UPS, one miscellaneous hardware and software items. The equipment has been installed in SAIA, Public Ministry and NAS facilities. NAS personnel provide regular preventative and corrective maintenance service for all SAIA program computers.
The two 25' Boston Whaler fiberglass boats remain in the SAIA fleet located on the Caribbean coast. They are used only for limited brown water counter-narcotics operations. In 2004, the NAS provided fuel in support of the maritime Mayan Jaguar operations conducted in May, September, and December.
The Guatemalan Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) is located in SAIA central headquarters. The JICC was provided 11 computers with respective monitors; 1 server; and 2 printers in 1999. The JICC consists of 10 workstations, a server, and associated hardware. The equipment is maintained by SAIA and NAS-contracted computer technicians. The NAS technician works at the JICC on a daily basis.
The JICC stores and collates information to help develop intelligence for possible support to SAIA investigations and operations. The JICC maintains a wide range of information including a list of known traffickers, vehicle license plates, aircraft and boat registration numbers, phone numbers, etc. It also operates the 24-hour drug hot line, which callers can anonymously provide information on illicit activities. The Guatemalan JICC is one of the better equipped JICC's in the region. The computers are linked to the server through a Local Area Network (LAN) cable connection, which is also linked to the national police information management system via a fiber optic connection.
Its major downfall is access to relevant databases from the private and government sector as there is strong resistance to share information and general distrust for the police. The NAS has placed a strong emphasis on developing the JICC. The NAS, together with ICITAP, has purchased a link analysis program and training for personnel to get them up to speed on current software. The information and software have already surpassed the capacity of the equipment. Therefore, the NAS has already begun a plan for purchasing new computers, servers, and associated equipment to meet the future needs of the JICC. The equipment is being used to capacity. The construction of adequate databases and a good intelligence system manger to give direction to the personnel and the intelligence collection effort is needed.
SAIA Training Facility-This project consists of the electrical and automated data cabling of a classroom for the training of SAIA personnel and other counter-narcotics entities located at the Regional Counternarcotics Training Center. The project was begun in August and completed in September of 2004.
Electrical/Automated Data Upgrades to NAS Office-The electrical and automated data cabling upgrades of the NAS office facilities were performed to accommodate unclassified online communication with embassy agencies and for daily operational needs. This project was performed by IMC contractors and completed in July of 2004.
Electrical/Automated Date Upgrades in SECCATID Office-The Demand Reduction Program provided electrical and automated data cabling upgrades of the SECCATID primary office facility. The work was performed by a GSO-local approved contractor and completed in October of 2004.
Canine Training Facility
The SAIA currently has 40 drug detection canines and four detection explosive canines in service throughout the Republic of Guatemala. The canine teams are used to examine containers, luggage, vehicles, fixed and mobile checkpoints. The NAS retired four drug detection canines from service in 2004 that had reached the end of their useful working lives. The NAS procured four replacement dogs.
The NAS has developed a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with a veterinarian for the animals to receive regularly scheduled vaccinations and to provide dry food and fuel for transportation of SAIA personnel and canines throughout the country. Routine refresher training and an annual recertification have been the cornerstones to keeping the program successful and energetic. All dogs are healthy.
The NAS purchased a wide variety of consumables/expendables in CY-2004, including tools for container inspections, office supplies, uniform items, meals ready to eat (MRE's), and canine supplies. All items were entered into the NAS inventory management system, and consumption rates monitored by the data technician and logistics coordinator.
The incinerator is located at the new SAIA headquarters and is used for destruction of drugs. Post has used the incinerator to destroy several metric tons of cocaine.
Poor road conditions and mountainous terrain in areas where counternarcotics operations are conducted result in high vehicle wear rates. Continuous maintenance is necessary. Negligent drivers involved in accidents have been forced by the SAIA to pay for the repairs in many cases. As a result, the NAS has incorporated a driver education course for the SAIA. This has successfully decreased instances of poor and negligent driving habits. The quality and consistency of the electricity in Guatemala is inferior to that of the United States. Post regularly has to replace or repair equipment that is damaged by fluctuations or spikes in the electricity.
Guatemala remains a major drug-transit country for cocaine, heroin and illicit narcotics in route to the United States and Europe. In spite of substantial improvements in the Government of Guatemala counter-narcotics efforts in 2004, large shipments of cocaine continue to move through Guatemala by air, road, and sea.
SAIA seized 4,481 kilos of cocaine in 2004. This quantity is less than last year due to the grounding of the Guatemalan Air Force (GAF) A-37 and most of their helicopters. This has severely limited GOG capability to pursue suspected narco-traffickers air tracks, or to transport police to air-track termination points in time to disrupt off-loading. Consequently, the GOG has not been able to make sizeable drug seizures in the extreme northern part of Guatemala where traffickers prefer to operate. Traffickers have also shifted to more night flights, taking advantage of the GOG's lack of night vision goggles.
The GOG was more successful in domestic eradication in 2004, eradicating over 5.4 million poppy plants or 181 hectares.
During 2004, the GOG authorized boarding of a Guatemalan-flogged vessel in international waters where 3.2 metric tons of cocaine was seized. The GOG agreed to three transfers of third country alien prisoners through Guatemalan territory under the terms of the maritime agreement. Forty-four traffickers arrested by the USCG in international waters were transferred for trial in the United States, allowing USCG assets to remain on station to pursue drug interdiction/homeland security security missions.
DEA Special Agents and other post personnel take advantage of opportunities provided by regular programs to verify the proper use and ongoing maintenance of equipment acquired with INL funds. The Embassy also receives written feedback from recipients regarding the use of provided equipment. Early in 2003, the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) Drug Unit, on its own initiative, started its own inventory system. The inventory now tracks the location and condition of all vehicles it has received. Post has created a database for commodities the Embassy has donated to the Police that records donated items, serial numbers, and their locations.Status
In general, equipment delivered to post counterparts is adequately maintained and is used for its intended purposes.
The majority of vehicles donated to the NNP are attached to the NNP Drug Unit. Nine vehicles and thirty-six motorcycles have been given to the unit. In 2003, INL provided the NNP Drug Unit with four trucks and 18 motorcycles. In 2004, four trucks and 18 motorcycles were provided to the NNP Drug Unit. The motorcycles are distributed throughout the country at various regional police offices. In addition to these vehicles, post has equipped two special units for the NNP Drug Unit: a Mobile Inspection Unit (MIU) and a Mobile Surveillance Unit (MSU). The MIU has two vans, a vehicle for carrying canines, two motorcycles, and a full set of entry and inspection tools. During 2004, NAS purchased a second vehicle for the MIU. However, post will not turn it over until all the necessary equipment for it has arrived.
The MSU has seven vehicles that are employed in the surveillance of drug suspects and in interviewing informants. Newly added to the MIU is a Mobile Canine Unit. The Unit received a Land Cruiser in 2003. In FY-2004, a DEA surplus Toyota 4-runner was transferred to the MSU. Two vehicles (one truck and one motorcycle) were damaged during an operation that netted a ton of cocaine. These vehicles have since been repaired and returned to the active NNP pool.
During 2004 two pickup trucks were provided to the Civil Inspection Unit (UIC) as part of Hurricane Mitch Programs. Additionally, one Mazda pick-up and ten motorcycles were provided to the NNP Internal Affairs Unit (UAI). The NAS financed the purchase of a Toyota pickup for the Anti-Corruption Unit (UAC) and ten motorcycles and one Toyota Yaris for the NNP Women's Commissariat, for use in its prevention in trafficking in persons outreach program.
In 1998, NAS provided a Boston Whaler for the NNP. The boat has persistent engine and electronic problems and remains in storage. The cost of repairs is prohibitive. INL is looking into making a trade for the vessel.
During 2002, NAS Managua made a variety of purchases for the Nicaraguan Navy, including lifejackets, whistles, lights, flares, compasses, radars, radios and various other tracking and communications devices. This equipment has been used in joint counternarcotics operations between the NNP, the Nicaraguan Navy and U.S. law enforcement vessels. All but the life jackets (due to normal wear and tear) are in good condition. Post ordered additional life jackets and life rafts in 2004. They have not yet arrived in country. Post is also awaiting $50,000 worth of Yamaha engine parts for maintaining the fast boat fleet. Operations with U.S. law enforcement vessels are ongoing.
NAS refurbished a boat for the Nicaraguan Navy that became operational in the spring of 2003. Post is currently refurbishing a second Dabur and has sought INL's authorization to begin work on the third Dabur. Also in 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard delivered one fast boat to the Nicaraguan Navy in Bluefields and two other speedboats to Managua. One boat suffered damage to the hull in transit. In 2003, the British government provided funds to refurnish an additional fast boat as well. The fast boats in Corinto, San Juan del sur, Puerto Cabezas, Miskito Cay, and Bluefields were inspected in 2004. All appear to be in working order and being used properly.
In December 2003, a 110 ft. utility boat named the MV Kaster was donated to the Nicaraguan Navy. The Kastor had been seized while smuggling drugs. Post's original intent was to refurbish the Kaster to give the navy a deep-water capability in the Pacific. Unfortunately, during the two years that the Kastor was tied up in litigation, prior to the turnover, it had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer cost effective to recondition. It remains docked at the Navy base in Corinto.
INL purchased computers, monitors, and miscellaneous hardware and software items for the NNP. Prior to 2003, the NNP received 19 computers, two scanners, nine printers, and 11 uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for the unit's JICC. DEA also donated one computer to the unit. The computers have been integrated into the JICC system. The NNP is using the computers to gather and catalogue information on suspected drug traffickers at the JICC.
Forty computers, forty UPS's, ten printers, two laptops, and software were procured for use in creating an Anti-Corruption Task Force within the NNP. The unit has been operational since 2001. The Task Force is now at work on a number of high profile cases of government corruption. Eight of the computers are in need of repair or replacement. NAS Managua is considering upgrading a computer network for this unit. The purchase of hard drives and other supplies is also under consideration.
With ICITAP's withdrawal in December 2003, INL arranged the permanent transfer of all ICITAP-donated equipment to the NNP. This includes 17 computers.
In 2003, post began the deployment of a new immigration computer system called PISCES. The contractor made the original equipment installations, but was unable to follow through with making the system operational due to the greater demand to bring the system on line in the Middle East. PISCES should be operational in 2005. The contractor will provide training to Nicaraguan Immigration personnel.
Prior to 2003, post donated two repeaters, thirty-six radios, and three Satellite phones to the NNP Narcotics Unit. They are all in use. The Narcotics Unit uses satellite phones to communicate with the MIU when it operates in remote areas of Nicaragua. During 2002, post donated seven cellular telephones no longer being used by AID to the Internal Affairs Unit and five to the NNP Drug Unit. Post did not make any additional communications equipment purchases in 2004, but continues to pay for the NNP's Internet connections.
Two contraband detector buster kits, tools, and inspection equipment are used by the Government of Nicaragua (GON) police forces to detect narcotic trafficking via containers and vehicles. The Special Drug Police has been using this equipment successfully.
During 2000, post installed ten closed circuit television cameras for use by the Narcotics Unit at the Managua International Airport. Six more cameras were installed during 2002. The NNP uses these cameras to conduct surveillance of the airport area and to monitor suspicious persons. Currently, the system is only partly functional due to remodeling and expansion of the airport. NAS financed a contract with the vendor to relocate cables and make the system fully operational again.
In 2000, post signed an LOA with the GON that committed the USG to build a vehicle inspection Station at Pena's Blanca's on the southern border with Costa Rica. The station was inaugurated in August 2002 and outfitted with computers, two forklifts, an ion scanner, a pallet mover and a wide range of tools used in vehicle inspection. It is now operational and has made major drug seizures. NAS funded repairs are currently underway to correct drainage and sewage problems that have plagued the building.
Twelve dogs were delivered to the canine unit in 2002. A comprehensive canine program was conducted that included extensive training for the dog handlers. Six more dogs were added in 2003 and five more in 2004. This unit continues to function and participate in productive drug busts. The dogs are based in various areas of the country, including Pena's Blancas on the southern border with Costa Rica, the Managua International airport, and the Atlantic Coast port of Bluefield's. In 2003, the first Nicaraguan-born dog was trained. The dog is now an active component of the unit. The NNP graduated its first fully certified dog trainer, enabling the NNP to have a completely freestanding an autonomous K-9 program. Therefore, post's contract with a US-based training contractor has been allowed to expire. NAS will be funding a number of permanent dog kennels at border crossing stations and at various NNP locations in 2005.
In 1998, NAS provided four fax machines and a copy machine for the NNP Drug Unit. One fax is located at the airport, two at the Narcotics Police Headquarters, and one at the Regional Police Office in the Department of Rivas. The photocopy machine is at Managua International Airport where it serves as part of the NNP Narcotics Unit.
The NNP Drug Laboratory was set up in 2002 in Managua for the purpose of evidence processing. It is one of three labs in Nicaragua whose reports the judiciary allows as evidence in trials. NAS has provided the laboratory with equipment and supplies, including four computers. However, upon delivery, the computers were found to be faulty and returned to the local supplier. That supplier has since gone out of business and fled the U.S. INL is considering funding at least one ancillary drug laboratory on the Atlantic coast. Post awaits the arrival of a DEA lab training team which will promote thorough assessment of the NNP's lab situation in terms of what should be purchased and, of the existing equipment, what should be repaired.
The Laboratory needs to upgrade its lab equipment and establish auxiliary drug laboratories on the Atlantic coast.
The NNP Narcotics Unit received ten digital cameras in 2003 and nine more in in 2004. In 2003, NAS also provided three digital cameras for the NNP internal affairs unit. Post will retain one new scanner in its storeroom.
The main problem identified in last year's report was the repair and maintenance of the 26-foot Boston Whaler. During 2001, the NNP told DEA that it would take responsibility for the repair of this vessel but has never made good on the repairs.
The M/V Kastor will require considerable resources to make it seaworthy and acceptable for the two-to-three week stints at sea that will be required in its role as mother ship. The ship will require an overhaul of one of its engines and perhaps replacement of its other engine. In addition, the decks and cabin space along with the ship's entire electrical system will need replacement. The hull is also currently being tested for seaworthiness by a team with audio equipment to determine thickness and potential life span.
The Nicaraguan Navy is not able to track vessels on either coast. Off the Pacific coast, the drug runners pass Nicaragua about 50 miles out to sea, requiring a mother ship to support the fast boats. On the Atlantic, picking out the distinctive low-slung drug-running speedboats from among the islands, fishing fleets and 2-3 foot waves is beyond the Navy's current capabilities. The seizures it does make come from random searches and land-based intelligence sources.
Vehicle Inspection Station
The flooding at the Penas Blancas Vehicle Inspection Station will need to be addressed as its efficient operation is being hindered. This intervention could require considerable resources.
Controlling the use of combustibles continues to be a problem. Although fuel was provided for certain NNP and Navy operations during 2003, there are no methods to control fuel usage if fuel disposition is left in the hands of the end-users. This continues to be a problem that hinders maximum use of the resources provided by NAS to both the NNP and the Navy.
NNP Drug Police officials have asked NAS Managua to provide major maintenance and overhauls for expensive donated items, leaving more routine care and upkeep to the NNP. Post continued to make preventive purchases in 2004. The maintenance contracts for the generator at the Penas Blancas Vehicle Inspection Station were just renewed, as was the maintenance contract of the airport closed circuit TV system. The inspection station's chronic sewage/drainage/well water problems are being repaired. INL will need to dedicate an increasing share of its budget to maintenance issues to ensure the viability of ongoing programs.
During 2004, the Narcotics Unit of the NNP continued to seize drugs transiting Nicaragua by land. The NNP significantly increased cocaine and heroin seizures over the previous year. The Mobile Inspection Units showed particular successes as did both the mobile and stationary K-9 units. The Nicaraguan Navy has achieved some successes on the high seas, seizing a dozen fast boats, most of which had been abandoned, and some quantities of drugs. The Nicaraguan authorities were instrumental in seizing over eight metric tons of cocaine in 2004. The NNP Anti-Corruption Unit has successfully worked on a series of high profile cases of GON corruption, including a number involving former high government officials.
End Use Monitoring was conducted through on-site visits and spot checks by the NAS and other USG personnel. The Office of the Attorney General (PGR) provided reports on the state of USG helicopters and fixed wing aircraft leased from the USG. Financial accounting reports were submitted by other recipient institutions.
Recipient institutions signed Notes of Agreement (NOA's) with the NAS upon the delivery of all major non-expendable commodities. These NOA's specified the items donated, their quantities, descriptions, serial numbers, intended uses and locations as well as the regulative authority for donation and receipt of such goods. Use of these documents have helped PGR officials to develop and maintain a centralized inventory of donated equipment.
The PGR furnished monthly reports to the NAS on the location and use of the 25 UH-1H helicopters leased to the PGR Air Services Section by INL. NAS personnel routinely incorporated site visits and EUM requirements during official trips to Mexico. The NAS program coordinator confirmed the stationing of INL helicopters at locations specified by the PGR in their monthly reports. They are distributed as follows: Hermosillo (4); Mexicalli (2); Culiacan (2); Guadalajara (2); Chetumal (2); Tapachula (3); Mexico City (5); Acapulco (4); Nuevo Laredo (1).
NAS officials secured 29 surplus UH-1H helicopter frames from Redstone Arsenal in Alabama for refurbishment to revive the aging PGR counterdrug helicopter fleet. To date, Project OLR at Fort Hood Texas has refurbished four of these frames. The four were transferred under a "no-cost" lease to Mexico for PGR utilization, temporarily increasing the fleet to 29 aircraft. NAS plans to provide up to an additional eight refurbished UH-1H's in 2005. As these replacement aircraft are incorporated into the UH-1H fleet, older aircraft will be removed or destroyed/demilitarized after removal of useful parts and components.
The following UH-1H helicopters remain operable and located at the following areas: XC-BBA-Mexicali; XC-JAU-Santana; XC-LIX-Santana; XC-BBG-Santana; XC-BBE-Hermosillo; XC-LIY-Hermosillo; XC-BBF-Acapulco; XC-BBJ-Chetumal; XC-JAO-Tapachula; XC-JAD-Ciudad del Carmen.
The following UH-1H helicopters remain inoperable, due to lack of repair parts and budget restraints: XC-LIZ-Mexicali; XC-LIW-Hermosillo; XC-JAN-Hermosillo; XC-BBH-Chihuahua; XC-JAV-Chihuahua; XC-JAQ-Culiacan; XC-JAM-Culiacan; XC-BBD-Mexico City; XC-BBK-Guadalajara; XC-JAB-Guadalajara; XC-HGR-Acapulco; XC-JAA-Acapulco; XC-JAR-Tapachula; XC-JAS-Chetumal; XC-BBD-Mexico City; XC-BBI-Mexico city; XC-BBL-Mexico City; XC-JAE- Mexico City; XC-JAG-Mexico City; XC-JAX-Mexico City.
The availability rates for aircraft in the PGR Air Services Section continued to decline during 2004. The low rates of availability resulted from several factors, including age of most helicopters and normal wear and tear. Lack of funding to procure spare parts also contributed to the low rates of availability.
The Air Service Section had the following availability rates during the past year:
In addition to the UH-1H's, the PGR operated 39 USG donated aircraft in 2004. They included: twenty (20) Bell 206 B-III's; three (3) Bell 212 helicopters; one (1) Bell 212 UH-1N; thirteen (13) Cessna 206 airplanes; and two (2) Dehavilland DNC-6 Twin Otter airplanes. They are distributed as follows: Mexico City (2); Culican (7); Guadalajara (8); Chilpancingo (6); Acapulco (4); Cuernavaca (5); Chihuahua (1); Toluca (1); Hermosillo (1); Uruapan (1); Oaxaca (1); Tlalpa (1); Ciudad (1).
In early November 2004, PGR Air Services Section received four new Schweizer SAC 333 helicopters for use under a "no-cost" lease from INL. These aircraft represent the first of up to 28 helicopters that NAS will finance for aerial surveillance and border security. The helicopters are used by the PGR at the Acapulco training center for recurrent training. All four aircraft remained operational by year's end with one each deployed temporarily to Ciudad Juarez, Reynosa, and Cancun.
Maintenance-PGR personnel continued to perform depot-level maintenance for UH-1H helicopters in Mexico City. They conducted major maintenance for the fixed-wing Cessna 206 and 210 fleet in Cuernavaca and for larger aircraft in Mexico City, Guadalajara, or at commercial facilities. PGR personnel performed intermediate 4-level rotary or fixed-wing maintenance at Culiacan, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Uruapan, Tapachula and Chetumal. Aircraft located at Forward Operational Bases (FOB) are rotated to these bases for maintenance beyond FOB's capabilities. Embassy personnel visited facilities in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Chilpancingo, and Chetumal, judging them to be clean and efficiently maintained and operated.
The NAS provided thirty-three computers and printers to the DEA/NAS supported SIU's in 2001. All equipment was in working condition and being used at SIU facilities in Mexico City to further narcotics-related investigations. NAS personnel and DEA monitor the equipment during routine visits.
The NAS installed computers, software, and communications equipment for the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) at facilities near Monterrey. To date, the Mexican Government has delayed full entry into operation of the system pending resolution of an unrelated issue involving sharing of U.S. export declaration data with GOM officials. U.S. and Mexican officials continue to work to resolve this issue.
The Mexican Office of the Attorney General established the Special Unit of the Prosecutor for Money Laundering in 2001. In 2002, NAS provided computer hardware, including workstations and servers, and software to support the unit's analytical efforts.
The institution-building project of the National Drug Control Planning Center (CENDRO) involved installation of a significantly upgraded center for CENDRO, design and installation of state-of-the-art voice and data communications lines, and a new system architecture. The project purchased and installed over 350 individual computer workstations, nine servers, enhanced systems management software, refurbishment of alarm systems, and more powerful analytical software. The system will become a nation-wide data network with access to drug-related criminal information for the PGR. NAS staff visited CENDRO on numerous occasions throughout the year and confirmed that CENDRO personnel used the computer equipment for the enhancement of counternarcotics and other major crime investigations.
NAS personnel invested over six million dollars in refurbishment of office spaces and installation of a Local Area Network (LAN) and computers and peripherals for use by the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI). The AFI conducts federal investigations leading to arrests of criminals involved in eleven categories of organized crimes. NAS officers routinely visited AFI facilities and attested to the proper use of all donated equipment.
In 2003, three NAS donated five computers to Casa Amiga, a Ciudad Juarez organization which helps victims of domestic violence ad trafficking.
From 1996 to 2001, NAS personnel purchased and installed computer equipment at the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU).
Under a 506(a)(2) agreement signed in 1991, the U.S. provided 45 vehicles to the PGR, including 12 pickup trucks, four support vehicles, four military transport vehicles, and seven transport trucks, eight maintenance trailers, and ten transport trailers. Normal usage and wear and tear from operating in remote, rugged locations have left six vehicles inoperable. Vehicles in this category performed services at permanent locations and did not undergo rotation as frequently as the pick-up trucks.
The 55 vehicles donated to the PGR are subject to relocation. DEA, NAS, and other Embassy personnel monitor such vehicles randomly during visits to different cities in Mexico. To enhance investigative operations, PGR manages frequent transfer of such vehicles from one city to another in Mexico. The fleet consists of Jettas, VW sedans, Nissan pickups, Kawasaki and Yamaha motorcycles. NAS personnel verify the locations of the vehicles once the transfers are completed. A number of these vehicles are unserviceable. Mexico officials will identify these vehicles for replacement. A vehicle replacement schedule is currently under study by DEA, NAS, and the GOM.
The NAS donated 10 motorcycles and five trailers to the Mexican Immigration Service (INM) and twelve Ford Lobo pickup trucks to the SIU's. The 12 Ford Lobo pick-up trucks are located at AFI headquarters. The PGR, with DEA and NAS concurrence, exchanged them for other less visible vehicles. Two armored vehicles were reassigned in 2001 to the new Vetted Units coordinators in PGR.
One Volkswagon Pointer, one Dodge Ram, and one Kawasaki motorcycle were turned over to the SIU at the Mazatlan location. One motorcycle, one Volkswagon Pointer, and one Chevrolet Silverado pick-up are at the vetted unit in Merida. Two armored Jeep Grand Cherokees remain with the vetted unit coordinators in the PGR.
Vehicles-506 (A) (2)-A fleet of 45 vehicles provided to the PGR under 1991 506 (A) (2) includes 12 pickup trucks (including cisterns), 10 transport vehicles, 8 maintenance trailers, 4 support vehicles, 4 military transport vehicles and 10 transport trucks. Normal usage combined with wear and tear of operating in remote and rugged locations has left two of these vehicles inoperable. Vehicles in this category perform services at permanent locations and are not rotated as frequently as pickup trucks.
The NAS will remove the inoperable military vehicles, two support trucks, and five pickups from the inventory and dispose of them per LOA and USG regulations. The NAS program coordinator is working with the PGR in assessing all of the support equipment. Some of the equipment on the NAS inventory is old and should be replaced. The NAS will conduct an assessment of current equipment, i.e., pick-up trucks, trailers, tanker trucks that was provided under security assistance programs to determine proper disposition.
NAS officials invested over $7 million in infrastructure support to the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) during the past three years. A key component of this support involved installation of a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telecommunications system. This system has reduced AFI's long distance telephone bills by 60 percent and constitutes a highlight of NAS support to AFI.
In 2002, the NAS donated two used ion scanners to the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) and four CT-30 inspection kits to the Mexican Navy.
NAS officials supported the PGR's interdiction and eradication efforts in 2002 with the purchase of additional lab supplies and research materials to facilitate a bilateral opium crop yield survey.
In 2003, the NAS procured Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NIIE) for use by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit in inspecting container trucks, railroad cars, and other cargo for illicit contraband. The NIIE includes one railroad VACIS machine, five portal VACIS machines, three mobile X-ray vans, and one pallet VACIS machine. The three mobile X-ray vans and one pallet VACIS machine were delivered in late 2003.
Videocassette recorders, binoculars, digital cameras, paper shredder, and scanners are used by the SIU vetted units. One recorder and two cameras were found missing during routine inspections.
Significant 2004 donations to AFI includes surveillance equipment and plans for the installation of a telephone intercept capability.
The NAS has requested a full field inspection of the PGR fleet that includes both USG leased and donated helicopters. Post feels that this technical evaluation is necessary due to the age of the UH-1H helicopters (39 years old). Based on the outcome of the evaluation, the NAS, in consultation with INL and the GOM, will make a determination on the future of the NAS Airwing support.
NAS personnel anticipate further expansion of training courses in 2004 to include anti-corruption, ethics, management, and leadership training. Post will also promote additional courses involving specialized investigative techniques and greater participation by federal prosecutors.
Program support provided in 2004 contributed to the Mexican Government's impressive efforts against drug trafficking, terrorism, and other organized crimes affecting the citizens of both countries. The United States and Mexico achieved unprecedented levels of cooperation in fighting drug trafficking and other transnational crimes in 2004. Mexican authorities attained impressive results in capturing leaders of major drug trafficking organizations, disrupting the ability of these groups to smuggle and distribute illicit drugs on both sides of the border. They seized impressive amounts of illicit drugs. The Attorney General's Office and Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) strengthened the capabilities of their institutions and identified and rooted out corruption.
The GOM conducted robust eradication of marijuana and opium poppy crops; the PGR performed aerial spraying of drug fields; and SEDENA deployed up to 30,000 to destroy the illicit crop manually.
The consolidation and expansion of the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) advanced a major undertaking at police reform and institution building. Control of diversion of precursor chemicals improved considerably during the past two years. Officials at AFI and the Center for Analysis, Planning, and Intelligence (CENAPI) of the PGR continued to develop first-rate cadres of investigators to collect and analyze information on drug trafficking and other organized crimes. These entities now possess state-of-the-art analytical and investigative tools. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement personnel routinely share sensitive information to capture and prosecute leaders in both countries of major drug trafficking organizations and to seize important shipments of illicit drugs. President Fox and Attorney General Macedo have striven to identify and root out corruption among federal police officials.
The NAS conducted a formal on-site inventory of donated equipment both before and after the change of government took place on September 1 to guard against possible loss of materials during transition. The NAS and the Embassy's law enforcement agencies' personnel conduct informal EUM visits throughout the year during their regular contact with their Panamanian counterparts. The Non-Expendable Property Application and Stock Control Systems (NEPA) are used for all project property. These records are maintained in the NEPA inventory system and are constantly updated for new donations, return of old or non-working items or NAS-approved transfers between institutions.
The GOP is responsible for maintenance of all INL donated equipment in Panama. The NAS sells items that have been returned as non-functioning/non-repairable at GSO directed embassy auctions. The money is returned to program funds at the end of every year.
Computer and Office Equipment
Judicial Technical Police (PTJ)- Most of the computer equipment is located at the main office in Panama City and the Tocumen International Airport, Gelabert Domestic Airport Counternarcotics office, and PTJ's Anti-Narcotics Division in Colon and PTJ's office Anti-narcotics Division. Computer equipment is used by anti-narcotics personnel to compile investigative information, gather statistics on drug-related crimes and seizures, and update records on detained individuals. All equipment is in good condition. Items from the UIF have been transferred to the PTJ narcotics unit. Some outdated equipment is still in good working condition. Older equipment will require replacement.
NAS Panama has donated one computer to the Judicial Identification Center, enabling the NAS to obtain police records for compliance with the 487 certification program.
Ministry of Economy and Finance-The NAS donated a scanner, a digital camera, computers, printer and a combination lock safe.
Banking Superintendency (previously the National Banking Commission)- INL has provided modems, software, hard disks, Simms memory chips (for the server), 32 UPS', and additional equipment required to make the existing USAID-donated computer system operational. Other NAS-funded computer equipment includes a Pentium server, Pentium workstations with UPS, and data base software. INL recently donated 20 desktop computers, 10 laptops, 30 printers and 1 projector. Superintendent personnel use equipment to conduct banking regulatory activities and to share information with the Financial Analysis Unit. All INL-donated equipment is in good working condition.
Ministry of Education Drug Prevention-INL items donated to the Ministry of Education Drug Prevention include office furniture and equipment such as desks, chairs, tables, filing cabinets, fax machine, copier, computer, typewriters, etc. Equipment is located at the Drug Prevention Office in the Ministry of Education Building located in downtown Panama City or at the Drug Education and Information Center (CENAID) at Albrook. The majority of donated items are outdated but in good condition. In CY-2004, INL donated manuals, books, school supplies, computer accessories and a scanner. The equipment is used to support the Ministry of Education's demand reduction programs and to assist students and teachers. The project focuses on assisting the ministry in training youth leaders, supporting the highly successful trainers workshops. CENAID's donated items are in good condition.
Immigration and Naturalization (DNMN)-In 2003, INL donated 51 passport readers to improve processing at ports of entry. Immigration has been confronting problems trying to get the passport readers to interface with the current program installed. The NAS is working to resolve this problem. INL purchased 28 computers for the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization (DMN) Department in December 1996. This equipment constitutes only a small part of an automated lookout system. The computers are being used as stand-alone word processing units throughout Immigration headquarters. The computers enable Immigration to maintain records and correspondence. Forty passport printers were donated in 2004. They are in the process of being installed. Once the passport printers are installed, they will enable the detection of fraudulent documents entering or transiting into the United States.
Financial Analysis Unit (FAU)- INL donated computer hardware, software, and all office equipment to implement a Panama City Office and upgrade an existing computer LAN in the Colon Free Zone administrative office. The equipment includes 28 computers, software, and Pentium servers. In 1998, the NAS provided additional computer equipment: 16 computer workstations, five printers, a fax machine, a typewriter Pentium server, Oracle software, Simms memory chips. The equipment is used by the FAU personnel to input suspicious transaction reports and to analyze such reports to detect money laundering patterns. Maintenance is the responsibility of the FAU and appears to be adequate. The NAS donated new computer equipment in 2000, 2001, and 2004 to upgrade the FAU's server and computer network. This upgrade includes a sophisticated analytic program to detect money-laundering patterns better. Maintenance of all items is excellent.
The National Commission for the Prevention Rehabilitation and Study of Drug Addiction (CONAPRED)-INL-funded equipment consists of computer hardware and printers, office furniture and equipment such as telephones and fax machines. Equipment is located at the CONAPRED office in downtown, Panama City. Equipment is used by CONAPRED officials and volunteers in conducting demand reduction seminars and for the dissemination of anti-drug information. The NAS also helped establish CONAPRED's Chemical Control Commission by donating furniture, a copier, fax, and telephone. The vast majority of the items is outdated and will require replacement. The NAS is in the process of purchasing modular furniture for their offices.
JICC-The JICC is fully operational and capable of exchanging information with law enforcement officials throughout Panama. All equipment is located in the former Howard Air Force Base. The computers are used by JICC personnel for information collection, analysis and dissemination and to exchange information with law enforcement officials throughout Panama and with DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The JICC also shares information with other JICC offices in the Caribbean and Central America. Maintenance of all equipment has been excellent. Newer equipment is in good working condition. The JICC maintains a detailed inventory in their computer system.
The Guardian Intel system has been installed and configured. It has contributed to successful seizures during the past year. The unit requires six additional local computer terminals since they intend to extend dissemination to Albrook, Paso Canoas, Panamanian National Police in Darien, National Maritime Service in Rodman, and the PTJ Narcotics Unit. No items were donated during CY-2004. The acting JICC director has requested anti-virus programs and software licenses for updating data.
National Air Service (SAN)-INL-funded equipment consists of computers, printers, and a UPS. All equipment is based out of the SAN's headquarters at Tocumen Airport, with the exception of one fuel pump that is with San Operatives in Darien Province. The equipment is used to support surveillance activity and to maintain the SAN's counterdrug database. INL-funded equipment is in generally good working condition. The SAN maintains excellent records and accountability of INL donated equipment. Computer equipment has been maintained and serviced. Most of the computers need to be upgraded.
National Maritime Service (SMN)-INL funded a desktop and a laptop computer. The computers remain in working condition. In 2004, post donated printers, cartridges, faxes, and copiers. Lack of maintenance and upkeep of equipment has been noticed during the visits. The discrepancies can be attributed, in part, to the lack of budget and low morale on the behalf of the troops. With the creation of the Narcotics Adviser and leadership of the SMN, post looks forward to improvements.
Drug Prosecutor's Office-The NAS provided a computer, printer, scanner, and fax machines, a photocopier, other office furniture, three digital cameras, and UPS for the use of the Deputy Drug Prosecutor. The equipment is located in the Avesa building in downtown Panama and in their Colon office. The equipment is used for maintaining files and building databases in support of prosecution of drug related/money laundering cases. The equipment is well kept and maintained and is being used for its intended purpose.
Colon Free Zone Administration (CFZ)-Computer equipment was donated to the CFZ administration office in 1996. All computer equipment is being used and in good working condition at the administration office. CFZ officials were very helpful in enabling the inspection of the donated equipment.
National Commission for Criminal Statistics Analysis (CONADEC)-The NAS provided CONADEC a server and several computers. It also provided Oracle software so that CONADEC would be compliant with the Oracle software used by other GOP entities. All equipment is well maintained and in excellent condition. CONADEC has changed location. The expansion of this office will require more computer equipment. National statistics are being obtained more expeditiously enabling the public forces to operate more effectively.
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) Office-The NAS has provided computers, printers, UPS and other word processing equipment. Most of the equipment donated was available and in good working condition.
National Air Service (SAN)-The GPS, computer equipment, printer and fax are maintained at the SAN headquarters at Tocumen Airport. The equipment has been kept in good condition.
Department of Civil Aeronautics- INL donated a computer, cellphones monitor and CPU. The equipment is maintained at the Director's Airport Security Section. A cellphone was reported missing. A termination letter was provided to the employee who neglected this item.
Panama National Police-Computer equipment, cellphones, printers, digital cameras, video cameras, binoculars were donated to the Panama National Police located at the various counternarcotics offices located in Panama City and in the interior of the city. All equipment is well-maintained.
10th Fiscalia (Intellectual Property Rights)-NAS donated equipment consists of a film projector, a copier, a cable modem and internet. All equipment is in excellent condition.
PTJ communications equipment is located at various repeater sites: Santa Rita and Cerro Azul in Panama province, Volcan Baru at Chiriqui, and Cerro Grande in San Blas. Other communications equipment such as portable car and hand-held radios are functioning and are monitored from the PTJ Communications Division at the PTJ headquarters in Panama City. Maintenance of communications equipment appears to be good. Inventory records are maintained in the PTJ computer files and are periodically updated and checked against NAS inventory records.
A scanner, digital camera, CD writer, and 4 cellular phones were donated to the SAN's Intelligence Unit in 2000. One of the cellular phones was stolen. SAN has provided NAS a copy of the police report. The Unit uses the equipment to provide valuable assistance to DEA, including photos of clandestine airstrips; tracking movement of suspected airplanes; tracking movements of suspect airplanes; identifying ownership and criminal antecedents of suspect airplanes; surveillance activity; maintaining the SAN's counterdrug database; and sharing aircraft intelligence received from the SAN's Colombian counterparts.
The 1993 Jeep Cherokee is being used only for local deliveries of sensitive information. Post provided four heavy-duty trucks to the SMN in 2001. A Jeep Cherokee was donated to the Cruz Blanca office in downtown Panama. Two Ford sedans and two motorcycles were donated in support of the Mobile Inspection Unit in 2003. A Jeep Cherokee was donated to Cruz Blanca. Two sedans were purchased for the Narcotics Unit of the PTJ and two for the FIU. Two seven-passenger vans were donated to the DNMN.
INL-funded items in 1998 consisted of three tool kits for SMN's MK-4 patrol boats used exclusively for counter drug-patrols. There has been a notable improvement in the patrol boats' readiness status since receipt of the kits. A 22-foot inflatable boat (Zodiac) was donated in 2002. GOP budgets are barely adequate to pay for modest operational support need. The patrol boats are virtually entirely dependent on NAS assistance.
Video equipment, two gasoline pumps, and binoculars were donated to the SAN; office furniture/equipment, bulletproof vests, fax machine, video equipment, tape recorders, raid jackets, bulletproof vests, and a shredder were donated to the PTJ; telephones, fax machine, and a photocopier were donated to CONAPRED and the Drug Prosecutor's Office; desks, fax machines and typewriters were donated to the Ministry of Education Drug Prevention Office and the FAU; a refrigerator and fax machine were donated to the Colon Free Zone (CFZ); a PowerPoint projector and fax machines were donated to the SMN. The equipment is well maintained. However, the photocopier continues to require repair frequently. It appears to be approaching the end of its useful life.
Panama Customs has failed to account for most INL-donated equipment provided in previous years. The donated items include a computer workstation, four Wyse terminals and keyboards, two modems, one laser printer and a circuit video system. As a result, post is no longer providing INL-funded resources to Panama Customs.
NAS programs have contributed to the success of bilateral law enforcement operations and helped strengthen the institutions involved in counternarcotics, anti-money laundering, and counter terrorism. Practically all investment comes from NAS support as do increasing amounts of operating expenses, particularly in regard to joint operations carried out with U.S. law enforcement agencies. Post has been successful in recent years in integrating equipment, training, and technical support to increase the effectiveness of assistance programs. Panama's law enforcement agency cooperation with U.S. counterparts is excellent. Narcotics arrests and seizures are among the highest in the region.
The Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Officer, U.S. Coast Guard adviser, Maritime engineer, U.S. Customs Adviser, and DEA Special Agents periodically visit Costa Rican counterdrug installations and verify the proper use and continued maintenance of equipment acquired with International Narcotics Control funds. The Drug Control Police (PCD), Narcotics Section, Financial Crimes Unit, and Cybercrimes Unit of the Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ), Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNGC), Air Surveillance Section (SVA), Costa Rican Institute Against Drugs (ICD), formerly CICAD, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Health use such equipment in counternarcotics operations. Regular monitoring of INL-supported projects provides an on-going opportunity for specific End Use Monitoring, program evaluation, and identification of additional ways to increase program effectiveness.
Six 24-ft Rigid Hull Inflatable (RHI) fast patrol craft were transferred to the Coast Guard in 2002. Each RHI is equipped with two Honda 130 HP outboard engines and complete rigging, electronics, and safety equipment. One is stationed at the Pacific Port of Golfito; one is stationed at the Caribbean Port of Limon; three are stationed in Quepos; and one is stationed in Barra Colorado. The RHI is a multi-mission vessel that allows the Costa Rican Coast Guard to conduct coastal maritime law enforcement operations. Currently, only one is in service in Barra Colorado. It is not in good condition. These vessels have experienced numerous problems with the inflatable section of the hull. One has electrical problems; two have engine problems and damaged inflatable section; one has a damaged inflatable section; and one has hull and fuel damage due to an on-board explosion; and one has an inflatable section under repair.
Three 82-foot decommissioned USCG cutters were transferred to the GOCR Coast Guard in 1999 and 2001. The Costa Rican Coast Guard ships are named Juan Rafael Mora, Juan Santamaria, and Pancha Carrasco. Juan Santamaria is stationed in the Atlantic port town of Limon; Juan Rafael Mora is stationed in the Pacific town of Puntarenas; and the Pancha Carrasco is stationed in the southern Pacific coast town of Golfito. All ships are being used for their intended purpose. A full overhaul of each vessel was completed in September 2004. The Juan Rafael Mora is experiencing problems with its electrical generator systems.
Two 26-foor fiberglass fast boats were donated to the Ministry of Public Security in 2002. Each fast boat is equipped with two 120 horsepower Mercruiser diesel engines, complete rigging, electronics, and safety equipment. They had been impounded since 1993 by a court order due to a civil court action brought against the manufacturer. In August, the boats were released to the SNGC. One is in operation and the other needs some filters replaced.
Zodiacs purchased previously for the Maritime Section continue to be actively used in ship boardings in Costa Rican territorial waters. An additional Zodiac is maintained by the Embassy DEA for use by the Interagency Drug Task Force. It continues to be used during joint law enforcement operations such as Central Skies and Libertador.
Post procured spare parts in 2002-2003 to keep the SNGC operational. They are stored at the Coast Guard stations in Golfito and Puntarenas.
In 2003, post purchased two Toyota RAV-4s for donation to the Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ) to conduct undercover operations. The vehicles are at the Embassy and will be donated to the OIJ once they have arranged title transfer.
INL funded 50 percent of a Ford F-250 in 2003 to allow the SNGC to transport patrol craft to the different Coast Guard stations within the country. It was funded with the understanding from the SNGC that this vehicle would be subject to the same End Use Monitoring requirements as any other vehicle purchased with INL funds.
In 2002 and 2003, INL provided vehicles and equipment for the Ministry of the Presidency's Mobile Enforcement Team. INL funded the purchase of a customized utility truck, utility van, two motorcycles, trailer, a Honda generator, tools, and equipment for the vehicles. The utility truck and the rest of the equipment have been used in conducting counternarcotics operations as well as in a number of cross border training exercises with their counterparts in Nicaragu and Panama. Mechanical problems plagued the truck, and particularly its transmission during 2004. Repairs are covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
Post donated a Ford E-150 8-passenger van to the PCD in 2003 to support operations throughout the country. A Ford E 350 15-passenger van was also procured for the MPS K-9 facility located at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. It has provided a significant morale boost to the K-9 unit and has allowed it to be deployed anywhere in the country.
Post INL funds were used in 1999 as partial payment for the trade-in of used vehicles for two newer model vehicles for use by National Counternarcotics Center (CICAD) personnel. The two vehicles are housed at CICAD headquarters. Post is satisfied that these vehicles are used for counternarcotics purposes and are adequately maintained. No other vehicles have been procured with INC funds for GOCR agencies in the last five years.
In 2004, post purchased a Chevrolet Tracker that was used by the Customs Adviser to move around the country. When the Customs Adviser left the country, the vehicle was assigned to a Maritime Engineer to reduce his expenses on rental vehicles. The Maritime Engineer was involved in a traffic accident, damaging the vehicle. Post is going through a lengthy insurance claim process.
Between 2001-2004, INL donated the following equipment to the OIJ Narcotics Section: 7 Dell computers, Canon Digital copier, 4 Jaguar computers with viewsonic monitors, 2 Jaguar high performance Pentium IV computers, 2 PC 800 monitor TFT LCD, 3 HP deskjet printers, 59 recorders, 1 laserjet printer, 2 Sony digital photo printers, 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital photoprinters, 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital camcorders, 2 cassette duplicating equipment, 6 double cassette decks, 2 micro recorder eyeglass case, 3 Sony micro cassette transcribing machines, 4 DTMF recorder kits, 1 Honda generator, 2 Sony parabolic microphone handheld, 8 Siemens telephones, 6 AM/FM stereo radio cassette recorder, 2 Black & Decker cordless rechargeable drill, 1 apple computer with CD Rom and DVD recorder, and monitor. The equipment is located at the OIJ Narcotics Section offices.
The equipment is being used to support on-going counternarcotics operatives/initiatives. One of the Sony digital camcorders was stolen in May 2003. The 6 double cassette decks were not suitable for their intended purpose. The OIJ Narcotics Section returned them to their procurement office. They were distributed as follows: 1 to the Limon court; 1 to the Guapiles court; and 4 remain in their procurement office in San Jose.
In 2002, post donated a Compaq computer, Toshiba laptop computer, HP office jet printer, Sony digital camera, and a Sony camcorder to the Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNGC). The equipment is located at the Coast Guard station in Golfito. It is being used for its intended purpose. The office jet printer is damaged. The replacement part needed is unavailable. Post is looking into the possibility of having the printer serviced in the U.S. In 2002, post funded the installation of a computer network for the Ministry of the Presidency (CICAD). This network allows computers previously donated in 2001 to be linked, thereby dramatically increasing their effectiveness and ability to share and disseminate information.
The network, computers, and printers at Costa Rica's JICC are being properly maintained and used for their intended purposes. In 2002, post donated computers and peripherals consisting of a Jaguar computer with viewsonic monitor, Microsoft software, HD DeskJet printer to the Ministry of Health. The equipment is in the office in San Jose. It is being used for its intended purpose. In 2001-2003, post donated computers and peripherals to the various Departments within the Ministry of Public security. All computers are being used for their intended purposes. The computer equipment located at the OIJ Narcotics Section offices in San Jose is being used daily in support of ongoing counterdrug operations/initiatives.
In 2001 and 2003, INL donated 3 Jaguar Pentium III computers, HP deskjet printer, HP scanjet scanner, 3 UPS, two 24-switch port, 2 optical fiber converters, Sony digital camcorder, Sony video tape, Sony flash/video light, and memory stick to the OIJ's K-9 unit in Heredia. They are properly maintained and used for their intended purposes.
Post furnished financial administrative software to enhance CICAD's operational capabilities. The software was recently delivered and will be installed in ICD's computer.
Post funded the purchase of computer software in 2003 that will enable ICD to electronically communicate with the DEA El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) using the DEA Guardian software in the format required by EPIC. ICD plans to install the software at the following entry points in Costa Rica: Juan Santamaria Airport, Daniel Oduber Airport, Penas Blancas, Paso Cancas, Sixaola, Playas del Coco, Puerto Calderas, Golfito and Limon.
The Jaguar and Apple computers are installed in the PCD's counternarcotics information center (CIPA) in San Jose. The 4-port analog module is installed at the Ministry of Public Security. The Optiplex computer is used to support the growing number of electronic wire intercept investigations being worked with the prosecutor's office. All equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2002, post funded the purchase of a new communications network for the SNGC and SVA bases, vessels, and aircraft. The system is not operational. ICE (the state-owned telecommunications monopoly) has not provided the proper frequencies to be programmed into the radios. ICE has provided frequencies to the vendor on several occasions. However, upon testing, it was determined that the frequencies were being used by other parties. Post has not released over 50 percent of the funds for this purchase and will not do so until the system is operational. The Ministry of Public Security leadership is still working to encourage rapid establishment of the required frequencies.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Canine Unit occupies two kennel locations. One kennel building is located adjacent to the Ministry's Air Surveillance Section facilities, which are contiguous with the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The second kennel facility is in the San Jose suburb of Pavas. Both facilities are adequately maintained with enough kennel space for the dogs. They offer complete protection from the weather. The MPS Canine Unit consists of 15 dogs of which 9 are drug detector dogs; 3 are explosives detectors; and 3 are used for search and rescue.
The drug detector dogs are primarily used at the international airport and the northern border crossing of Penas Blancas. The MPS's Drug Control Police also regularly use the canine unit in law enforcement operations. The dogs and guides are well trained and the unit holds regular refresher exercises. The unit's current deputy is a regionally recognized expert trainer who has received praise from USG canine officials for his expertise and training techniques. He has recently assisted NAS-Guatemala in a regional canine training school. The unit works with the Drug Control Police officials stationed at the international airport and has been actively involved in the recent increase of airport seizures of illicit narcotics being transported through Costa Rica via commercial airline passengers.
As part of a training package for the MPS and the OIJ, the OIJ was to receive one of five dogs. However, after repeated problems and complaints, it became apparent that the OIJ director was less than enthusiastic about the program. He complained about the dog he was initially given. The training representative replaced the dog at his own expense, which satisfied the Director for a while. However, within a few weeks he informed post that the OIJ veterinarian had declared the new dog unfit for duty. The representative provided medical records and X-rays that disputed this finding. After discussions with everyone involved, the INL officer decided to remove the dog from the OIJ and give it to the MPS unit.
Five complete contraband detector kits or "busters" were donated to the PCD. The "busters" are being used on a daily basis. The equipment is deployed to the PCD delegations located at Paso Canoas, Penas Blancas, Puntarenas, Puerto Limon and at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. This equipment has proven valuable at the Paso Canoas port-of entry (Panama/Costa Rica border) in detecting cocaine secreted in the false walls and tires of tractor-trailers crossing into Costa Rica. In the last six months, an estimated 276 kgs. of cocaine were seized in two separate border interdiction events. The equipment was returned to the vendor to be re-calibrated.
In 2002, post donated 60 optical passport readers, 5 mobile inspection terminals and funded the development of software for the immigration department. The optical passport readers are located at the Juan Santamaria and Daniel Oduber International airports, Ports of Golfito and Quepos, and the border crossing at Paso Canoas and Penas Blancas. Three mobile inspection terminals are located in the ports of Limon, Golfito, Puntarenas; two are maintained at the San Juan Office to be deployed randomly throughout the country. The software has been inspected and is performing as expected. One of the mobile passport readers was damaged by a leak in a water pipe in the ceiling above the reader. Post is looking into options for repairing the reader.
In 2003, post donated 215 immigation seals with enhanced security features and 25 liters of security ink to the Ministry of Public Security's Migration director. Migration is running a pilot program with the seals at the Juan Santa Mario International airport. After the proper protocols are worked out in March, the rest of the seals will be deployed to all of the entry points throughout the country.
In 2000, INL donated tactical rappelling harnesses helmets, gloves, and goggles to the Drug Control Police (PCD). This equipment is used in marijuana eradication efforts (Operation Central skies). It allows agents access to areas that otherwise would be inaccessible. This equipment is maintained by the PCD. It is in good condition and continues to be used in marijuana eradication operations.
In 2003, INL donated duty holsters, duty belts, double magazine pouches, universal handcuffs, and flashlights to support PCD officials. The equipment is located at PCD headquarters and at PCD field offices. The equipment is inspected every three months and its use is recorded in the logbook.
In 2002-2003, INL donated eight GPS navigation systems for SVA aircraft, two 6-man aviation life rafts with canopies, and parts. The donated GSP navigation systems have been installed in the aircraft and are functioning properly. The life rafts and maintenance parts are being properly maintained, logged, and used for their intended purposes.
In 2003, INL procured video and audio surveillance equipment for use in PCD operations. The equipment is versatile and has been used for documentation of undercover narcotics purchases-from street level deals to negotiations inside hotels. This equipment has provided valuable documentary evidence that has been used in criminal judicial proceedings. The mini-pix-video receiver/recorder is not working properly. This item has a 2-year warranty from the vendor and arrangements have been made to have it repaired.
Construction of a counternarcotics inspection station at the Penas Blancas border crossing between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was completed in November 2003. The inspection station, furniture, tools, equipment, and the generator was formally donated in 2004, in the presence of the President of Costa Rica, the Minister of the Presidency, Minister of Security and the Acting Minister of Finance. The inspection station modernized this busy border crossing and facilitated cargo inspections that otherwise would not have occurred.
Embassy San Jose engaged in a $2.15 million, three-year SNGS Development Plan with Colombia Supplemental funding ($1.9 million) and post's INL funds ($250,000) since implementation of the maritime agreement and the accompanying MOU. As a result, the SNGC experienced significant growth, increased its operational capability, and has become a more professional organization. In 2004, the SNGC participated in five US/CS combined maritime counter-drug operations which increased SNGC's capability to serve as a force multiplier for U.S. patrols and projected an enhanced deterrent to trafficking organizations along the Pacific and Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Results for 2004 include at-sea boardings, the detention of dozens of vessels for illegal fishing (resulting in fines for the GOCR), the detention of suspect go-fast refuelers, and for the first time, the hot-pursuit and interdiction at seas by Costa Rica forces of three go-fast boats and the seizure of 625 kilograms of cocaine. The SNGC has also provided port security for visiting U.S. law enforcement vessels.
Subsequent to the INL donations of narcotics detection dogs, related technical assistance in handling, training, and a van to permit transport of the dogs and their handlers, the Ministry of Public Security's K9 unit made significant contributions to the narcotics interdiction. Those contributions included the detection of 35 kilos of marihuana, 881 kilos of cocaine, and 356 rocks of crack cocaine in 2004.
In another incident, authorities confiscated $37,941 and over 122,000 Colones (about $267,000) after the unit's K9 detected traces of cocaine on the currency.
Navigation and safety computer systems donated to the SVA has allowed the SVA to conduct maritime counternarcotics detection patrols, further deterring traffickers along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica.
The use of OIJ audiovisual equipment has led to the corroboration of intelligence obtained by the OIJ and the DEA Costa Rica Office.
Computer systems donated to the various GOCR agencies have increased interagency cooperation by allowing easier communications and information-sharing between agencies. This has led to more integrated approach to counternarcotics operations and higher conviction rates.
The San Salvador INL program manager notifies Salvadoran law enforcement agencies of all INL donations through official letters. Salvadorian law enforcement agencies assign a control number to each piece of donated equipment and maintain an internal inventory. The San Salvador INL program manager also maintains an internal record of donated goods and periodically requests detailed inventories from the receiving agencies. Post personnel regularly visit the Anti-Narcotics Division (DAN) headquarters of the National Civilian Police (PNC), ports of entry, as well as the Attorney General's Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) and the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Attorney General's office, and monitor closely the status of donated items. Salvadorian cooperation on the monitoring of goods donated by the USG is excellent.
The Motorola radios and communications equipment donated to the Police and to the Attorney General's Office are in good working order and used as intended to enhance operations at the new airport office and other ports of entry. Construction of the power lines to enable a Police radio repeater tower will begin in March 2005.
The 76 motorcycles and 20 cars donated to the PNC and the six cars donated to the Attorney General's Office in 2002 remain in excellent condition. These vehicles have been assigned throughout the country and are being used for their intended purposes.
The Canine Training School constructed by INL is well maintained and properly employed. The thirteen dogs donated to the Police are healthy, well cared for, and being used for their intended purpose. The dogs are the key to the drug interdiction effort.
The computer equipment donated to the Joint Information and Communications Center (JICC), the Border Police, and the Attorney General's Financial Investigative Unit (FIU) is in good working order and used as intended.
The USG equipment donated to the JICC includes two servers and five computers for ports of entry to facilitate the storage of information and enhance the communication between headquarters and posts at the ports of entry. INL funds cover payment of a three-year service contract for use of a router and a digital telephone line. This allows the JICC to access databases of different government agencies, such as the National Registry of Property and Ministry of Treasury. Construction of the JICC facility is nearing completion, with one modification to the electrical power sources yet to be realized.
Post procured a mobile Ion-Scan machine in November 2003. The laser-tattoo-removal machine procured in April 2003 and donated to the Salvadoran Government Anti-Gang Prevention Commission (CNSP) was initially functioning poorly, but is currently operating at optimal levels. It provided tattoo removal services for 251 former gang members in 2004. The video and digital cameras and fax machines donated to the Police and to the Attorney General's office are in excellent condition and are being used for their intended purpose.
The field operations equipment (including ballistic vests, battering rams, electronic listening devices, head gear, cameras, and video equipment) is being used for its intended purpose and is in good condition.
The equipment purchased with INL funds for the use of the Government of San Salvador has increased its ability to carry out its anti-narcotics vision. For example, in 2004, the police seized 2.7 metric tons of cocaine-- a twenty percent increase over 2003 seizures. The Government of San Salvador seized $554,113 in drug-linked assets-- an exponential increase over the $33,749 seized in 2003. Cars and motorcycles donated to the police continue to be used to seize narcotics and make arrests.
End Use Monitoring inspections are conducted on an annual basis with the JICC, the National Council Against Drug Trafficking, and the Directorate of Special Investigative Services (DGSEI). Constant interaction and communication with these organizations provided post with satisfactory feedback for determining that NAS-provided resources are being used appropriately.
Eight motorcycles, one sedan, and two pickups were donated to the Frontier police in 2004. They are all in good condition.
The Elite Unit project, established during the second quarter of 2002, has three Ford Rangers and one Chevrolet pickup located in Tegucigalpa. The vehicles were recently painted. They are in good working condition. They are used throughout the country in support of interdiction operations. Post purchased and received three SUV's (Jeep Cherokees) for canine transportation in 2000. They are in good condition.
CEINCO has 12 desktop computers; one laptop, six printers, one server; and three scanners. The server and three desktop computers are outdated and will be discarded. INTERPOL has two desktop computers; the Direccion Gen De Investigacion Criminal has eight desktops computers; PDG has one desktop, and one laptop; FESCO has two desktop computers.
The two 36-foot boats and two 25-foot boats in the maritime projects are currently docked. Upon final repairs, the boats will be assigned to the Ministry of Public Security.
The canine program has been used in several border areas by the Frontier Police with positive results. There are nine dogs assigned to the Frontier Police, distributed as follows: five in Tegucigalpa; two in San Pedro Sula; and two in la Ceiba. All receive veterinarian treatment on a monthly or on an as-needed basis.
The Ministry de Seguridad has 100 helmets; 50 bulletproof vests, and an Ion scanner. The DGIC has 100 USP's; the PDF has 12 camcorders and 100 cassette recorders.
Post encountered problems with the DLCN, maritime (boat) and canine project. INL is no longer supporting the DLCN; the maritime and canine projects were turned over to the Ministry of Public Security. They are currently operational and are providing positive results.
Post's projects have had a positive impact on host country's overall anti-narcotics effort. A counternarcotics infrastructure is now in place capable of providing effective operational support. During the last two years, Honduras law enforcement has seized more cocaine than in the previous ten years. Through constant monitoring and interaction, a sense of professionalism and accountability has been established with host country counternarcotics organizations. This engagement allows resources to be more effectively used.
Post is monitoring the use of the excess U.S. Customs Service vessel provided to Government of Canada (GOC).
INL transferred an excess U.S. Customs Services vessel to the Government of Canada in October 2002. The vessel, a 1985 Ocean Alexander MKII pilothouse, is fifty feet in length with a twin diesel engine. The vessel is being used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) section in Vancouver. It is moored in the lower mainland area of Vancouver.Impact
The vessel has had a positive impact on the antinarcotics mission and the relationship between the United States and Canada law enforcement officials.