The NAS received monthly statistical reports from the Belize Police Department on drug seizures and arrests. These reports, together with discussions on their content, provided detailed information on counter-narcotics activities during 2006. The NAS performed periodic spot checks and on-site inspections of National Coast Guard, the Department of Immigration and Nationality, Police Department, National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), and the National Forensic Science Services. The NAS also received status reports from the Department of Justice Forensic Adviser on equipment conditions and use of donated equipment.
The NAS held periodic meetings with the NDACC, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the National Coast Guard Services to discuss counter-narcotics activities and to evaluate maintenance and usage of equipment.
The DEA Attache and NAS program assistant discussed the importance of properly maintaining USG-donated equipment and vehicles. DEA also provided recommendations and procedures on the maintenance of vehicles.
The provision of large items is documented in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) format. Smaller items are documented through a signed receipt that clearly states the intended use of that item.
The host government cooperated fully and allowed the NAS to effectively monitor donated resources.
In 2006, the USG donated the third refurbished 39-foot Educadono “Go Fast” motorboat. The NAS also provided tactical gear, which included Night Vision Goggles, marine binoculars, body armor vests, life jackets, equipment to fit the vessels and communications equipment. The NAS provided maintenance and equipment assistance to correct problems with communications equipment in the vessels. The vessels are fully engaged in counternarcotics and search-and-rescue operations. The Military Liaison Office continues to provide technical assistance to the BNCG through the Foreign Military Financing assistance program to increase the effectiveness of the unit. All donated equipment is in good condition and new policies have been established to ensure that the equipment is used and maintained properly.
Four new 250HP Yamaha motors were purchased in synchronization with the refurbishment of 35-foot and 40-foot go-fast vessels in 2004. Those vessels were transferred to the newly formed Belize Coast Guard in 2005. All new items were found to be in place and in working condition.
Post had problems this year with boat motors and parts disappearing and units not adequately maintaining them. The counternarcotics committee came to a unanimous decision that post would no longer provide maintenance for Police Department vessels.
The BDFMW received four new motors in 2004. They have been transferred to the Belize Coast Guard.
One Ford Cutaway van was donated to the ADU in January 2003. ADU has done preventive maintenance. There is a small oil leak. The vehicle needs a transmission seal replaced. The steering wheel tie rod ends need to be fixed. The van also has a small crack in the front windshield. The vehicle was used to transport the 2,376 kilos of cocaine seized in September 2005 and 702 kilos seized in July 2004 to the location where it was burned.
One 2003 Ford F-250 was donated to the ADU in Belize and one 2003 Prado was donated to the canine unit in Belmopan. The 2003 F-250 has a fuel injector problem. It has been down since February 2005. The SDU does not have the resources to repair the truck or purchase the parts. The 2003 Prado is well maintained. The Anti-Drug Unit and the Canine Unit depend on USG donated vehicles as their main source of transportation.
In 2005, a 2004 F-250 pickup truck was transferred from the BFMW to the newly established BNCG.
Of the seven canines, four 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. The explosive detention canine has been cross-trained to detect narcotics.
In May 2005, one handler attended a canine handler instructor certification course through CSI International in Miami and Panama. There are two certified K-9 instructors who are able to train narcotics and explosive detection canines.
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 good condition and used for their intended purposes.
The INL-funded kennels have been properly maintained. GOB continues to fund this unit and all dogs are properly cared for.
Radio tower repair work, and radio installation were completed in 2002. 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 with the exception of two radios and one headset.
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 marine radios and a base radio in conjunction with the Maritime Communication Project in 2004. All radios were found to be in place, but the batteries are not keeping the charge. The radios operate with direct charges from the vessels.
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.
Two radios installed in the vessels, Lady Gina and Lady Milagros, are beyond repair. The radios were serviced by technicians other than the contractor. Therefore, the warranty is void.
The headsets are rusted due to the weather/moist condition in Belize. The equipment is not water-resistant. One headset is not working. BCSL found when inspecting vessels that headsets have been hung from the dry box in the weather and salt air. BCSL has included training on preventive measures to care for the equipment to remove any salt-laden moisture that may accumulate when not in use.
In 2006, no new equipment was donated to the JICC. However, the JICC continues to work closely with DEA and NAS and provides status of monthly drug seizures. Equipment donated in 2003 was found in good working condition and serving their intended purpose.
The Police Information Technology Unit received five licenses for Memex software through the NAS office in October of 2004. They developed 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 system has been in operation since February 2005.
The Magistrate’s Court received eight complete computer systems, a server, 2 printers, eight back-up power supplies, a scanner and nine monitors in 2004. They were used to replace computers lost to fire in the Paslow building in 2002.
Four computers, two printers, and a server were donated to the Maritime Wing of the Belize Defence Force in 2003. Six additional computers were purchased for the Public Prosecutions Office in 2005. Its staff complement has grown considerably since the last computers were donated in 2003. 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 (NDACC) received two computers, printers, backups, a server and accessories for the transnational digital government project in 2004. The equipment was found in the new NDCAA office awaiting reinstallation due to office relocation. NDACC continues to work with the Police Department to record drug abuse cases.
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 received 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.
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 are in good condition and being used as stand-alone workstations. The server was reported to have problems and has been shipped to New Hampshire for repair. The NAS has requested the shipping information from the ADU commander.
The following equipment was transferred from the Belize Defence Maritme Wing (BDMW) to the newly established Belize Coast Guard in 2005: four (4) Compaq computers, four (4) monitors, two (2) LaserJet printers, four (4) UPS.
The Belize National Forensic Science Service (BNFSS) received a dot matrix printer and Syntronics cable, ventilation fan and advanced starter kit & supplies for the Crime Scene Unit. All equipment is being used for its intended purpose. The used Infrared Spectro Photometer donated by the Department of Justice (ICITAP) to analyze cocaine and other drug substances was found in good condition. This piece of equipment cannot be used at the current facility due to infrastructure electrical problems.
In May 2005, the Crime Scene Unit of the BPD received three digital cameras. All cameras were located, but two of them have problems.
The Belize Immigration and Nationality Services (BINS) received eight computers, monitors, digital cameras, multifunction devices (printer, scanner, copier) and software and 10 ultra violet lights. All equipment was found in its proper location and in working condition.
In 2006, the NAS provided missing parts and extension mirrors for the Contraband Detector Kit donated in 2003. These parts were reported as lost in post’s 2005 report. The contraband kit is operational and being used to search and detect illegal drugs in vehicles fuel tanks.
In 2006, the Crime Scene Unit of the BPD was equipped with digital cameras, including underwater cameras and a computer with software and photo printer for up-to-date methods of crime scene documentation.
In 2006, USG provided sports equipment and uniforms for the life skills “You Got Game” drug prevention program for secondary schools children. The program has been successful. USG plans to expand the program to primary schools in 2007.
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 “buster” kit was provided to the ADU in July 2002. The “buster kit” was found to be in good condition except for one accessory missing which makes operations difficult. Two ADU members were trained in Guatemala in the use of the “buster” kit. It is operational, with difficulty.
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 batteries for the goggles are not working and are not available in Belize.
In 2005, two digital cameras were provided to the ADU Task Force for counternarcotics investigative operations. The cameras were not located. Two old cameras were found to be non-operational.
The BNCG received uniforms, ODU-Coast Guard blue trousers, jackets, boots, T-shirts, buckles and belts in 2005. The USG continues to focus on Port Security and safety for the cruise ship passengers. The USG fully support the development of a Coast Guard.
Two of the digital cameras purchased for the BPD Crime Scene Unit have problems with the lens protection mechanism. NAS has requested the cameras with original boxes and warranty documentation.
ProblemsThe ADU continues to have mechanical problems with the 2003 F-250 donated by USG in 2003. The ADU lacks the resources to repair the vehicle. NAS assisted with repair of the vehicle as available funds permitted.
The DINS has been experiencing frequent power failure, which has caused the Machine Readable Passports System (MRPS) to have problems at start-up. These power failures could lead to a catastrophic failure of the MRPS and corruption of the data in the database.
The 2003 Prado donated to the K-9 unit was totaled during a rollover accident.
In 2006, drug seizures by Belizean law enforcement authorities decreased over the amount seized in 2005. In 2006, authorities seized 7,653 grams of crack cocaine, 80,683 grams of cocaine hydro and 650,937 grams of processed cannabis, and minor quantities of other drugs. Law enforcement made 1,397 arrests. USG counter-narcotics assistance to the GOB has strengthened Belize’s efforts against drug trafficking and related crime. The Ministry of Home Affairs has played a central role in improving the National Forensic Science Services laboratory but still lacks the resources to properly equip the laboratory. Coordination among Belizean law enforcement and USG support for this organization seeks to further strengthen this organization’s role. The USG has also worked to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts by the National Coast Guard and Police Department. Finally, USG assistance to support improvement of the prison rehabilitation system is vital to ensure prisoner’s re-integration to society.GUATEMALA CITY
ProceduresThe USG/NAS has LOA’s with the Ministry of Government, Public Ministry and SECCATID, which is under the Office of the Vice President. The procedures used to monitor resources are a combination of on-site inspections, USG and host-government reports, spot-checks, and NAS inventory/maintenance records. Counterpart agencies are appreciative of the resources provided and actively participate in the NAS monitoring efforts. All items donated to the Government of Guatemala (GOG) have corresponding receiving/tracking records entered into the NAS internal inventory system. These reports are used by NAS personnel in conducting semi-annual inventories, on-site inspections, and regular spot checks during site visits. Site visits and inspections are conducted by program managers, the logistics coordinator and technical personnel.
There are 109 cars and 30 motorcycles procured with program funds. Twenty-eight cars are totally inoperable and will disposed of. All other vehicles are in running condition. The vehicles are being used nationwide by the respective agencies. Preventive and corrective maintenance are provided by the NAS-based SAIA automobile shop or local automobile shops where post has a blanket purchase agreement in place. Proper use of the vehicles is verified during the continuous preventive maintenance performed by SAIA personnel and on-site inspection by NAS staff. Any incidents of improper use are reported to the respective program manager and discussed with local counterparts during program reviews for appropriate action.
The NAS provides radio repeater equipment at seven sites and 25 hand-held radios to the Narcotics and Border Police Units during eradication and interdiction operations. The NAS Communications Specialist and NAS trained Narcotics Police (SAIA) technician provide preventive maintenance and repair to all communication equipment issued to the local government. The NAS conducts on-site inspections at least three times a year. All equipment is in working order. Older equipment is replaced upon request of the GOG and NAS technician. All items are in the NAS internal inventory list.
Official cellular phones are used and inventoried by NAS every year. Proper usage/charges are reviewed and verified by administrative personnel before paying monthly bills.
Computers are located in different government offices in the capital. A few are installed in the four border Police Offices (DIPA) and the Regional Canine School. These items are being used for the purpose intended. NAS technical personnel provide training for proper usage and conduct regular preventive and corrective maintenance service for all program computers. The NAS keeps records of disbursed, repaired and disposed computer equipment.
The equipment donated to the Total Information Management System (TIMS) is located in Guatemala City’s Information Central and various points throughout the PNC where it provides connectivity for the police. The equipment is in good operating condition. The PNC is now gathering more reliable criminal information providing the police with a vital management tool for deployment of personnel and resources.
The i2 software was moved from the Financial Analysis Unit to the Special Anti-Money Laundering Task Force (UNILAT) of the Public Ministry, where it currently installed. Final implementation is pending due to additional equipment that needs to be installed in the new premises.
The two 25’ Boston Whaler fiberglass boats are in the possession of SAIA. One is located on the Caribbean Coast at Puerto Santo Tomas and the other is located at Puerto Quetzal, on the Pacific Coast. Both were used for limited brown-water counternarcotics operations. The host nation National Civilian Police (PNC) has not maintained the boat engines; both boats are inoperable at this time.
The Guatemalan Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) is located in SAIA central headquarters. It stores and collates information to help develop intelligence for support to SAIA investigations and operations. The 24-hour hot line was discontinued. Now a 110 hotline is manned and operated by the PNC, which permits callers to anonymously provide information on suspected illicit activity.
The JICC consists of 1 server, 11 desktop computers, 3 printers, 1 phone line, 1 TV and 1 scanner. The computers are linked to a server through a local network cable connection, which is also linked to the national police information management system via a fiber optic switch. NAS maintains and upgrades the computers, servers, and associated equipment. The development of an adequate database is ongoing. The primary obstacle to more efficient operation continues to be access to relevant databases from private and government sources, which are sometimes reluctant to share information with the police.
With the reorganization of SAIA and the training of new, better qualified and vetted personnel, the NAS is hopeful that this will help to develop the JICC into an operational intelligence and analysis center which will take raw information from the field and convert it into useable intelligence for the analyst and investigator.
SAIA Regional Training Facility-This project consists of an upgraded facility to provide housing for SAIA and DIPA female student personnel and other female student visitors and guests at the Regional Training Center. The project began in September and was completed in November 2006.
110 Calling Center Project-This project consists of electrical upgrades in the PNC office. The LED program purchased a generator and automatic transfer switch to upgrade the PNC hotline office facility located in Zone 6. The project began in July and was completed in August 2006.
Security Upgrades in MP office-The Public Ministry program provides security upgrades to the UNILAT office located In Zone 1. The project began in October and was completed in December 2006.
Canine Training FacilityThere are 45 drug detection and 5 explosive detection canines that provide services to the counternarcotics operations in the airport and sea/land border ports of entry in Guatemala. NAS personnel conduct on-site operations of the different K-9 facilities at least three times a week. All provided items are being used for the purpose intended.
The USG provides laboratory equipment to the MP for drug verification and identification. The equipment is installed in a MP laboratory in the capital. The NAS provides maintenance support. EUM inspections confirm that these items are being used for the purpose intended.
The NAS purchased a wide variety of consumables/expendables in CY-2006, 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 are 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.
The NAS provided fuel support for the Guatemalan Air Force assets that were used in Mayan Jaguar and Central skies operations conducted in February, April, and September 2005 and fuel and hanger support for the RARE deployment conducted in November 2005.
ProblemsVehicle Maintenance Costs
Poor road conditions, mountainous terrain and poorly trained drivers contribute to the high wear and tear of vehicles. Maintenance and replacement parts for vehicles are expensive. Post, with INL approval, began buying US-assembled cars locally to take advantage of the vendor’s warranty service, comparable prices and faster delivery.
Fluctuations in Electrical Current
The quality and consistency of the electricity in Guatemala is sub-standard compared to that in the United States. The fluctuations in electrical current, even after being protected by UPS equipment, contribute to equipment failure and burnt parts. Replacement or repair is expensive and replacement parts are often not available on the local market.
Turnover in GOG Personnel
The constant change of GOG personnel in charge of INL program activities supported by the NAS means that continuous and vigilant monitoring procedures are necessary. NAS Guatemala technical and program personnel site visits routinely incorporate on-site inspection of commodities and services provided at the locations being reviewed.
ImpactGuatemala has made substantial progress in restructuring counternarcotics police functions and passing an organized crime control act that will permit wiretapping, while also continuing opium poppy eradication efforts.
The Guatemala drug law enforcement agencies underwent substantial restructuring after the arrest of one of the country’s three top drug law enforcement officials in November 2005. USG resources helped recruit, vet and train new narcotics and border police officers.
The Ministry of Health was able to inspect all drug manufacturers and distributors for compliance to rules related to potassium permanganate. As a result of a 2005 inspection, the GOG filed their first court case against the illicit storage and commerce of pseudoephedrine.
The NAS Law Enforcement Development Unit (LED) continues to support the model precinct in Villa Nueva as a way to make inroads against gang-related drug distribution, extortion and murder. During 2006, the Villa Nueva Investigative Unit had a 200% increase in cases investigated and resolved, and now clears more than 60% of its cases. Crime indices in Villa Nueva continue to decrease and more citizens are filing formal complaints as confidence in the police improves. Villa Nueva has initiated directed patrolling based on area crime statistics; the increased patrol in Villa Nueva’s highest crime areas should further reduce crime and increase public confidence.
Narcotics traffickers pay for transportation services with drugs, which enter into local markets leading to increased domestic consumption and crime. With USG support, Guatemala Drug Commission (SECCATID) prevention awareness campaign and program activities reached more than five million persons last year.
Seventy-nine hectares of opium plants were eradicated in Guatemala in 2006. In addition, 280 kilos of cocaine were seized; 156,362 marihuana plans destroyed; and 3,752 drug arrests made. The Public Ministry reported that its specialized Prosecutors Unit obtained 21 convictions from 65 corruption cases pending from previous years.
The GOG, in a joint operation with DEA, cooperated in the investigation and arrest of three corrupt Guatemalan police officials, including the Chief and Deputy of Guatemala’s Drug Police (SAIA). Guatemala pursued numerous public corruption cases during 2005 (143 individuals and four civil or commercial entities). Additionally, an extradition request is pending in Mexico against the former president; the former Vice President is awaiting trial; and the former Finance Minister was convicted and sentenced. Similarly, Guatemala’s Police continue to follow a zero tolerance policy on corruption. During 2005, 1,428 cases were opened against police officers accused of a variety of crimes. One hundred officers of the Criminal Investigation Division were fired.
In 2005, 67 drug traffickers arrested by the USCG in international waters were transferred to the U.S. for prosecution, allowing USCG assets to pursue drug interdiction, homeland security missions.
The SAIA seized 5,058 kilos of cocaine in 2005. The GOG was more successful in domestic eradication in 2006, eradicating over 14.6 million poppy plants or 48 hectares. These eradications were accomplished in the remote and mountainous west of the country without helicopter support, and with support costs paid entirely by the GOG.
The restructuring of the Narcotics Police into an elite investigative unit and the passing of the organized crime bill may require a slight change in the type of communications commodities requested. Commodities support for the Border Police (DIPA) will continue as SAIA and DIPA are being coordinated to be effective drug enforcement partners.
The GOG is in the process of creating a new government office responsible for drug inspection laboratories (INACIF). Some laboratory equipment donated to the MP will be transferred to this new unit. The change is mostly administrative and the usage of the equipment will continue to be unchanged.
DEA Special Agents and INL personnel verify the proper use and maintenance of equipment acquired with INL funds while participating in operations and through regular program monitoring. The Embassy also receives written feedback from recipients regarding the use of provided equipment. Early in 2003, the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP), on its own initiative, started its own inventory system. The inventory now tracks the location and condition of all vehicles it has received.
An INL Program Assistant was hired on a part-time basis in April and became full-time in August. He is responsible for monitoring INL-donated equipment.
StatusIn general, equipment delivered to our counterparts is adequately used and maintained for its intended purpose.
Prior to 2003, INL Managua donated two repeaters, 36 radios, and 3 satellites phones to the NNP Narcotics Unit. The NNP Narcotics Unit uses the satellite phones to communicate with the MIU when it operates in remote areas of Nicaragua. During 2002, INL Managua received cellular phones from AID. Post donated seven to the Internal Affairs Unit and five to the NNP Drug Unit. Post did not make any additional communications equipment purchase in 2005 or 2006, but continued to pay for the NNP’s internet connections.
INL has purchased computers, monitors, and miscellaneous hardware and software for the NNP. Prior to 2003, the NNP Narcotics Unit received 19 computers, 2 scanners, 9 printers, and 11 Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS’) for that unit’s Joint Information Center (JICC). DEA also donated one computer to the unit. These items are all in use in the JICC. The NNP Narcotics Unit received ten digital cameras in 2003 and 9 more in 2004. In 2003, INL provided 3 digital cameras to the NNP Internal Affairs Unit. Post retains one new scanner in its storeroom. In 2005, INL provided eight laptop computers and eight portable printers to the NNP for use in the field. INL donated a large laptop computer and printer for use with DARE materials and anti-gang programs in 2006.
In 2003, INL 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. In January 2005, the contactor was finally able to send a team to Managua to conduct an inventory of all donated equipment, do the final installation, and provide training to Nicaraguan Immigration personnel. PISCES is installed, with 10 stations, at the Managua’s International Airport. Unfortunately, due to continuing technical difficulties, PISCES is still not fully operational. Post expects a visit by a technical expert in 2007.
In 2000, INL transferred $392,000 to ICITAP Guatemala to finance the formation of an NNP Anti-Corruption Unit. ICITAP used these funds to buy 40 computers, 40 Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS), two laptops, a variety of radios, printers, and to provide training for the NNP Unit. The unit has been operational since 2001. Eight of the computers are in need of repair or replacement. Post is considering upgrading a computer network for this unit and purchasing hard drives and other supplies.
The majority of vehicles donated to the NNP are attached to the NNP Drug Unit. On-site inspections have determined that all vehicles are in working order based on observations by DEA personnel. Nine vehicles and 36 motorcycles were given to the unit prior to 2003. In 2003, INL provided the NNP Drug Unit with four trucks and 18 motorcycles. In 2004, INL provided four Toyota Hi-Lux pick-up trucks and 18 175 cc Yamaha motorcycles. The motorcycles and vehicles are distributed throughout the country at various regional police offices. In addition to these vehicles, post 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, INL purchased a second vehicle for the MIU and turned this over with the necessary equipment in 2005. 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 that received a Land Cruiser in 2003. In 2004, a DEA surplus Toyota 4-Runner was also transferred to the MSU. In 2005, post INL added 15 Honda motorcycles and 5 Toyota Hi-Lux trucks to the NNP’s Drug Unit. No new vehicles were added in 2006.
During 2000, INL donated two pick-up trucks to the Civil Inspection Unit (UIC) as part of Hurricane Mitch Program. Additionally, INL donated one Mazda pick-up and ten motorcycles to the NNP Internal Affairs Unit (UAI). INL purchased one Toyota Yaris and one Toyota pick-up for the Anti- Corruption Unit (UAC) and ten motorcycles in 2002. All of these vehicles were paid out of Hurricane Mitch funds. All equipment remains in official use.
In 2004, INL purchased a Toyota Yaris for the NNP Woman’s Commissariat for use in its prevention in trafficking in person outreach program.
VesselsIn 1998, INL purchased a Boston Whaler for the NNP. It is in storage in Bluefields. The boat has had persistent engine and electronic problems and the cost of repairs has become prohibitive. INL is working with the NNP to sell the vessel either through an auction at the Embassy or other means. The proceeds will be use for ongoing counternarcotics efforts.
During 2002, INL Managua made a variety of purchases for the Nicaraguan Navy, including life jackets, whistles, lights flares, compasses, radar, radios and various other tracking and communication devices. This equipment has been used in joint counter-narcotics operations with the USCG, the Nicaraguan Navy and U.S. law enforcement vessels. All but the life jackets (due to normal wear and tear) are in good condition. In 2005, post donated 225 life jackets and 2 life rafts to the Navy. In 2006, post turned over $25,000 worth of Yamaha engine parts for maintaining the fast boat fleet. INL refurbished a Dabur patrol boat for the Nicaraguan Navy that became operational in 2003. The second Dabur was refurbished in 2005. However, there are some continuing maintenance problems which were addressed in 2006. The vessel is not operational. Work is set to begin on the third Dabur in 2007. Also in 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard delivered one fast boat to the Nicaraguan Navy Bluefields and two others to Managua. One, however, suffered damage to the hull in transit. In 2003, the British Government provided funds for the USG to refurbish an additional fast boat as well. The fast boats in Corinto, San Jaundel Sur, Puerto Cabezaz, Miskito Cay, and in Bluefields all seem to be in working order and being used properly.
In December 2003, the USG donated a 110 ft utility boat, named the MV Kastor, to the Nicaraguan Navy. The Kastor was 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 deteriorated to the point that it was no longer cost effective to recondition it. It remains docked at the Navy base in Corinto.
During 2002, CSI delivered twelve counter-drug dogs and implemented a comprehensive program that included extensive training for the dog handlers. Six counter-drug dogs were added in 2003 and five more (three of which were dedicated to detecting drugs and illegal currency at the post office) were donated in 2004. This unit continues to function and participate in productive drug busts. The dogs are based in various areas of the country, including the Vehicle Inspection Station in Penas Blancas, the Managua International Airport and the Atlantic Coast Port of Bluefields. The NNP has graduated its first full certified dog trainer thus enabling the NNP to have a completely freestanding and autonomous K-9 program. Therefore, post INL’s contract with a US-based dog training contractor has been allowed to expire. Post has some concerns about the health of the dogs. Post has some concerns about the health of the dogs and the management of the program which will be addressed in 2007.
In 2000, post signed a LOA with the Government of Nicaragua (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. INL and the DEA personnel visit Penas Blancas on a regular basis and have verified the status of the equipment. In 2006, INL funded repairs to the Vehicle Inspection Station, including paving the vehicle inspection lane, revamping the dog kennels, repairing the water pump and pipes and enhancing security lighting and fencing.
During 2000, INL installed ten closed circuit television cameras with recorders for use by the Narcotics Unit at the Managua International Airport. During 2002, six more cameras were installed and five more in 2004. The NNP Drug Unit uses these cameras for surveillance of the airport area and to monitor suspicious persons. In 2005 and 2006, the system was only partly functional due to ongoing remodeling and expansion of the airport. Post contracted with the vendor to re-locate cables and move cameras to make the system fully operational during the remodeling. Now that airport remodeling is complete, post INL will pursue plans to revamp and expand the current system.
Providing supplies and parts for upkeep of INL donations will be an increasing task for INL. Both the NNP and Navy have insufficient budgets to maintain all the equipment that INL is providing. Post needs to work with the NNP and Navy to ensure maintenance of INL donated facilities and equipment. This may include funding maintenance contracts for key programs such as the Dabur boats and the Penas Blancas vehicle inspection station. Post continues to have concerns about maintenance at Penas Blancas. It will address these concerns in Despite recent repairs, the facility is not being adequately maintained.
Loan of Vehicles
Visits by the INL Program Assistant have shown that a number of the donated motorcycles are in need of repair. INL will further assess the problem in 2007 and decide which vehicles can be replaced. Several vehicles are “on loan” to other police departments. Post is addressing this issue and insisting that vehicles be returned to the proper unit or risk jeopardizing future donations.
ImpactDuring 2006, seizures by the Narcotics Unit of the NNP and the Navy increased significantly for a total of 9,720 kilograms. The Vehicle Inspection Station in Penas Blancas is fully operational and has made major drug seizures. The Navy fast boats and Daburs are also making some seizures. The Mobile Inspection Units showed particular successes as did both the mobile and stationary K-9 units. The Nicaraguan Navy also achieved some successes on the high seas.
ProceduresThe Embassy’s NAS, law enforcement agencies, and consulates conducted End Use Monitoring through on-site visits and on-the-spot checks. The Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) continued to provide reports on the state of USG helicopters and fixed wing aircraft leased from the USG. Other recipient agencies, including Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s), supplied financial accounting reports directly to NAS officials. Financial accounting reports were submitted by other recipient institutions.
The PGR Chief of Staff signed all Notes of Agreement (NOA’s) documenting receipt of donated non-expendable commodities. These NOA's specify the items donated, their quantities, descriptions, serial numbers, intended use and locations and the legal authority for donation and receipt of such goods. Use of these documents has helped PGR officials develop and maintain a centralized inventory of donated equipment.
PGR officials furnished monthly reports to the NAS on the location, availability, and use of the UH-1H helicopters leased to the PGR Air Services Section by INL. NAS personnel routinely incorporated site visits and End Use Monitoring requirements during official trips. NAS/Mexico Project Coordinators and Locally Employed Staff (LES) also participated in specific EUM trips to confirm the data provided by the PGR. They confirmed the stationing of INL helicopters at locations specified by the PGR in their monthly reports. These monitors also noted that PGR personnel maintained the proper operation and cleanliness of aircraft facilities. Inadequate funding and planning by the GOM are the main reasons for the PGR’s failure to procure spare parts for aircraft and the corresponding lower-than-optimal equipment operability rates.
NAS/Mexico supports PGR fleet operations with training for mechanics, corrosion technicians and other PGR Air Services personnel.
A U.S. company under NAS contract, ARINC, assists the PGR with the installation of fleet management software and procedures, covering warehouse management, ordering spare parts, scheduling of maintenance and tracking aircraft availability. No refurbished UH-1H’s were delivered in 2006 because of the priority of military commitments. Selected older airframes were destroyed and/or demilitarized per State and Defense Department guidelines after removal of useful parts and components.
PGR Air Services-UH-1H Helicopters-Since 1990, INL has leased 39 UH-1H aircraft to the PGR’s Air Services. Over the years, eight have been destroyed by accidents and/or hostile action. The following five were destroyed/demilitarized on April 10, 2006: XC-BBK; XC-JAB, XC-BBI, XC-JAE, XC-JAG.
The remaining 26 UH-1H helicopters used for interdiction are based at the following locations: XC-BBA-Hermosillo, XC-LIX-Guadalajara, XC-BBG-Hermosillo, HC-HGR-Mexicali, XC-BBH-Hermosillo, XC-JAX-Tapachula, XC-BBJ-Chetumal, XC-LJJ-Tapachula, XC-JAD-Hermosillo, XC-JAQ-Culiacan, XC-LJK-Acapulco, XC-JAN-Hermosillo, XC-LIY-Guadalara, XC-JAV-Chihuahua, XC-JAM-Culiacan, XC-JAO-Guadalajara, XC-BBL-Guadalajara, XC-JAA-Acapulco, XC-JAS-Ciudad del Carmen, XC-JART-Chetumal, XC-JAU-Hermosillo, XC-BBF-Caborca, XC-BBE-Guadelara, XC-BBD-Guadalajara, XC-LIW-Guadalajara, XC-LIZ-Chetumal.
Availability rates for the INL-leased Huey 1H aircraft continued to decline during 2006 to 33%. The low rates of availability are the result of several factors including age of the helicopters, normal wear and tear, and lack of funding to procure spare parts.
PGR Air Services-Schweizer SAC 333 Helicopters-By the end of 2006, INL had delivered to the PGR under a no-cost lease program eleven Schweizer SAC-333 helicopters for use in aerial surveillance and border security. One was destroyed in an accident in May 2006. A twelfth aircraft is pending delivery. The delivered and operational aircraft were deployed to Ciudad Juarez, Reynosa, Chihuahua, Culiacan, Acapulco and Guadalajara. Average availability rates have stayed over 80%.
PGR Services-Other Aircraft-In addition to the UH-1H's and Schweizers, during 2006, the PGR operated 31 USG donated aircraft in prior years and 27 remain in service. The number of aircraft in this category dropped in 2006 because several aircraft reached the end of their useful life. The aircraft are as follows: Bell 206 B-III helicopters (17), Bell 212/UH-1N helicopters (3), Cessna 206 airplanes (7).
The PGR continued to conduct depot level maintenance for rotary wing aircraft in Guadalajara, depot maintenance for fixed wing aircraft in Cuernavaca and Toluca and intermediate/field maintenance in Acapulco, Chetumal, Chihuahua, Chilpancingo, Culican, Hermosillo, Oaxaca, Tapachula and Uruapan.
Embassy personnel visited PGR facilities in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Chilpancingo and Chetmumal. They found the aircraft to be clean and efficiently maintained and operated.
C-26 Aerial Interdiction-NAS officials supported four C-26 surveillance aircraft belonging to the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA). SEDENA personnel complied with all phase inspections, service bulletins, and airworthiness directives, and completed repairs to transform the aircraft to fully operational status. NAS officials sponsored training for aircraft and sensor maintenance personnel, image analysts, and pilots. Post arranged for full equipping of a sensor maintenance facility. During the life of this project, SEDENA did not provide a robust stream of reports on the operational use of the C-26s nor much detail on its concrete contributions to interdiction.
The NAS turned over thirty-three computers and printers to the SIU in 2001. All equipment is 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 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. While the system is functioning and the equipment is well-maintained, today it is virtually obsolete.
In 2003, the NAS donated five computers to Casa Amiga, a Ciudad Juarez organization which helps victims of domestic violence and trafficking. Casa Amiga has relocated all donated computers to their new building. The equipment remains in use.
From 1996 to 2005, NAS personnel purchased and installed computer equipment at the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU) and the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit. The NAS visited the FIU and verified the proper use and maintenance of the equipment. The equipment is operational but is becoming obsolete.
The institution-building project of the PGR’s Center for Planning, Analysis, and Intelligence Against Organized Crime (CENAPI) (formerly known as the National Drug Control Planning Center (CENDRO)) involved installation of a significantly upgraded center, design and installation of state-of-the-art voice and data communications lines, and a new system architecture. The activity resulted in the purchase and installation of 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.
A business intelligence analytical package has been installed that allows CENAPI analysts to report automatically to other elements of the PGR on significant developments and strategic trends. All major systems remain operational and are properly used and maintained. Post anticipates that future support will include revamping of other analytical offices as well as providing extensive support for software for temporal and spatial analysis of criminal activities in Mexico to posture limited resources and multiply their impact in combating federal crimes.
Secretary of Health- In April 2005, 37 personal computers, monitors, printers and modems were donated to 19 offices of the Secretariat of Health’s National Commission for Protection Against Health Ricks (COFEPRIS) throughout Mexico to track imports of precursor chemicals and controlled medicines. The equipment helped COFEPRIS personnel implement stricter standards for issuance of import permits, reducing by forty percent the level of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine imported legally into Mexico by pharmaceutical companies. While the system is functioning and well-maintained, there are concerns about the ability of COFEPRIS to control and maintain the equipment in various locations.
Secretariat of Communications and Transportation- The NAS and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation developed “Sim Fronteras” (border simulation) software for use at 21 Mexican ports of entry. The first “Sim Fronteras” T2CAgreement became operational in Tampico, Tamaulipas in 2005. The GOM used “Sim Frinteras” for the Reynosa POE (Tamaulipas) to model changes in infrastructure and staffing prior to undertaking construction at that land-border crossing. Installation of five other packages (computers and software) has been delayed, pending the signing of Technology Transfer Center (T@C) agreements between the GOM and the respective host universities in the remaining five Mexican northern Border States (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon).
The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) at the Merida Resident office possesses the following equipment: two laptops (under repair), two monitors (one under repair), one CPU, one scanner, two printers. The Mazatlan vetted unit has 4 laptops, 2 GPS, one scanner, two printers. The SIU in Ciudad Juarez has two printers, one scanner, two monitor, two CPU’s.
Office of the Special Prosecutor for Money Laundering-The computer hardware and software, work stations and servers provided to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Money Laundering to support analytical efforts is in good condition and used for its intended purposes.
Office of the Attorney General of Mexico-The NAS undertook the design and installation of a significantly upgraded operations center, of state-of-the-art voice and data communications lines and of a new system architecture. These activities enhanced the capabilities of the PGR’s Center for Planning, Analysis and Intelligence against Organized Crime (CENAPI) to process crime data and communicate it to the field. Purchases included over 350 individual computer workstations, nine servers, enhanced systems management software, refurbishment of alarm systems and more powerful analytical software. The system is fully functioning and the equipment is maintained. In addition, the NAS provided a business intelligence analytical package that allows CENAPI analysts to report automatically to other elements of the PGR on significant developments and strategic trends. All major systems related to this investment remain operational and are properly used and maintained. The system is functioning and the equipment is maintained.
NAS/Mexico also contracted for the design and installation of telecommunications and data systems hardware and software equipment for the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) that supports analysis, investigations and the prosecution of major federal crimes. NAS/Mexico personnel routinely visit the AFI compound and confirm the proper use of the equipment. In 2005, NAS/Mexico provided Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telecommunications equipment to AFI that reduced AFI’s long distance telephone bills by 60 percent.
NAS/Mexico routinely visits AFI and have observed the proper functioning and use of the equipment. The systems are functioning and the equipment is maintained. However, the PGR has been lax in renewing needed CISCO SMARTnet maintenance services in a timely manner.
The NAS has supported the establishment of a nationwide database of warrants and arrests for the PGR. Its design and installation was completed in 2006. The system is functioning and the equipment is maintained.
The NAS installed a $2 million DNA data system in the PGR’s Forensics Laboratories. The equipment is not being used as stipulated in the donation agreement. The PGR is using it for cases outside the contract to investigate paternal cases as well as the string of women’s’ murders in Chihuahua state. The system is functioning and the equipment is maintained.
In 2006, the NAS delivered seven Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NIIE) portal vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS) gamma-ray inspection units to the Mexican Customs to check container vehicles for explosions, drugs and other contraband at strategic locations along Mexico’s northern border. All seven units are expected to come on line in the first half of 2007. All other NAS-purchased Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NIIE), including a railroad VACIS, five portal Customs to detect contraband at the northern border and at the Mexico City International Airport are functioning and being maintained.
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.
DEA donated seven used ClanLab vehicles. They are being refurbished for use by the SIU units in five key locations in Mexico.
The NAS donated 12 Ford Lobo pick-up trucks to the AFI headquarters. The PGR, with DEA and NAS concurrence, exchanged them for other less conspicuous vehicles.
One Volkswagon Pointer, one Dodge Ram, one Ford F-250 pickup, and one Kawasaki motorcycle were turned over to the SIU at the Mazatlan location. One Kawasaki motorcycle, and one Chevrolet Silverado pick-up are at the vetted unit in Merida.
Three NAS-funded X-ray vehicles operated in the passenger luggage-handling areas at airports in Mexico City, Tijuana (Baja California), and Cancun (Quintana Roo), detecting bulk shipments of drug-related proceeds. The Secretariat of Finqance and Public Credit relocated the Tijuana X-ray van at mid-year to the Mexico City airport to back up the overworked unit there. The vans detected $4.4 million in contraband currency during the reporting year.
The Federal Investigative Agency inaugurated three USG-provided Mobile VACIS trucks in November 2005 with a demonstration for President Fox of the vehicles’ ability to detect contraband cargo in containerized trucks. All three vehicles began operating at unannounced locations throughout Mexico.
In April 2005, NAS personnel, working with Embassy DEA arranged for the delivery to the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) of a specially designed and built Clandestine Laboratory Vehicle. The vehicle is used by a newly-established AFI Chemical Response Team to conduct raids on laboratories, especially those used for the production of methamphetamines. The unit is functioning and the equipment is maintained.
In 2005, post delivered special gamma-ray inspection vehicles to the Mexican Government to establish Mobile Interdiction Teams to check vehicles for explosives, drugs, and other contraband at strategic locations in Mexico. The units are deployed to AFI and all three are in proper working order.
The following vehicles were donated to the SIU’s in 2005: one Ford F-250 truck; 4 Lobo Crew Cabs; 4 Exployer Limited; 4 Freestar LX base; 11 Mondeo; 3 Ford F-25 XL; 8 Yamaha Motorcycles. They remain in operation at the different SIU bases. They are periodically moved from city to city to maintain anonymity. The NAS and DEA monitor and verify usage through periodic inspections.
The 28 vehicles procured for the SIU in 2006 are periodically moved from city to city to maintain anonymity.
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.
A Secure Electronic Network for Traveler’s Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) access lanes was opened at border crossings at Tijuana (Baja California) and Mexicali (Baja California), Nogales (Sonora), Nuevo Laredo (Tamauoipas), and Matamoros (Tamaulipas) and Iudad Juarez’s Zaragoza Bridge.
In 2005, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telecommunications network was installed at the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) of the Office of the Attorney General (PGR). It has reduced AFI’s long distance telephone bills by 60 percent and constitutes a highlight of NAS support to AFI. The NAS Program Coordinator and other NAS officials conducted frequent visits to AFI and observed the proper functioning and use of the equipment.
The NAS Program Coordinator verified the transfer of equipment provided earlier to the now-disbanded Specialized Unit Against Drug Crimes (FEADS) to the National Center for Analysis, Planning, and Intelligence (CENAPI). The equipment remains in use.
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.
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. The use of the VACIS units resulted in almost 16 million dollars of confiscated currency in 2005.
In 2005, post continued efforts with the PGR Forensics Laboratory to explore analytical techniques to identify different types of opium poppy plants cultivated in Mexico. The NAS project coordinator monitored laboratory equipment during visits to Culiacan (Sinaloa) and “El Caracol.”
Videocassette recorder, binoculars, digital cameras, paper shredder, scanners are used by the SIU vetted units. One recorder and two cameras were found missing during routine inspections.
In 2006, the NAS designed and constructed the Secure Electronic Network for Traveler’s Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) access lanes at the border crossings of Tijuana (Baja California), Mexicali (Baja California), Nogales (Sonora) and Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas). Construction began on the SEBTRI/Matamoroe access lane in late 2006. The NAS-funded design drawings phase of the SENTRI/Reynosa (Tamaulipas) access lane also ended in late 2006 with construction planned for the spring of 2007. Construction of the SENTRI lanes in Matamoros and Reynosa ought to be completed by mid-2007.
ImpactProgram support provided in 2006 complemented the Mexican Government's substantial efforts against drug trafficking, terrorism, and other organized crimes affecting the citizens of both countries. Mexican authorities captured significant leaders of major drug trafficking organizations; disrupting the ability of these groups to smuggle and distribute illicit drugs on both sides of the border. The GOM seized impressive amounts of illicit drugs, bulk shipments of cash and weapons. The Office of the Attorney General and the Secretariat of National Defense carried out robust eradication campaigns against opium poppy and marijuana crops, with the PGR conducting serial spraying of drug fields with paraquat and SEDENA deploying up to 35,000 troops at any one tine to destroy drops manually.
The GOM’s control of diversion of precursor chemicals improved considerably during the past two years with COFEPRIS establishing new offices around the country and reducing the legal imports of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine by 40 percent. 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, kidnapping, and other organized crimes. These entities now possess state-of-the-art analytical and investigative tools as part of major institution building efforts supported the U.S. Government. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement personnel routinely share sensitive information to capture and prosecute leaders of major drug trafficking organizations and to seize important shipments of illicit drugs. President Fox and Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca have striven to identify and root out corruption among federal police officials. President Calderon is committed to continue to pursue these shared objectives.
ProceduresThe NAS performs EUM visits periodically. The NAS Administrative Assistant serves as post INL Property Manager for all assets acquired for the GOP. NAS personnel also conduct informal EUM visits throughout the year during regular visits. The stand alone version of the Non-Expendable property Application (NEPA) inventory system is being implemented to track the project property.
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. Auctions sale profits are returned to program funds.
Computer and Office Equipment
Judicial Technical Police (PTJ)-The three computers are 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 excellent condition.
Judicial Identification Center-NAS Panama has donated one computer, enabling the NAS to obtain police records for compliance with the 487 certification program.
Ministry of Economy and Finance (Customs)-The NAS donated a scanner, a digital camera, 22 computers, printer and a combination lock safe. They are in good to fair condition.
Banking Superintendency (previously the National Banking Commission)- INL has provided modems, software, hard disks, Simms memory chips (for the server), 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. 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, five computers, 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 in fair condition. Some require replacement since they are outdated. 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, and 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.
CAIP-The Interagency Narcotics Unit (CAIP) (formerly JICC) is fully operational and capable of exchanging information with law enforcement officials throughout Panama. JICC is now located at the former Ft. Clayton base. The center has integrated with other antinarcotics institutions such as the National Police, National Air and Maritime Service, Financial Analysis Unit, Judicial Technical Police and the Chemical Control Unit. The Center has amplified access to other sources of information. All NAS donated assets including 16 computers have been found to be in fair to new working condition.
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 12 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 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 25 computers, 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)-The majority of the 24 computers is outdated. In 2007, post will proceed to write off the majority which have outlived their useful life. 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 20 computers. It also provided Oracle software so that CONADEC would be compliant with the Oracle software used by other GOP entities. The agency is charged with collecting criminal statistics. The equipment remains in fair condition. CONADEC has changed location. The expansion of this office will require more computer equipment. National statistics are being obtained more expeditiously, thus enabling the public forces to operate more effectively.
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) Office-The NAS has provided three computers, printers, UPS and other word processing equipment. Most of the equipment has outlived its useful life and will be disposed of.
Department of Civil Aeronautics-INL donated a computer, cell phones, a monitor, and a CPU. The equipment is maintained at the Director’s Airport Security Section. A cell phone was reported missing. The employee who lost this item was terminated.
Panama National Police-Computer equipment, cell phones, 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 four computers, a film projector, a copier, a cable modem and internet. All equipment is in good condition.
During CY-2005, the NAS completed a project to improve communications inter-operability within Panama’s Public Forces. This equipment will facilitate inter-agency coordination efforts. The NAS also provided radios to the National Police, Maritime Service, Civil Aviation Authority, and National Air Service. The equipment is in good to fair condition.
The SAN uses phones to provide valuable assistance to DEA, including photos of clandestine airstrips; tracking movement of suspected 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 equipment is in good condition.
The SMN uses equipment in its operations unit for use in intellectual rights case support. The equipment is in good condition.
The PNP has a communications network in its PNP headquarters building. The equipment is used for counterdrug/operations support. It is in excellent condition.
Two 30-passenger buses were donated to the National Maritime Service for support of prisoner transfer programs. They are operational.
Pickups provided to the Riverine Operations Unit (UMOF) are in excellent condition. They have proven to be more reliable than Humvees. The passenger vans donated to the DNMN in 2005 are operational. The canine unit received a pickup truck and trailer. They are in good condition.
Two Donzi patrol boats were donated to the National Maritime Service (SMN) in 2005. They will provide the SMN with an enhanced capability to respond to go-fast events. NAS-funded rehabilitation of the SMN patrol boat Panquiaco has been completed. The NAS is rehabilitating the SMN’s fleet of 82-foot patrol boats. This project will see each boat go through a major maintenance overhaul that extends the life of each boat by about 10 years. The NAS purchased a new air conditioner system for the 180’ “Independencia” and for the 82’ Point Class Cutters.
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 to 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.
The National Drug Abuse Prevention Commission (CONAPRED) and Chemical Control Commission (CCQ) offices were refurbished and moved to a new location. The Guabala checkpoint construction project was inaugurated in January 2006. The National Police Motorpool project Meteti is under construction and scheduled for completion in FY-06.
The NAS donated 42 trained detection dogs (narcotics and bomb dogs) in 2005 to the National Panamanian Police (PNP). Four are deceased and eight have been retired from the program. The Panamanian National Police replaced the retired dogs with their own funding. The dogs are housed at the PNP K-9 headquarters near Tocumen International Airport. The NAS has expanded the kennel facilities to accommodate all the canines in the program. The NAS is providing day-to-day medical care and training a veterinarian in the proper usage of medication. Three dogs were transferred to the new checkpoint facility to assist members of the PNP, PTJ, and Customs in the daily vehicle search.
Post donated a mobile kennel and housing unit. This unit has the capability to house up to 8 dogs and handlers, kennels for up to 8 dogs, sleeping quarters for up to 8 handlers, lavatory and shower facility, and kitchen preparation area. This unit allows the K-9 teams to operate in rural areas for extended periods of time. The dogs are included in interdiction operations. Post has received great cooperation from the members of the PNP.
ProblemsOverall, NAS-provided commodities have been properly used and maintained by Panamanian government counterparts. On the whole, these agencies provide better care to USG-funded items than they do to similar items purchased with GOP funds. However, there is a lack of capability within GOP entities to provide long-term maintenance for most items. This requires support from manufacturers for items under warranty, or from NAS for other items. Post is seeking to improve the lifespan of NAS-funded commodities through investments in training and maintenance of equipment for counterparts.
ImpactOver the past three years, the NAS has dramatically expanded the scope of its programs. Overall, post’s assistance has been used effectively to improve Panamanian capabilities to interdict illegal narcotics and other illicit activities and improve security of ports of entry and borders.
By improving the communications ability of all services and providing interconnect ability, post has strengthened the public forces ability to carry out joint operations at borders and key ports of entry to Panama. NAS has also amplified involvement with profile identification training and detection of psychological behavioral patterns, drug interdiction courses and tactical LE training that are aimed at proving individual skills of Panama’s forces.
The purchase of vehicles and boats for various agencies has improved their ability to conduct patrols and respond to incidents both in a maritime and terrestrial setting.
Projects such as the implementation of a Risk Analysis Unit (RAU) under the Panamanian Customs Service and the Guabala checkpoint are aimed at controlling the movement of illegal and high risk goods through Panama’s maritime and land borders. The RAU provides the GOP with the ability to profile high risk cargo in its seaports and to inspect it. The Guabala checkpoint gives Panama public forces a key checkpoint from which they can control the movement of persons and cargo through their land border with Costa Rica and the rest of Central America.
The infrastructure improvements to the police base in the Darien increase the PNP’s ability to be self sufficient in the region and provide better logistical support to its Forward Operating Locations throughout the Darien.
NAS Panama has expanded its workload and resources since the addition of Personal Services Contractors. Projects included are the Police Modernization Project, the Communications Project, Checkpoint Project, Risk Analysis Unit Project, the Maritime Project, and the INCREDIFA Project. These resources have increased post’s ability to effectively monitor programs. Post enjoys an excellent relationship with host country counterparts. Post has succeeded in expanding its contacts at the working level.
ProceduresThe Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Officer, DEA special agents, and the Office of the Defense Representative 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, 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, and Intelligence and Security Bureau used such equipment in their operations according to the terms of the Letter of Agreement (LOA’s) signed with the Government of Costa Rica (GOCR). 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. With few exceptions noted below, all donated resources are fulfilling their intended purposes.
Embassy San Jose INL Section maintains an inventory of donated property using an Excel spreadsheet. Post’s INL section has been using its own numbering and labeling system to keep track of items donated since April 2003. All donated equipment is also documented with a specific donation document signed by an Embassy representative and the senior official from the recipient GOCR agency. The donation document specifies the equipment being donated and notes the inventory and manufacturer’s serial number. Donation documents include the following text: “If the donated items do not meet the user’s needs, according to the Letter of Agreement, then the items may not be reassigned to another Department and the U.S. Political Section must be notified immediately.”
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. None are operational. They have reached the end of their useful life. They will be auctioned with proceeds going to the INL program.
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 Rafael Mora and Juan Santamaria are stationed in the Pacific town of Puntarenas. The Pauncha Carasco is stationed in the southern Pacific coast town of Golfito. The Juan Santamaria is undergoing maintenance. All three are three operational.
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. Currently, both vessels require repairs to their engines.
In 2003, post purchased two Toyota RAV-4s for donation to the Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ) to conduct undercover operations. The vehicles are being used for their intended purposes.
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. The truck is undergoing repairs.
In 2002 and 2003, INL provided vehicles and equipment for the Ministry of the Presidency’s Mobile Enforcement Team (MET). INL funded the purchase of a customized utility truck, utility van, two motorcycles, trailer, a Honda generator, tools, and equipment for the vehicles. The MET conducts counternarcotics operations as well as a number of cross-border training exercises with counterparts in Nicaragua and Panama. Mechanical problems have plagued the truck, particularly its transmission in 2004 and the gas pump in 2006. Under the current administration, the new ICD Director increased deployments during the last half of 2006.
Post donated a Ford E-150 8-passenger van to the PCD in 2003 to support operations throughout the country. It has proved useful for transporting groups of PCD officials to counternarcotics operations around the country.
A Ford E 350 15-passenger van was procured for the MPS K-9 facility located at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. Tools were provided for the van. This equipment has provided a significant morale boost to the K-9 unit and has allowed it to be deployed anywhere in the country.
In 2006, post donated 6 Dell computers, 1 Canon digital copying machine, and one Scanjet to the Interpol office.
In 2006, post donated the following to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Special Investigation Unit: 10 Pentium IV computers, 10 Epson printers, MS Office 2003 and Windows XP Pro software, 10 surge protectors, 3 Toshiba laptops and 1 Epson projector. The unit’s focus has shifted under the current administration toward intellectual property crimes and stolen cars in addition to Anti-trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) efforts.
From 2001-2006, post donated 2 Jaquar computers, 1 digital camcorder, Cisco ASA Platform, 3 Dell power connect switches and 4 Dell Optiplex computers. Post financed the development of administrative software to enhance ICD’s operational capabilities. The software has had numerous problems. The developer has assigned a full-time employee to the project and ICD officials believe that total installation of this software will be completed soon.
In 2005, post donated 1 Pentium IV computer, 1 Toshiba laptop, 2 Epson printers, and a video projector to the Supreme Court Judicial School.
From 2001-2004, post donated a Cannon digital copier, 4 Jaquar computers, 2 Jaquar high performance Pentium IVC computers, an Apple computer with DVD recorder, 3 HP DeskJet printers, 1 LaserJet printer and 3 Sony digital photo printers to the OIJ Narcotics Section. The digital copier needs to be repaired; the rest of the equipment is in working order around the country.
In 2003, post donated computer software to ICD to electronically communicate with the El Pasa Intelligence Center (EPIC) using the DEA’s Guardian software in the format required by EPIC. The software was installed in PCD and SNGC offices around Costa Rica and is running well.
In 2004-2006, INL donated to the OIJ Money Laundering Unit and Cyber Crimes Unit: 3 Tashiba laptops, 8 Pentium IV computers, 2 HP scanners, 2 HP printers, 2 memory sticks, 8 flash memory devices, 2 PS60 shredders, 2 high volume shredders, 1 HP LaserJet, 1 Panasonic fax, 1 digital camera and camcorder, 1 copying machine, 6 Dell computers, 3 DAT external tape drives, 4 ATA Raid controllers, 2 wireless PC cards, 2 drivelock USB devices, 3 drivelocks in a caddy, 6 SCSI cards, 4 promise SATAS 150 controller cards, 4 Encase Forensic software and upgrade, 4 Access data forensic toolkits, and 1 password recovery kit. The 2 PS60 shredders are broken and repairs are not available in Costa Rica. One of the DAT external tape drives is damaged beyond repairs.
In 2002, INL donated the following to Precursor Control: one Jaquar computer, Microsoft XP and antivirus software, 1 HP deskjet printer, 1 Epson printer, and a Powerlite LCD projector. The computer is supplementing a Dell computer donated in 2000. This equipment was originally donated to the Ministry of Health which at the time had responsibility for precursor chemical control. In 2004, the ICD took over responsibility for precursor chemical control and the above equipment was moved from the Health Ministry to the ICD’s headquarters.
From 2002-2004, post donated a Compaq computer, a Toshiba laptop computer, a Sony notebook Pentium 4 laptop computer, a Sony digital camera, a Sony Camcorder, an HP office jet print/copy/scan/fax, and a Riso high-speed reproduction printer in support of the Coast Guard (SNGC). In 2004, a computer was donated to the Quepos Coast Guard Station for an Operations Center which was moved the same year to the SNGC headquarters in San Jose.
In 2001, post donated the following equipment to the Police Academy: 2 Dell laptops, 1 scanner, 2 color printers, 1 digital camera, 1 camcorder and 2 video projectors. One of the Dell laptops was stolen; the screen of the other is not working; and both projectors need new bulbs. In 2005, post donated a Pentium IV computer, Toshiba laptop with case, 2 Epson printers, and video projector to the Instructor Development Section of the Police Academy.
From 2002 to 2004, post donated the following to the CSC prosecution Units in San Jose, Perez Zeledon, Quepos, Limon and San Carlos: 1 Jaquar computer, 3 HP foldable keyboards for HP IPAQ pocket PC, 3 DeskJet printers, 1 scanner, 2 microcassette recorders, 1 transcriber, 1 nigh vision scope, 4 digital cameras, 4 cell phones and lines, 8 desktop cassette recorders and 1 piece of specialized transmission/reception equipment. A voltage spike burned out the Jaquar computer in 2004. In 2005, post donated 8 Dell computers, MS office 2003 software, 8 Epson printers, 4 HP Scanjet, 4 Panasonic faxes, 4 Canon copying machines., 4 Canon digital cameras and 8 voice activated recorders to the CSC units except San Jose.
In 2001-2003, post donated the following to the OIJ K-9 unit: 3 Jaquar Pentium III computers, HP Deskjet printer, HP Scanjet, 3 UPS, two 24-switch ports, 2 optical fiber converters, 1 Sony camcorder, and 1memory stick. The ScanJet needs to be repaired. This equipment is at the OIJ’s K-9 unit I Heredica.
In 2002, post funded the purchase of a new communications network for the SNGC and SVA bases, vessels, and aircraft. The system is still not operational. ICE (the state-owned telecommunications monopoly) has provided the frequencies to the vendor on two separate occasions. However, upon testing, it was determined the frequencies were being used by other parties. The vendor has been slow to provide equipment and has gone bankrupt. Post and the Ministry of Public Security officials are reviewing legal options against the vendor who is now back in business and proposing to complete the project.
In CY-2003, post contracted with CSI International for five narcotics detection dogs with a one-year training and certification package. One of the dogs died of chronic ehrlichiosis (transmitted by infected ticks) in June 2004. Another dog needed surgery for coxofemoral dysplasia in 2005. The remaining three dogs have coxofemoral dysplasia in grade two and four; all are still working but one will soon be retired. MPS K9 handlers were certified in September 2004. CSI has failed to adequately address concerns about the quality of the dogs it provided under the contract.
In 2003, INL funded the construction of a counternarcotics inspection station at Penas Blancas, located at a natural chokepoint on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Problems arose with the building’s structure, drainage and electrical systems, fan, and air conditioner almost immediately. Regular visits by the contractor and better maintenance by the users addressed some of the problems. However, ongoing drainage issues combined with cracks in the floors and walls point to problems with the initial site preparation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2003, post funded the construction of a 3,000 square foot two-story building in Quepos with a storage/maintenance facility for two fast boats, a dormitory for 15 employees, kitchen, dining facility/conference room, operations counter and storage facilities. The building has had problems with electrical outlets and fluorescent light ballasts.
Five complete contraband detector kits or "busters" were donated to the PCD. The "busters" are being used on a daily basis. The kits are currently deployed with PCD units located at the Penas Blancas and Paso Cancas border checkpoints, the Juan Santamaria and Daniel Oduber International Airports, and the ports of Puntarenas and Limon. This equipment has proven highly effective in detecting cocaine secreted in hidden compartments, such as the fuel tanks and tires of tractor trailers crossing into Costa Rica. All of these detectors are heavily used and getting old. Delicate fiber optics are worn and, as a result, image resolution, is drastically reduced. Costly re-calibration of the density meters is required with increasing frequency.
In 2002, post donated 60 optical passport readers, 5 mobile inspection terminals and funded the development of software for the Directorate of Immigration. The optical passport readers are located at the Juan Santamaria and Daniel Oduber, and Tobias Bolanos International Airports, Ports of Putarenas, Limon and Quepos, and the border crossings at Paso Canoas and Penas Blancas. Four mobile inspection terminals are located in the maritime inspection stations of Limon, Puntarenas and Golfito. The software is performing as expected. One of the mobile passport readers was damaged by a water leak in a water pipe in the ceiling above the reader. Nine of the passport readers are broken and awaiting repairs. In November 2003, INL donated security ink, special entry stamps and secure storage lockers to Immigration, but the stamps have not been used due to the lack of a local provider of additional supplies of secure ink. After three years of unsuccessful efforts to find a local ink provider, Immigration obtained permission to purchase the ink abroad and is in the process of opening a competitive bidding process.
In 2003, post donated 215 immigration 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. The seals have never been used. There is insufficient ink to use the seals. There are restrictions on using international vendors when the product has law enforcement uses and no Costa Rica companies produce this kind of ink. Post has decided to fund the ink to get the program up and running.
In 2000, INL donated tactical rappelling harnesses helmets, gloves, and goggles to the Drug Control Police (PCD). This equipment has been used in marijuana eradication efforts (Operation Central skies). It allows agents access to areas that otherwise would be inaccessible. This equipment has been maintained by the PCD. The harnesses have exceeded their useful life and will no longer be monitored.
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 are functioning properly. The life rafts and maintenance parts are being properly maintained, logged, and used for their intended purposes.
In 2003, INL procured two Epson digital cameras, two Sony digital camcorders, three Sony digital cameras, two Panasonic digital camcorders, 10 Night Vision goggles, five binoculars, 6 double cassette decks, two micro recorders, disguised as cigarette packs, two micro recorders disguised as eyeglass cases, three Sony standard cassette transcribing machines, three Sony microcasette transcribing machines, and two Sony mini DVD camcorders to the OIJ Narcotics Section. One of the Sony digital camcorders was stolen and the six double cassette decks proved unsuitable for their original purpose.
In 2003-2006, post funded the purchase of technical equipment to provide video and audio surveillance in PCD operations. The equipment is highly versatile, essential for officer/agent safety, and has been used for documentation of undercover narcotics purchases. It provides valuable documentary evidence used in criminal judicial proceedings. Although all of this equipment has been well maintained, some of it is now so outdated that it draws attention during operations.
In 2002-2004, post donated the following to the OIJ: 20 remote GE tape recorders, 2 Panasonic 13” monitors, 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital camcorders, 3 Sony Digital cameras, 2 Panasonic Digital camcorders, 4 standard, cassette transcribers and dictator, 6 Sony radio cassette recorders, 2 voice activated recorders, 6 double cassette decks, 2 micro recorders, disguised as cigarette packs, 2 micro recorders disguised as eyeglass cases, 2 Sony camcorders, 3 Sony cassette transcribing g machines, 3 Sony micro cassette transcribing machines, 2 telex copyette duplicators, 3 Sony photo printers, 39 GE cassette recorders, 15 GE mini cassette recorders, and 4 L4 modified recorders. One Sony digital camcorder was stolen in 2003; one Sony digital camera needs to be repaired; one remote tape recorder burned out; the heads of one GE recorder are worn out; and the 6 double cassette decks proved unsuitable for their original purpose. The OIJ Section returned them to its Procurement office instead of to the Embassy where they were redistributed among OIJ offices in San Jose and two courts.
The majority of post’s problems are routine maintenance issues. A 2004 incident where the tape recorders that did not meet the OIJ’s needs were returned to the OIJ’s procurement office instead of to the NAS was repeated. However, post enjoys excellent access to all donated equipment.
ImpactThe SNGC experienced significant growth, increased its operational capability, and has become a more professional organization. In 2006, despite more limited assistance, joint US-Costa Rican cooperation led to record cocaine seizures of over 25 metric tons. U.S. assets seized more than half this amount from Costa Rican vessels or in Costa Rican waters.
The Penas Blancas Border checkpoint located at a natural checkpoint on the Pan-American Highway has paid off handsomely. Penas Blancas represents a permanent deterrent to overland narcotics traffickers.
The numerous computer systems donated to the various GOCR agencies have increased interagency cooperation by allowing easier communication and information-sharing. This has led to a more integrated approach to counternarcotics operations and helped address a critical resource shortage.
Undercover surveillance equipment donated by post INL has led to the corroboration of intelligence obtained by the OIJ and the DEA Costa Rican Office. The equipment has also greatly enhanced officer safety and resulted in higher conviction rates.
ProceduresThe 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. Post personnel regularly visit the Anti-Narcotics Division (DAN) headquarters of the National Civilian Police (PNC), the Intelligence Counternarcotics Center (JICC), the Canine Training School (K-9), and the Financial Investigation Unit of the Attorney General’s Office (FIU) and closely monitor the status of donated items. Salvadorian cooperation on the monitoring of goods donated by the USG is excellent.
The three (3) ICOM VHF Air Band Transceivers donated to the Salvadorian Navy for counternarcotics operations are in good working order and being used as intended.
The Motorola radios and communications equipment donated to the Police and the Attorney General’s Office are in good working order and being employed as intended.
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.
A Zodiac-type boat with an off-board motor was donated to the DAN to improve the capability of the Anti-Narcotics Division of the DAN to perform drug-search operations in hard-to-access areas along the Salvadorian coastline.
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 purposes. They are housed at the Canine Training Facility in Planes de los Renderos.
Five training rooms were built at the Canine Training School (K-9 unit) to facilitate training. These facilities are being employed for their intended purpose.
INL purchased twenty (20) desktop computers, eight (8) desktop printers, two (2) laptops, two (2) electronic projectors, twenty (2) UPS’ and miscellaneous software and hardware items. The equipment is installed in the Joint Intelligence Counternarcotics Center and in the Educative Foundation for the Prevention of the Drug Consumption (PREVEE). The equipment is in good working order and has been used for its intended purpose.
Post purchased two (2) computers, one (1) air conditioner, one (1) server and one (1) CISCO system Pix 506 for the Secure Exchange Information System (SEIS) project at the Joint Intelligence Counter Narcotics Center (JICC).
Two (2) servers and one (1) CISCO System Pix 501 were donated to the Financial Investigation Unit of the Attorney’s Office (FIU) for the SEIS project.
One server was donated to the Salvadorian Immigration Office. It will be used to back-up data of the passenger’s movements at the International Airport.
Uniforms and Field Gear
Fourteen (14) inflatable vests and fourteen (14) ACR strobe lights donated to the Salvadorian Navy are in good condition and being used for the purpose of the donation.
One set of night vision goggles, one photo camera, one video camera and one set of binoculars were donated for surveillance purposes to the Financial Investigation Unit of the PNC. It works in combined investigation processes with the Salvadorian Customs Office. The equipment is in good condition and being used for the purpose of the donation.
INL San Salvador purchased fifty-six chairs, one conference table, and twenty office lamps for use at the anti-narcotics division of the police. The equipment is in good condition and being used for the purpose of the donation.
The laser-tattoo-removal machine used to assist gang demobilization efforts, initially functioned poorly but is currently operating at optimal levels.
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 purposes.
The fifty-six (56) chairs and one conference table donated to the JICC are in good condition and used for the purposed of the donation.
One (1) photocopier, one (1) fax machine and one (1) air conditioner were donated to the Anti-Narcotics Office of the Comalapa International Airport.
Ten (10) bunk beds and six (6) lockers were donated to the K-9 unit.
INL San Salvador purchased material to build five barricades for the Anti-Riot Units of the National Civilian Police. These barricades are located on the surrounding streets of the US Embassy.
The Special Group of the Anti-Narcotics Division (GEAN) was provided three video cameras and six photo cameras for surveillance purposes. Raid jackets were also provided to the DAN officers.
Assistance provided with INL funds to the police has been essential to their professional development. All equipment donated enhances the police’s abilities to combat international trafficking in drugs, contraband, and money laundering in El Salvador. The U.S. strategy in San Salvador continues to focus on strengthening the law enforcement and judicial sector through training, technical assistance, and the provision of equipment and infrastructure, especially for the units directly involved in combating narcotics trafficking and other international organized criminal activity that directly affects the United States.
ProceduresPost uses three steps to identify and track donated equipment. An official designation letter is used to formally donate the equipment or services. The item or service is then entered into the NAS office database identifying its location, value, and recipient. Finally, continuous monitoring of the equipment is accomplished through End Use Monitoring inspections. Any problems involving donated equipment are immediately brought to the attention of the recipient agency who is then assisted in correcting the problem.
Two Jeep Cherokees were donated to the Ministry of Security; one for the K-9 unit to transport dogs was overhauled and repainted, while two additional vehicles previously donated to the Migration Police (Isuzu pickup and Chevrolet Silverado) were repaired. All vehicles are operational and used by the police unit for law enforcement purposes.
Eight motorcycles, one sedan, and two pickups were donated to the Frontier Police in 2004. Of the motorcycles, four are operational and three are awaiting repairs. The Frontier Police are using the motorcycles at checkpoints or border crossings. The sedan and two pickups are operational and are being used by the Frontier Police in their law enforcement duties in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.
The Elite Unit project, established during the second quarter of 2002, has three Ford pickup Rangers located in Tegucigalpa. The vehicles are not in working condition. Post is reviewing requests for the Elite Unit to purchase spare parts to repair the vehicles.
INTERPOL has two desktop computers; the Direccion Gen De Investigacion Criminal has eight desktops computers; PDG has one computer desktop, and one laptop; FESCO has two desktop computers.
Post donated a number of computers and related equipment to various law enforcement units in 2006.
CEINCO received three laptops, three OEM software packages, two printers, one scanner, three memory sticks, and 125 CD-RWs.
Police Division Against Abuse, Trafficking, and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (DATES) received two desktop computers, one laptop, three OM software and one scanner.
The Human Rights office of the Public Ministry received four desktop computers, four office Pro Software packages, four printers, and one scanner.
The General Direction of Criminal Investigation (DGIC) received two desktop computers, two OEM software packages, three internal hard drives, four 1GB Dell Modules for Power Edge 4600, two printers and one scanner.
A tower, catalyst switches, patch panels, and other electronic devices were donated to the National Automated Case Management Information System (NACMIS) project that began in 2001. The system now has the capability to allow various units and departments of the Ministry of Security to share and exchange information on wanted criminals, warrants, stolen items, illegal arms, and other criminal justice sensitive information. Units now have real-time access to information entered at any site thanks to wireless communication links. The system contains over 14 million records that can be accessed from all major cities for criminal investigations and is operating well.
Six portable radios were donated to the Frontier Police at the Guasale border crossing. Four radios were donated to the Frontier Police at the Pavana checkpoint. Transportation is limited in those areas and the radios are the only means of communications for the police units. The police at Guasale have used the equipment to coordinate efforts to interdict and report the smuggling of goods and people from Nicaragua.
Sixty sets of BDU trousers, 50 handcuffs, 50 holsters, 50 magazine pouches, 36 reflective vests, 45 traffic cones, and 30 road signs were donated to the JK-9 Units and Frontier Police and are being used for law enforcement purposes.
The two 36-foot boats and two 25-foot boats in the maritime projects are not operational. Two are currently in Puerto Vortes, one on the island of Roatan, and the location of the fourth is unknown.
The canine unit was reduced to six dogs following the death of two dogs, assigned to the Pavana checkpoint and Las Manos border crossing, respectively. One dog is in poor health and no longer working as a drug dog. The remaining dogs are in good health and assigned as follows: one at Pavana checkpoint; one at Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa; one at the San Pedro Sula airport; one at the port in Puerto Cortes; and one in La Ceiba. Post donated food supplies and pays for veterinarian services for the dogs. The dogs are used to search for drugs hidden in vehicles, in luggage, or on persons.
The K-9 unit, handlers and dogs, attended retraining exercises at Lake Yojoa in May 2006.
Furniture, such as desks and chairs, was provided both to CEINCO to be used by the polygraph team and to the Frontier Police. CEINCO was also provided with general office supplies for the polygraph team. The homicide investigation team of the Public Ministry received a digital camera and audio recorder and cassettes to be used for cases involving American Citizens.
ProblemsDue to staff shortages, not all items maintained on the NAS inventory could be inspected in 2006. Equipment donated in 2006 was verified after the donation to ensure it was being properly used. However, some items donated in prior years could not be inspected as they are being used by law enforcement in the field.
ImpactPost's projects have had a significant and positive impact on the Ministry of Security. Computers and other equipment donated to CEINCO contributed to the 175 polygraph tests given to members of the National Police and Special Vetted Unit. The availability of instant communication and shared intelligence between law enforcement units as a result of the NACMIS system has resulted in more arrests and the confiscation of stolen vehicles and illegal arms. The radios have permitted units at the border crossing points to coordinate their activities to prevent illegal entry of contraband and people. The K-9 units are the most visible and best tool for law enforcement to combat drug trafficking by land. Training, and the care and maintenance of the dogs, has contributed to an increase in the amount of narcotics seized by the police. Overall, the donated equipment, especially computers and other electronic devices that would otherwise be unavailable, is a major element in post ‘s goal to assist the Ministry of Security in transforming the National Police into a more modern, more professional, law enforcement agency.
ProceduresPost is monitoring the use of the excess U.S. Customs Service vessel provided to Government of Canada (GOC).
StatusINL 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.
ImpactThe vessel has had a positive impact on the antinarcotics mission and the relationship between the United States and Canada law enforcement officials.