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 20076. Meetings and on-site inspections with the Belize National Coast Guard (BNCG), the Department of Immigration and Nationality, Police Department, National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), and the National Forensic Science Service were also conducted. The NAS also received status reports from the Department of Justice Forensic Adviser on equipment conditions and use of donated equipment.
INL-funded programs and the only employee position in Belize were discontinued for FY-2007. In lieu of a NAS employee, on-site visits and meetings were conduced by the Economic and Political Chief.
The DEA Attache noted 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. For 2007, the vessels were 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 2008.
In 2007, the Belize National Forensic Science Service (BNFSS) received a gas chromatograph and comparison microscope donated by the DEA. The equipment was slightly damaged during shipment. An expert was brought to Belize to provide instruction and training on the equipment. The used Infrared Spectro Photometer donated by the Department of Justice (ICITAP) to analyze cocaine and other drug substances was found in good condition.
Office supplies donated to the Security Unit of the Commercial Free Zone (CFZ) in 2001 are in use as intended. Sophisticated items such as the contraband detection kit and night vision goggles are stored in locked rooms and brought out when the need arises. A digital camera and office furniture were donated to the CFZ in 2003. These items were used to furnish a new office for the Chief Security Officer and his staff. The camera was found to be in possession of the management office of the CFZ. The Chief Security Officer was urged to locate the camera and to reclaim possession. The management office relinquished possession of the camera and placed it back with its intended unit.
One “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 previously donated cameras were found to be non-operational.
The BNCG received uniforms, 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.
While Belize is not a major drug source, transit or consuming country, it is part of the trans-shipment corridor to the United States. The Government of Belize (GOB) supported narcotics operations and investigations in 2007 and collaborated with the United States on extradition of fugitives wanted in the United Stated. The INL program was discontinued in Belize in 2007.
In 2007, the Belize Police Department recorded 1,167 arrests for drugs and 126 for arms and ammunition. Authorities seized 360.2 grams of crack cocaine, 32.6 kilos of cocaine hydro, 487.2 kilos of processed cannabis, and 27,843 marijuana plants. USG counternarcotics assistance to the GOB has strengthened Belize’s efforts against drug trafficking and related crime. A number of training courses were provided in 2007 to improve Belizean anti-crime capacity. The USG provided maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, engineering, and professional development training to the BNCG. The USG continues to provide technical assistance for developing and implementing an appropriate legislative framework to provide BNCG with clear authorities. Additionally, the USG provided training to the Police Department in interdiction.
Throughout 2007, EUM responsibilities were divided between the NAS Logistics coordinator, Police Adviser, US Customs Adviser, Communication Technician, Computer Systems Manager, canine School Maintenance Supervisor and the Inventory Clerk. The host government agencies provide personnel to assist with the inventory process but NAS personnel are the primary responsible parties conducting EUM. When items are received, warehouse personnel inspect the items, complete a receiving report and Logistics Coordinator certifies receipt to initiate payment. The Inventory Clerk enters the item into the NAS inventory data base program that is distributed to the final user. The recipient signs an appropriate NAS-issued form detailing items received and final destination. Nonexpendable supplies are entered into the inventory management system by type and quantity. Post uses serial numbers (if available) and NAS asset identification tags to identify the item. Nomenclature, organization and location are recorded when an item is issued for follow-on inspections. The inventory clerk can provide computer reports of items by asset identification tag, type of equipment, or location. These reports are used to conduct annual inventories.
All NAS personnel noted above help to supervise and monitor distribution of property to host nation organizations and conduct inventories and property reconciliation. In addition, the Vehicles Coordinator provides day-to-day EUM of the NAS provided vehicle fleet, maintenance and spare parts. Consumption rates are entered into a software database and monitored by the Logistics Coordinator and the respective program mangers. When the items are transferred to host government agencies, the receiving agency signs a receiving report accepting the item and maintains inventory control.
The NAS Program Managers, Canine School Maintenance Supervisor, Computer Systems Manager, and Communications Technician assist in EUM with periodic inspection of NAS provided material. The NAS Police and US Customs Advisors conduct routine inventories at field sites. The Canine School Maintenance Supervisor assists with periodic inventories of commodities and provisions for both the Regional Anti-Narcotics School and the SAIA and DIPA Canine Narcotics Detection unit within the country. The Computer Systems Manager assists with periodic inventories of computer equipment located throughout Guatemala. The Communications Technician conducts a detailed inventory of all communications equipment located around the country and at the radio repeater sites.
Spot checks are regularly conducted when a Program Manager visits a field site. The inventory management system is used to generate a detailed list of NAS equipment at the various field locations. These lists are provided to the Program Manager visiting the field sites. The Logistics Coordinator conducts a comprehensive inventory of all sites at least once a year.
The warehouse Data Entry Technician issues all items using standard receiving reports to verify receipt. These reports are verified by the Logistics Coordinator and monitored by Program Managers during field inspections. Periodic on-site visits take place at least quarterly. They are the primary means of assessing resources status and help to minimize loss or misuse. NAS personnel visit all sites with NAS equipment, including remote field sites with radio repeater equipment, at least semiannually. Post inspects even the most remote sites with only unattended radio repeater equipment 3-4 times a year as part of routine assistance or preventive maintenance visits. Routine trips by NAS Program Managers and various technicians provide an opportunity for EUM, assessment of impact on existing program resources, and identification of additional requirements/deletions to increase project effectiveness.
The Host nation counterpart agencies, SAIA, DIUPA, PM and SECCATID assist NAS personnel with on-site inventories upon request. All receiving agencies have been cooperative in implementing EUM procedures.
The NAS purchased 2 new vehicles and 31 motorcycles during 2007. The majority of the vehicles are dedicated to the SAIA program. The SAIA, DIPA, PNC, PM, and SECCATID vehicles are being used nationwide by the respective agencies in support of counter-narcotics operations. All SAIA vehicles provided by the NAS and the GOG receive routine preventive and corrective maintenance by the NAS/SAIA automotive shop. When the shop is not capable of performing the maintenance, the work is evaluated by NAS maintenance personnel, reviewed by the Logistics Coordinator, approved by the Program Manager and contracted out. The PM vehicles are evaluated by the NAS mechanic, reviewed by the Logistics Coordinator, approved by the program Manager and receive routine preventive and corrective maintenance from a local contractor. Proper use of the vehicle is verified during the continuous maintenance performed by the NAS maintenance personnel. Any incidence of improper use are reported to the respective program manger and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
SAIA occasionally acquires seized vehicles for counternarcotics operations. The NAS continues to work with the GOG to incorporate seized vehicles into the SAIA vehicle fleet to maximize the use of limited resources. The NAS also provides limited preventative and corrective maintenance for these vehicles. Presently, there are two such vehicles used for SAIA throughout Guatemala.
The NAS is formally transferring title of all program vehicles over to the GOG agencies. They are distributed as follows: Narcotics Program-22 SUV’s, 1 van, 49 pickup trucks, 5 trucks (10 ton), 24 motorcycles; Police Program-3 SUV’s, 2 vans, one pickup truck, 21 motorcycles; Public Ministry Program-21 SUV’s, 3 pickup trucks, 4 motorcycles; Demand Reduction Progam-1 SUV, 1 van; PD&S- 2 SUV’s.
The NAS Communications Technician with the assistance of SAIA and/or DIPA personnel conduct regular maintenance and perform End Use Monitoring inspections of all radio communications equipment throughout the host nation. NAS personnel confirm proper use of the equipment during these visits. UHF antennas were purchased for two SAIA off-sites. A total of four omni-directional and one HF long wire antenna enable a SAIA operated mobile listening unit. A semi mobile directional 80 foot tower to support the mobile listening unit was also constructed.
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 which provides 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 the installation of additional equipment on the new premises.
The two 25’ Boston Whaler fiberglass boats that were previously purchased by the NAS prior to 1999 remain in the SAIA fleet located on the coast. 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 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, 12 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.
PNC Criminal Intelligence Unit-CRADIC-The Police Program fully equipped and provided security upgrades for this criminal analysis office located in Zone 1 of Guatemala City. The project was begun in November 2007 and completed in December.
Waldemar Project-This project consists of office furniture and equipment provided by the Police Program. The PNC investigative office is located in San Benito, Peten. The project was begun in January and completed in April of 2007.
Canine Training Facility
During 2007, the NAS retired six drug and explosive detention canines. The dogs primarily went to their respective handlers’ home for permanent care. The NAS procured 11 new drug and explosive canines. The 43 drug detection and six explosive detection canines provide SAIA and DIPA program support in counternarcotics operations, the airport, highway, sea and land border ports of entry and passage.
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 provided fuel support for the Guatemalan Air Force assets that were used in four poppy eradication operations which were conducted in 2007.
The NAS purchased a wide variety of consumables/expendables in CY-2007, 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. The drug warehouse and laboratory facility is undergoing remodeling and has thus rendered the incinerator unserviceable until the construction is completed.
Vehicle 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. Post regularly replaced or repaired computer and radio communications equipment that is damaged by fluctuations or spikes in the electricity even after being protected by UPS equipment. The purchase of UPS man electrical regulators helps protect the equipment.
Guatemala is a major transshipment point for South American cocaine and heroin destined for the United States via Mexico. While not a major producing country, poppy cultivation has been on the increase in recent years, and poor quality cannabis is grown for the local market.
The ability of GOG agencies, military, and police to control the narcotics program is limited. Lack of adequate financing, the involvement in the drug trade of many levels of corrupt officials, distrust of the government particularly in rural areas, and the weak institutions have led to an environment that nacotrafficking cartels have found to their advantage. However, there has been promising cooperation on the part of the Oscar Berger administration with UGS-sponsored counernarcotics initiatives.
The GOG, in a joint operation with Narcotics and Law Enforcement program, have staged four successful, large scale poppy eradication missions through December 2007, destroying a total of 449 hectares of poppy cultivation. This represents a total of more than three times that of last year. The continued emphasis on using younger, more physically fit agents and solders continues to reap benefits, as such offices can cover larger areas in a given period of time, as well as gaining more experience with each subsequent eradication. The police branch that is responsible for counter-narcotics activities in the borders, ports and airports (DIPA) continues to progress in those areas of responsibility. In August airport police detained a Colombian currency courier who was transporting concealed in her body cavities $130,000 in undeclared cash.
The Police Program continues to support the model precinct in Villa Nueva as one way to help the PNC control police corruption and make inroads gang-related drug distribution and extortion. During 2007, the Villa Nueva investigative unit had a 50% increase in cases investigated and resolved, and now clears more than 79.2% of its cases. During 2007, the saturation unit in place was able to investigate 67 cases; among those 46 people were arrested and 18 firearms seized. Crime indices in Villa Nueva continue to decrease and more citizens are filing formal complaints as confidence in the police improves. Villa Nueva has now initiated directed patrolling based on area crime statistics; the increased patrols in Villa Nueva’s highest crime areas should further reduce crime and increase public confidence. The Waldemar Unit, implemented in Peten during 2007, investigated a total of 109 cases, 51.4% of those were solved. In addition, 56 people were arrested and 14 vehicles recovered. The Unit in Villa Nueva received a total of 357 complaints and investigated a total of 228 cases.
The Narcotics Prosecutor Assistance Program continues to support training and the provision of goods and technical advice to Public Ministry (PM) personnel. It also improved the GOG’s capacity to effectively and transparently prosecute criminals while respecting internationally recognized rights. In 2007, the program supported: 31 training sessions on diverse legal topics, including investigative techniques and coordination among prosecutors/investigators/police officers; the provision of technical expertise to draft the implementing regulations for the anti-organized crime bill regarding the use of wiretapping, controlled deliveries and undercover operations; the provision of equipment for the newly creative investigative support group for the Anti-Narcotics Prosecutors Unit in Peten and provision of new computer equipment for antinarcotics in anti-corruption and anti-money laundering units of the PM; and the provision of equipment for the special anti-money laundering task force created in the PM to investigate high-impact narcotics/money laundering cases.
As part of the USG policy to build institutional capacity, NAS/Guatemala will provide four Huey II helicopters and training for pilots and maintenance crews. The USG will also provide Quick Reaction Force 9 and logistical support training with the COG assuming full financial and management responsibility within two years.
Professionalization of the police will be enhanced through training, technical assistance and improvement of the internal inspection office of Professional Responsibility Units. The NAS will continue the training of personnel responsible for conducting internal audits and investigations to decrease corruption and increase compliance with institutional policies.
The Demand Reduction program will sharpen its focus on the Villa Nueva project. SECCATID will continue with its capacity-building efforts in keeping with the country-wide and regional social networking goals set forth in the Guatemala City conference in August 2007.
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 2006. He is responsible for monitoring INL-donated equipment.
The USG supports the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP), principally the Narcotics Unit and the Vetted Unit. Since 2002, INL Managua has also supported the Nicaraguan Navy in joint counternarcotics operations with the Nicaraguan Police and U.S. law enforcement vessels.
In general, equipment delivered to our counterparts is adequately used and maintained for its intended purpose. The MIU follows a regular deployment schedule and routinely seizes drugs and disrupts illegal activity.
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. During 2007, post INL provided 18 cell phones and 10 Motorola two- way radios to the NNP. Additionally, INL Managua continues 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. Additionally, the current Government of Nicaragua (GON) is reluctant to take steps to move the project forward. Post will continue to press the GON to take a forward-leaning stance on this issue.
The majority of vehicles donated to the NNP are attached to the NNP Drug Unit. The NNP Drug Unit inventory indicates that all donated vehicles are in working order except for three vehicles. One vehicle was totaled during a counternarcotics operation. The second vehicle, a GMC pickup truck, is more than 10 yeas old and in disrepair due to the lack of vendors who sell GMC spare parts in Nicaragua. Finally, the Drug Unit has retired a Chevrolet Suburban due to the high cost of maintenance and high rate of fuel consumption by the vehicle. Both DEA and INL personnel agree with the Drug Unit reports and observations regarding these three vehicles. 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. It 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. In 2007, a new Hi-Lux was added to the MIU plus six motorcycles and one ATV for the Drug Unit in Penas Blancas.
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 2008 and decide which vehicles can be repaired. Also, four vehicles originally donated to the Drug Unit 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. Post notes that the Drug Unit is now making a coordinated effort to track down and secure the return of the vehicles to the Unit; as a result of these efforts, a Toyota 4 runner (originally donated by DEA) was returned to the Drug Unit in late 2007. 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 purchases 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.
In 1998, INL purchased a Boston Whaler for the NNP. It is in storage in the Police headquarters in Managua. The boat has had persistent engine and electronic problems and the cost of repairs has become prohibitive. INL has reconfirmed both the location and the status of the boat and has started negotiations with a contractor to either obtain a reimbursement or refurbishment package for the boat.
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 and the vessel is now operational. Work is set to finish the third Dabur in 2008. 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.
The NNP Drug Laboratory was established in 2002 in Managua for the purpose of evidence processing. It is one of three labs in Nicaragua whose reports the judiciary allows as evidence in trials. INL has provided the laboratory with equipment and supplies. However, upon delivery, the computers were found to be faulty and returned to the local supplier. That supplier has since gone out of business and fled to the U.S. and the computers have disappeared. Post INL is ordering supplies and equipment for the lab and will continue to evaluate what is needed to improve the lab’s ability to process evidence.
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. It is noteworthy that in 2003 the first Nicaraguan-born dog was trained and is now an active component of the unit. 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 and the NNP’s management of the program. In 2008, post will coordinate with NAS Guatemala’s highly regarded K-9 Unit management team to conduct a new assessment of the state of Nicaragua’s K-9 Unit and implement the necessary changes.
In 2000, post signed a LOA with the Government of Nicaragua (GON) that committed the USG to build a Vehicle Inspection Station at Penas Blancas 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. The station is operational and in use. 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. In 2007, INL acquired a contract with a local vendor to provide maintenance services for a generator at the Penas Blancas Station.
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 camera 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 the Penas Blancas vehicle inspection station and the Vetted Unit vehicles. Post continues to have concerns about maintenance at Penas Blancas and will address these in 2008. Despite recent repairs, the facility is not being adequately maintained. One ongoing problem is the apparent decrease in the water table in the area and the corresponding need to deepen the well providing potable water to the station. INL is examining the feasibility and costs associated with deepening the well.
NNP Drug Police officials have asked INL Managua to provide major maintenance and overhauls for expensive donated items, leaving more routine care and upkeep to the NNP. INL Managua will need to dedicate an increasing share of its budget to maintenance issues (such as the purchase of $200,000 in Yamaha engines and parts for the Navy) to insure the viability of ongoing programs. Continuing repair and maintenance issues at the Penas Blancas Vehicle Inspection Station were addressed in 2006, but post plans to pursue a longer-term maintenance contract to protect and maintain the facility. INL Managua also plans to pay for ongoing maintenance programs for the Dabur boats.
Loan of Vehicles
Several NNP vehicles have been “loaned” to other departments. Post will address this issue and remind the police that this can jeopardize future donations. Post notes that the Drug Unit is now making a coordinated effort to track down and secure the return of the vehicles to the Unit. As a result of these efforts, a Toyota 4 runner (originally donated by DEA) was returned to the Drug Unit in late 2007.
INL-funded equipment and operational support directly contributed to a record year of narcotics seizures by both the NNP and the Nicaraguan Navy, with 13.2 tons of cocaine seized in CY-2007 versus 9.7 tons seized in CY-2006. In particular, the Mobile Inspection and K-9 Units conducted extremely successful interdiction operations at the Penas Blancas inspection station. Post notes that in CY-2008 the Vetted Unit, which is intended to investigate money laundering and corruption in addition to narcotics trafficking, has already conducted the seizure of over a ton of cocaine. The Nicaraguan Navy also used INL refurbished DABUR patrol boats to achieve significant narcotics seizures on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of Nicaragua.
During the year, the Embassy’s Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) resident law enforcement agencies and consulates conducted End Use Monitoring of NAS-donated equipment through on-site visits and other forms of on-the spot checks. The Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) was particularly helpful in providing regular reporting of the state of the helicopters received from the USG. Other recipient agencies including Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), supplied financial accounting reports directly to NAS officials.
The PGR’s Chief Operating Officer and other GOM officials regularly signed Notes of Agreements (NOAs) documenting receipt of donated non-expendable commodities. These NOAs 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 GOM officials to develop and maintain a centralized inventory of donated equipment.
PGR officials furnished reports to the NAS on the location and use of the UH-1H and Schweizer SAC-333 helicopters that the USG leased to the PGR Air Services. NAS personnel routinely incorporated site visits and End Use Monitoring requirements during official trips. NAS/Mexico Program Coordinators and Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) also participated in specific EUM trips in which they were able to confirm the stationing of INL helicopters leased from the USG at locations specified in monthly reports.
Visiting NAS staff also noted that PGR personnel maintained the cleanliness and proper operation of aircraft facilities. The previous lack of funding by the GOM which resulted in low operational readiness rates (falling as low as 33% at one point) has been ameliorated, and the PGR began to procure spare parts for aircraft, resulting in an availability rare of over 50%.
NAS officials continued to support an Air Services initiative that train its pilots mechanics, corrosion technicians, and other PGR Air Services personnel. NAS/Mexico supports PGR fleet operations with training for mechanics, corrosion technicians and other PGR Air Services personnel.
ARINC, under contract, continued to assist the PGR with fleet management software and procedures (warehouse management, ordering spare parts, scheduling or maintenance, and tracking aircraft availability). The last two refurbished UH-1Hs were delivered by Project OLR in May. During the year, the PGR requested that nine older UH-1H airframes that were no longer economically viable to maintain be destroyed and/or demilitarized, after removal of useful parts and components in accordance with State and Defense Department guidelines.
PGR Air Services-UH-1H Helicopters-Since 1990, INL has delivered and leased 41 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.
Availability rates for aircraft in the PGR Air Services rose from a low of 33% in 2006 to 53% during 2007.
The remaining 28 UH-1H helicopters used for interdiction are based at the following locations: XC-BBA Mexicali, XC-BBA-Mexicali, XC-LIX-Chetumal, XC-BBG, Hermosillo, XC-HCR-Guadelajara, XC-BBH- Hermosillo, XC-JAX-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-BBJ-Chetumal, XC-LJJ-Tapachula, XC-JAD-San Felipe, XC-JAQ-Guadalajara (pending destruction),XC-LJK-Guadelajara, XC-JAN-Guadelajara (pending destruction), XC-LIY-Mexicali, XC-JAV-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-JAM-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-JAO-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-BBL-Guadalajara, XC-JAA-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-JAS-Insurance Repair Station, XC-JAR-Guadalajara (pending destruction),XC-JAU-Hermosillo, XC-BBF-Caborca, XC-BBE-Santana, XC-BBD-Guadalajara (pending destruction), XC-LIW-Hermosillo, XC-LIZ-Tapachula, XC-LKF-Reynosa, XC-LKG-Chetumal.
PGR Air Services-Schweizer SAC 333 Helicopters-By the end of 2007, INL had delivered to the PGR under a no-cost lease program twelve Schweizer SAC-333 helicopters for use in aerial surveillance and border security. In 2006, one was destroyed in an accident. The remaining aircraft are deployed to Tijuana. Ciudad Juarez, Tampico, Chihuahua, Culiacan, Acapulco, and Guadalajara. Average availability rates have stayed over 70%.
NAS personnel regularly visit the sites where the PGR conducts depot level maintenance for rotary wing aircraft in Guadalajara, depot maintenance for fixed aircraft in Cuernavaca, and intermediate field maintenance in Acapulco, Chetumal, Chijuajhua, Culiacan, Hermosillo, Oaxaca, Tapachula. Embassy personnel also regularly visit facilities in Mexico City. Guadalajara, Acapulco, Chilpancingo, and Chetumal. The visits have amply shown that the PGR consistently has clean facilities that are efficiently maintained and operated.
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.
The task order the NAS used in which ARINC supported four C-26 surveillance aircraft belonging to SEDENA has come to an end. NAS’s repair of sensor components and their delivery will be the last support it provides to SEDENA for these aircraft. The repairs have been completed and the sensors are awaiting installation and testing. During the period, the NAS supported the C-26’s all phase inspections. Service bulletins, and airworthiness directives were complied with, as well as repairs to bring the aircraft to fully operational status. Training was provided to aircraft and sensor maintenance personnel, image analysts, and pilots. The NAS also fully equipped a sensor maintenance facility.
The NAS arranged for the delivery and installation of computers, software, and communications equipment for the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) at facilities near Monterrey. The Mexican Government uses the equipment for processing the information and subsequent sharing with the USG Homeland /Security for terrorist alerts. The system is functioning and the equipment is maintained. NAS receives regular report on its results.
From 1996 to 2005, NAS personnel purchased and installed computer equipment at the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU), a subsidiary entity to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit. The NAS visited the FIU and verified the proper use and maintenance of the donated equipment. The system is functioning, and the equipment is maintained. US law enforcement agencies are aware that the proper GOM law authorities receive legally appropriate information on a regular basis for the FIU.
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 2002, the NAS provided the PGR’s money laundering unit with specialized computer hardware, including workstations and servers, and software to support the unit’s analytical efforts. The system is functioning and the equipment is maintained but is becoming increasingly obsolete.
NAS’ 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 is functioning, and the equipment is well-maintained. The computer site in which a portion of the equipment is installed is in dire need of significant refurbishment, a requirement that is expected to be addressed in 2008.
In April 2005, the NAS donated 37 personal computers, monitors, printers and modems to 19 offices of the Secretariat of Health’s National Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) throughout Mexico to track imports of precursor chemicals and controlled medicines. All are in use and the equipment is maintained. In 2007, COFEPRIS implemented stricter standards for the issuance of import permits and reduced by 67% (over 2006 levels) the amount of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine imported legally into Mexico. COFEPRIS has announced that it will not license any further such imports in 2008.
Computer equipment was provided to the Special Investigative Unit in the Federal Police in the following locations: Meridas (2 HP computers), Monterrey (5 computers), Hermosillo (2 computers) Mzatlan (8 laptop computers), Tijuana (3 laptop computers).
The 55 vehicles donated to the PGR are subject to continuous relocation. DEA, NAS, other Embassy personnel monitor such vehicles randomly during visits to the different cities 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.
Sine the donation of the clandestine laboratory (ClanLab) truck to the GOM’s Federal Police, the vehicle has been used by the Chemical Response Team to conduct raids on laboratories, especially those used for the production of methamphetamines. In addition, the seven ClanLab vehicles donated by DEA and refurbished by the NAS have been used by the SIU units in lab seizures across Mexico.
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. These vehicles are periodically checked by Embassy personnel, who found that they are all still in service at different points across Mexico.
The 45 vehicles donated in 1991 have outlived their useful life. They will no longer be tracked under the End Use Monitoring requirement.
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), seeking bulk shipments of illicit cash. The vans were used extensively and resulted in the seizure of millions of dollars of illicit currency during the reporting year.
The Federal Police continued operating three USG-provided mobile Vehicle and Cargo Inspection Systems (VACIS-non-intrusive inspection equipment utilizing gamma rays) that were donated by the NAS and delivered in November 2005. All three vehicles, operated on a short-term basis, at unannounced locations throughout Mexico, searching trucks and trailers for contraband. NAS personnel saw these units in operation along the nation’s highways on several occasions during the reporting year.
Another seven portal VACIS units were delivered to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (Customs) in 2006 and became operational in 2007. These units are used to inspect trucks and trailers for arms, drugs, and other contraband at strategic locations along Mexico’s northern border. Other NAS-purchased non-intrusive inspection equipment (NIIE), including a railroad VACIS, five other portal VACIS, and a pallet VACIS unit, continued to be used by Mexican Customs to detect contraband at the northern border and at the Mexico City International Airport; all were visited on a regular basis during the year.
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 were 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 Ciudad 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 recorders, binoculars, digital cameras, paper shredder, scanners are used by the SIU vetted units. One recorder and two cameras were found missing during routine inspections.
Program support provided in 2007 complemented the Mexican Government's substantial efforts against drug trafficking, terrorism, and other organized crimes affecting the citizens of both countries. Mexican authorities captured kingpins of major drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in January 2007. The GOM continues to disrupt the ability of the Mexican cartels 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. Mexican officials continued to carry out extensive eradication campaigns against opium poppy and marijuana crops.
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 67% from 2006 to 2007. In addition, COFEPRIS ceased providing import permits for these methamphetamine precursor chemicals starting in January 2008. Officials at The Federal Police 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.
A few well-chosen examples can illustrate how NAS programs overall continued to be an important and well-integrated component of he GOM’s anti-crime and anti-drug strategies. The vetted units supported by the NAS were essential elements in the successful pursuit of several of the most important investigations carried out here during the past year, including the Zhenli Ye Gon case in which over $200 million of currency linked to contraband methamphetamine precursors was seized. The recently completed SENTRI program has generated very positive reviews from both border committees, who have benefited from the improved passenger flows brought about by SENTRI and from law enforcement agencies since SENTRI allows them to facilitate routine travelers and focus on potential violators. The OASIS program is uniformly praised at bi-national encounters for the way it has permitted the prosecution of human traffickers who have flouted the law in the past. The NAS-provided non-intrusive inspectional equipment deployed throughout Mexico has resulted in millions of dollars of seizures of illicit cash and other contraband.
The NAS Assistant serves as the EUM Program Coordinator, ensuring that the GOP is in compliance with the set standard provisions under the LOA. The NAS Director and the two PSC advisors perform periodic visits along with GOP officials to discuss priorities for use of donated assets. The stand-alone version of the Non-Expendable Property Application (NEPA) inventory system is being implemented as instructed.
The NAS and the GOP are 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
Attorney General International Affairs-Ten computers, two printers, and one fax machine was donated to the Attorney General International Affairs. They are located in the Attorney General’s Office.
Criminal Statistics System (SIEC)-In August of 2007, computer equipment was donated to the National Statistical Mapping System for Crimes & Delinquency (INCREDIFA) project.
National Transparency Council-Twelve computers, four multimedia parts, three switch panels, two scanners, eight UPS’, three printers, one plasma monitor, and one camera were donated to the National Transparency Council.
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 three computers, enabling the NAS to obtain police records for compliance with the 487 certification program. The equipment is in good working condition.
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 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 excellent 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 is 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 computer equipment in 2000, 2001, and 2004 to upgrade the FAU's server and computer network. The equipment 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. CAIP 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. 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 Advisor 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 are outdated. In 2008, post will proceed to write off the ones 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 (SIEC) (formerly CONADEC)-The NAS provided SIEC a server and 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. 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.
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 in Panama 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.
The NAS provided radios to the National Police, Maritime Service, Civil Aviation Authority, and National Air Service in 2005. 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 SMN 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 vehicles were provided to the PNP UMOF for use in counterdrug and operations support. They are currently inoperable due to a heavy workload. Post is in the process of disposing of one and repairing the other.
Two vans were provided to the DNMN. They are used for transfer of detainees and operation support at Bellavista and Tocumen Airport.
A Ford pickup is used by the Canine Unit for counterdrug support. It is in good condition.
Two 30 passenger buses and one Ford F-250 provided to the SMN are located in Rodman and used for transfer of detainees. They are in good condition.
Two Donzi patrol boats were donated to the National Maritime Service (SMN) in 2005. They 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 four 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. There are also two Zodiacs in the fleet.
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 NAS donated 42 trained detection dogs (narcotics and bomb dogs) in 2005 to the National Panamanian Police (PNP). There are currently 22 dogs in the program. 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.
Overall, 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.
NAS Programs and donations assisted the GOP and other USG agencies in enhancing an already strong bilateral law enforcement relationship. During CY-2007, Panamanian drug seizure stats reached record levels. This continues the trend over the last several years of increasing seizures. These results are directly related to assistance provided by the NAS. The most significant arrests in Panama during CY-2007 were former SMN Director Ricardo Traad and Colombian trafficker Jose Nelson Urrego Cardenas. The seizure numbers listed below include drugs that were seized both within and outside Panama, but as a direct result of investigations led out of narcotics units based in Panama.
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 CY-2003, the NAS obtained a Customs Adviser of the Chevrolet Geo Tracker for the MPS K-9 unit for use in moving around the country and providing technical assistance and training to establish a sustainable and effective counternarcotics cargo inspection regime within the Ministry of Public Security (PCD), Ministry of Finance (PCF), and Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ) to include their Canine Units. The Customs Adviser departed on August 2004 and his position was not filled. On June 2007, this vehicle was donated to the MPS K-9 Unit to help them deploy around the country. It is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2007, the NAS provided four Sony HandyCams, four Sony digital cameras, eight memory sticks, four rechargeable batteries and two double chargers to the OIJ Surveillance and Monitoring Unit. One of the Handycams malfunctioned during an operation in San Jose and was sent to be repaired under the guarantee. The rest of the equipment is used to investigate all major cases around the country.
In 2001, the NAS provided two Dell laptops, one scanner, two color printers, one digital camera, one camcorder and two video projectors to the National Police Academy. One of the Dell laptops was stolen but replaced, and the screen of the other one is not working so it is used with a projector. In CY-2005, the NAS provided a computer, Toshiba laptop with case, two Epson printers, and a video projector. In 2007, INL provided a Toshiba laptop, screen with tripod and an Infocus LCD projector. The laptop is scheduled to be repaired. The projector works for 10 minutes, gets warm and then it turns off; it is also scheduled to be repaired. According to Academy officials, the laptop and projector have not worked well since they were donated. The equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2002-2006, the NAS provided a Compaq computer, a Toshiba laptop computer, a Sony notebook Pentium 4 laptop computer, a Sony digital camera, a Sony Camcorder, a HP office jet print/copy/scan/fax, a Riso high-speed reproduction printer and eight Dell Optiplex computers and UPS in support of the Coast Guard Academy. A computer, fax and a cordless phone were provided to the Quepos Coast Guard Station for the Operations Center. SNGC decided this center should be in San Jose, so the equipment was moved to the main offices there. The Panasonic fax and cordless phone are irreparable and will be removed from inventory. All the other equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2006, the NAS provided six Dell computers, one Canon digital copying machine, and one ScanJet to the Interpol office. In 2007, one HP LaserJet printer was also donated. The equipment has been very useful in speeding up investigations, officers have been able to dedicate more time to investigate each case since nearly all paper files were moved to the computers.
In 2006, the NAS provided 10 computers, 10 Epson printers, MS Office 2003 and Windows XP Pro software, 10 surge protectors, three Toshiba laptops and one Epson projector to the MPS Child and Sex Exploitation. The equipment is being used for the investigation of CSE cases.
In CY-2001-2003, the NAS provided three Jaguar Pentium III computers, one HD DeskJet printer, one HP Laserjet, one HP ScanJet, three UPS, two 24-switch ports, two optical fiber converters, one Sony camcorder, and one memory stick to the OIJ unit. A severe electrical storm damaged one of the optical fiber converters, which is no longer usable. Two monitors and one CPU for the Jaguar computers are irreparable and will be removed from inventory. This equipment is at the OIJ’s K-9 Unit in Heredia and being used for its intended purpose.
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. This equipment is being used as intended. The software has had numerous problems but is fulfilling 90 percent of its intended functions, pending a link to four modules. The developer claims they have completed their part of the contract and are willing to donate this linkage so that the programs can run 100 percent in exchange for tax exemption. ICD is in the process of negotiating with the developer.
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 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. For the other four prosecution units, in CY-2005 and 2006, the NAS provided eight Dell computers, MS Office 2003 software, eight Epson printers, four HP ScanJet, four Panasonic faxes, four Canon copying machines. A written report from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office indicated that one computer’s DVD burner was not working properly and was to be repaired. The rest of the equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
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. A severe electrical storm damaged one of the optical fibesconvertis which is no longer usable. The monitors and one CPU from the Jaguar computers are no longer usable and will be removed from inventory. The ScanJet needs to be repaired. This equipment is at the OIJ’s K-9 unit I Heredica and is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2004-2006, the NAS provided six Dell computers, three DA external tape drives, four ATA Raid controllers, two wireless PC cards, two drivelock USB’s, three drivelocks in a caddy, six SCSI cards, four promise SATA 150 controller cards, for Encase Forensic software and upgrade packages, four Forensic toolkit access data packages, one password recovery kit, one wireless Access Pont, and two OmniFlash Ide Uno to the OIJ Cyber Crimes Unit. One DAT external tape drive is irreparable and will be removed from the inventory; the rest is being use for its intended purposes.
In 2006-2007, the NAS donated two voice-activated recorders, four color and five black and white miniaturized cameras, 2GB Secure Digital cards and ArcView software to the OIJ Photographic and Audiovisual Section and Transit and Planimetry Section of the Forensic Science Laboratory. This equipment has been used all around the country. Between May and November 2007, this section investigated 162 cases (CSE, narcotics, and corruption), 84 of which were successfully prosecuted or sent to court. This software has been very useful in tracing the routes used by narcotics vessels. This equipment has enabled OIJ to investigate many cases they had not been able to cover in the past due to lack of equipment.
In 2004-2005, the NAS provided three Toshiba laptops, eight computers, two HP scanners, two HP printers, two memory sticks, eight flash memory, two PS60 shredders, two high volume shredders, two file cabinets, one HP LaserJet, one Panasonic fax, one digital camera, one camcorder, and one copying machine to the OIJ Money Laundering Unit. The two PS60 shredders are broken and OIJ has not been able to find a shop that could repair them. OIJ will inform post as soon as the equipment is repaired. The rest of the items are being used for their intended purpose.
In 2000, the NAS provided a Dell server with monitor to the Office of Precursor Control. In 2002, the NAS funded the purchase of a Jaguar computer, an antivirus software package, an HP deskjet printer, one Epson and one HP printer, and a Powerlite LCD projector. The Dell server and Jaguar computer are obsolete, but are in good condition. ICD requests permission to pass them to another GOCR office that could better use them to meet current needs, possibly and office within the Coast Guard. The equipment was originally donated to the Ministry of Health, which at the time had responsibility for precursor chemical control. In 2004, the precursor Chemical Office was moved from the Health Ministry to ICD’s headquarters. This equipment is now located in their headquarters and continues to be used for its intended purpose.
In 2001-2006, the NAS provided a Cannon digital copier, four Jaguar computers, two Jaguar high performance Pentium IV computer, an Apple computer with DVD recorder, three HP Deskjet printers, and one LaserJet printer to the OIJ Narcotics Section. The digital copier needs to be repaired and the Section is waiting for the new budget to get this done; the four Jaguar computers and the LaserJet are irreparable and will be removed from inventory. The rest of the equipment is being used to support on-going counternarcotics operations/initiatives.
Guardian computer software was purchased in 2003 to enable ICD to electronically communicate with the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) using the DEA Guardian software in the format required by EPIOC. This software is outdated but still in use.
From 2001-2007, INL provided three Jaguar computers, one Dell Optiplex computer, one Imac Ruby Computer, a 36 GS hard disk, an Apple computer with DVD burner, computer software and licenses, computer 48-port switch, a 4-port analog module for connectivity outside San Jose, one HP printer, two ScanJet, one Applied Magic video editor, and Mapinfo Geographic Information System (GIS) software to the Narcotics Control Police (PCD). The Jaguar computers are still working but they are way beyond their useful life. One of the scanners is not working; to repair it would cost more than buying a new one so it will be removed from the inventory. The other equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
In 2002, post funded the purchase of a new communications network for the SNGC and SVA bases, vessels, and aircraft. The system is 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 was slow to provide equipment and has gone bankrupt. Post and the Ministry of Public Security officials are reviewing legal options against the vendor. Previously, post reported that over 50 percent of the funds for this purchase had not been released. Upon closer review of post’s records, it appears that over 70 percent of the funds (i.e., $44,339.89) for this project had been released as of 2003. After many unsuccessful attempts to locate and contact the vendor, he called post to inform us that he had been seriously ill and unable to work. Post has little confidence that he will to finish the work he signed under the contract. The NAS deobligated the remainder of the funds that was not spent on the project.
In CY-2003, post contracted with CSI International for five narcotics detection dogs with a one-year training and certification package. The contract called for the delivery of the animals and an initial two-week training course followed by monthly follow-up training, leading to certification. One of the dogs died of chronic ehrlichiosis (transmitted by infected ticks) in June 2004. In 2004, the CSI owner took back a second dog to switch it for another, but no replacement was provided; the owner argued (falsely) that post had a debt with him that had not been paid. The other three dogs have coxofemoral dysplasia in grades three to four. One is still working but the other two will be retired soon. MPS K-9 handlers were certified on September 18, 2004. CSI has not followed through on promises to address concerns about the quality of the dogs it provided. Post will not consider CSI for future procurements.
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. The building also includes, a dormitory for 15 employees, kitchen, dining facility/conference room, operations counter and storage facilities. New and old furniture were donated to outfit the station. The Coast Guard station is located in the Pacific Port of Quepos and had been operational since November 2003. The station and furniture were formally donated to the SNGC on February 2004. Old furniture seats are torn, but they are still in use. The building has two broken Air conditioners; one of the remote control units is lost.
Four complete contraband detector kits or "busters" were donated to the PCD in 2001. Complete kits are deployed with PCD units located at Corredores and the port of Limon. At Penas Blancas, one of the density meters (“buster”) was lost during an inspection; at the Juan Santamaria International Airport, the equipment has become worn down due to heavy usage. This equipment has proven highly effective in detecting cocaine secreted in hidden compartments, fuel tanks, and tires of tractor-trailers crossing into Costa Rica. All of this equipment has been heavily used and is getting old and worn out. Some parts are moved from one inspection point to another depending one which parts of the kit are in good working condition. The optic fibers are worn out and scan images are blurry. Costly recalibration of the density metes is required with increasing frequency.
In 2002-2006, two microcasette recorders, one transcriber, one night vision scope, four Nokia digital cameras, five cell phones and four lines, eight desktop cassette recorders and one piece of specialized transmission/reception equipment was donated to the CSE Prosecution Units in San Jose. Additionally, four Canon digital cameras and eight voice activated recorders were distributed to offices in the other four parts of the country. Batteries from two of the cell phones leaked and damaged the phones and two are needed to be repaired; the rest are being used for their intended purpose.
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. Two 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 and is irreparable. Two others broke and are irreparable. Those three readers will be removed from inventory. Thirteen of the passport readers are broken. Immigration will open a bidding process (lasting seven months or more) to address this problem. In November 2003, INL donated security ink, special entry stamps to supply all ports of entry around the country. Immigration only located an appropriate local distributor in December 2007. The inks and stamps are now in use, although some stamps require constant screw adjustment in order to be used properly.
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 2002-2003, INL donated eight GPS navigation systems for Air Section Aircraft (SVA) aircraft, two 6-man aviation life rafts with canopies, and parts. The donated GSP navigation systems have been installed in aircrafts and are functioning properly. The life rafts are damaged and cannot be used anymore and thus will be removed from the inventory. 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; one of the Sony digital cameras needs to be repaired, and one of the GE remote tape recorders burned out. The heads of the other GE recorders are worn out, but the cost of repair exceeds replacement. Finally, the six double cassette decks proved unsuitable for their original purpose. The OIJ Narcotics Section returned them to its Procurement Office instead of the embassy where they were redistributed among OIJ offices in San Jose and two courts. Otherwise, all this equipment is being used for its intended purpose.
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 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.
In 2003-2006, the NAS funded procured equipment to provide video and audio surveillance for PCD operations. This equipment was highly versatile, essential for officer/agent safety, and has been used for documentation of undercover narcotics purchases, providing valuable documentary evidence used in criminal judicial proceedings. However, some of this equipment, e.g., the Nokia cell phone audio transmitter, is outdated and easily recognized during operations. All of this equipment is well maintained and is being used for its intended purpose.
Maintenance of some equipment and the minor structural and drainage problems of Penas Blancas checkpoint and Quepos Coast Guard station continue to be a problem mostly due to lack of resources.
In 2007, the GOCR seized over 27 tons of cocaine, of which 14 tons were maritime seizures. In addition, the GOCR seized 119,687 does of crack cocaine, eradicated over 2.3 million marijuana plans and seized 4.5 tons of processed marijuana. Additionally, Costa Rican authorities seized 19,000 Ecstasy tablets (six time more than 2006), 3.8 million pseudoephedrine tablets, and confiscated over $7.7 million dollars in U.S. and local currency (more than twice as much as 2006), as well as 7.4 million euros. The 22,727 drug related arrests in 2007 are more than four times the amount made two years ago. All of the donations listed above have contributed to these impressive statistics.
Approximately $600,000 in post’s INL funds were used in the construction of the Penas Blancas border checkpoint. Penas Blancas is located at a natural chokepoint on the Pan-American Highway and because of the new Customs agreement between the other Central American nations north of Costa Rica, this border inspection station is the only one between Costa Rica and the Mexican border. Although there are some lingering maintenance issues with the building, post’s investment has paid off handsomely with nearly 7,000 kilos of cocaine seized since the facility was formally donated in 2004. Additionally, the PCD has seized over 120 kilograms of heroin and more than $3.2 million of bulk cash. Of that $3.2 million of seized cash, nearly $667,000 was seized in the course of normal operations (i.e. no prior warning of large cash movements). The INL-funded border station at Penas Blancas, which deserves continued funding to better secure it and maintenance support, represents an effective deterrent to overland narcotics traffickers and bulk cash movements. The cash movements are usually related to narcotics trafficking (i.e., the cash coming south to pay for the narcotics going north).
The numerous computer systems donated to the various GOCR agencies have increased interagency cooperation by allowing easier communication and information-sharing between agencies. 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.
The San Salvador INL Program Manager notifies Salvadoran law enforcement agencies of all INL donations through official letters. Salvadorian law enforcement agencies assign a control number to each piece of donated equipment and maintain an internal inventory. Post personnel regularly visit the principal recipients of USG donations, i.e., Anti-Narcotics Division (DAN) headquarters of the National Civilian Police (PNC), the Financial Investigation Unit of the Attorney General’s Office (FIU), and the Canine Training School (K-9), 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.
One (1) used Mitsubishi Mirage was donated to the Trafficking In Persons Unit of the Attorney General’s Office; one (1) used Toyota Corolla LE, Model BR 32 and one (1) used 2006 Nissan Sentra were donated to the Transnational Anti-Gang Unit (TAG). The vehicles are in good working order and have been used for intended purpose of the donation.
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 San Salvador purchased two (2) computers, one (1) air conditioner, one (1) server and one (1) CSCO System Pix 506 for the Secure Exchange Information System (SEIS) project at the Joint Intelligence Counternarcotics Center (JICC); twenty (20) computers with their respective monitors, eight (8) desktop printers, twenty (20) 350 VA UPS, two (2) laptop computers, two (2) electronic projectors, one (1) set of tools to repair computers, twenty-five (25) Window XP Professional Licenses, one (1)120 GB hard drive, and miscellaneous software and hardware items for the Joint Intelligence Counternarcotics Center (JICC) and the Educative Foundation for the Prevention of the Drug Consumption (PREVEE); two (2) servers and one (1) CISCO system Pix 501 for the SEIS project at the Financial Investigation Unit of the Attorney General’s Office (FIU); one (1) server used to back-up data of the passenger’s movements at the International Airport donated to the Salvadorian Immigration Office; forty seven (47) CPU’s, thirty two (32) monitors, six (6) printers, four (4) servers, forty-seven (47) UPS’ and one (1) i2 license for the Transnational Anti-Gang Unit (TAG). This ADP equipment is in good working order and being used for the intended purposes of the donations.
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.
A Zodiac-type boat with an off-board motor was donated to the DAN to improve the capability to perform drug-search operations in hard-to-access areas along the Salvadorian coastline. Miscellaneous operational equipment including one (1) marine radio, one (1) depth sensor, ten (10) life vests, two (2) reflector lights, three (3) fire extinguishers and other small items; the DAN Special Group received three (3) video cameras an six (6) photo camera for surveillance, as well as radio jackets; fourteen (14) inflatable life vests and fourteen (14) ACR firefly strobe lights were donated to the Salvadorian Navy; one (1) set of night vision goggles, one (1) photo camera, one (1) video camera and one (1) set of binoculars were donated to the PNC Financial Investigation Unit that works combined investigations with Salvadorian Customs; the Comalapa Airport Dan unit received one (1) photo Camera and one (1) video camera plus accessories. All equipment is in good condition and being used for the purpose of the donation.
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 material to build five (5) barricades for the PNC Anti-Riot Unit. These barricades were located on the streets surrounding the U.S. Embassy.
The JICC received fifty-six (56) chairs, one (1) conference table, twenty (20) office lamps, one (1) sofa, one (1) loveseat, one (1) chair, two (2) end tables and one (1) coffee table.
The DAN K-9 unit received four (4) digital recorders, four (4) video cameras, twenty three (23) photo cameras, twenty-six (26) scanners and twenty six (26) camera tripods.
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.
A Laser Tattoo Removal Machine used to assist gang demobilization efforts is operating at an acceptable level.
INL assistance has enhanced the professionalism and operational capabilities of Salvadoran law enforcement partners. INL funds have proven essential to Salvadoran professional development. All donated equipment enhances Salvadoran capacity to combat international drug and arms trafficking, contraband, and money laundering. The U.S Strategy for El Salvador continues to focus on strengthening the law enforcement and judicial sectors through training, technical assistance, and the provision of equipment and infrastructure. Front-line units directly involved in combating narcotics trafficking and other international organized criminal activity receive the bulk of INL assistance.
Post 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, recipient, donation date, and full description. Finally, on site inspections are conducted at different check- point locations, border crossings and police headquarter units to monitor donations. Communication with the different recipient agencies is permanent and any problem or achievement is immediately reported. Post has an extremely small INL section with only one FSN and a part-time FSO. Post does not have the time or resource to travel to different parts of the country to check on the status of resources.
During CY-07, End Use Monitoring inspections were conducted at the following K-9 Unit locations: Puerto Cortes, San Pedro Sula International Airport, and La Ceiba. Inspections were also conducted a t the border crossing post at Guasaule, the check point at Pavana, the General Direction of Special Services Investigation (DGSEI), the Joint Information Communication Center (CEINCO), the National Police Academy, the Police Division Against Abuse, Trafficking, and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents (DATESI), the Organized Crime Unit, and the Human Rights Unit.
Two 2001 Jeep Cherokees were donated to the Ministry of Security (one for the K-9 unit and the other for CEINCO) are operational, and are being used for their intended purpose. Vehicles donated to the Frontier Police (one sedan, three pickups, one Chevrolet Silverado, and one Chevrolet van) are in fair condition.
The vetted unit still maintains possession of three Ford Ranger pickups and one Chevrolet pickup, but these are not in working condition. Post approved the purchase of spare parts and the repair of two of the three Ford pickups, which is in process.
Motorcycle spare parts were donated to the Frontier Police to repair two of the eight motorcycles donated in previous years; six are operational; one is broken, and one was stolen while on duty. A copy of the police report on the stolen motorcycle was provided to post. Three motorcycles are assigned to the Guasaule Border Crossing and at the Pavana checkpoint, and four to the DGSEI headquarters, where they are being used by different units of this police directorate.
Post donated computers and related equipment to various law enforcement units in 2007; CEINCO received two laptops, two OEM software packages, one tower server, 100 CD-RW’s, one iBase database software and two Analyst’s Notebooks software, including licenses, training and technical support for one year. The General Direction of Special Services Investigation (DGSEI) received three desktops, one laptop, three OEM software packages, two laptop batteries, four wireless cards, and one wireless router.
All computer equipment donated in 2007 is functioning properly and being used for its intended purpose. The status of computer equipment donated in previous years shows that eleven (11) printers donated to the DGSEI are not functioning; three used desktops computers donated to the National Police Academy are no longer functioning. Of the two desktop computers donated to DATESI, one is broken, and the other is barely used due to the lack of connecting cables. Two desktop computers donated to the Organized Crime Unit were destroyed in a fire last year.
Post continues to donate equipment and communication devices to the National Automated Case Management Information System (NACMIS) Project. The System has made it possible to centralize all existing databases into one central database; over 16 million records can be accessed for criminal investigations. During 2007, the installation of communication equipment began for another 13 units and departments of the Ministry of Security located nationwide.
Six portable radios donated in 2006 to the Frontier Police are working properly and being used in the Southern Region (Pavana, Choluteca and Guasaule) to coordinate efforts to interdict and report smuggling of goods and people from Nicaragua. Post has no record on the status of the 50 radios donated to the DLCN in 2001.
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 four boats donated to the Frontier Police are not operational. Two remain in Puerto Cortes, one on the Island of Roatan, and one in La Ceiba.
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. Two of the remaining six dogs, Ajax and Dusty are in poor health and no longer working as drug dogs. The rest of the dogs are assigned as follows: Pappy at the Pavana checkpoint; Sky at Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa; Mandy at the San Pedro Sula Airport; and Damascus in La Ceiba. After several years of assistance in this area, and based on the poor performance of the unit, post discontinued the program on October 11, 2007 including the provision of food supplies and payment of veterinarian services for the dogs. The K-9 Unit is now operating with DGSEI funding.
Furniture, such as lockers and modular furniture was provided to the Frontier Police for their office/dormitory at the Guasaule Border Crossing on the Nicaraguan border; and four filing cabinets were donated to CEINCO.
Three digital cameras, one multimedia, one projection screen, one DVD, one fax, one copier machine, toners and cartridges, and general office supplies were provided to CEINCO.
Post donated a number of used miscellaneous equipment to various law enforcement units in 2007. The Internal Affairs Unit received three digital cameras. The National Police Academy received two digital cameras, one video camera, two crime scene kits, and training material.
Post transferred the Ion scanner (Single Mode Detection System) to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The Ion scanner was recovered from the Frontier Police Headquarters storage area where it had not been used for a length of time. DEA will maintain control of this device and assure its working condition and maintenance.
Post funded the construction of a vehicle inspection ramp at the Pavana checkpoint. This ramp is being used by the Frontier Police to thoroughly inspect the undercarriage of the vehicles.
Due to staff shortages, not all items maintained on the NAS inventory could be inspected in 2007. Some items are being used by law enforcement in the field. One major problem encountered while conducting the year’s monitoring activities is that the law enforcement units of the Ministry of Security do not have a budget to maintain and repair vehicles and equipment such as computers and printers.
Support provided to the different law enforcement units continues to be significant and positive. As a result of the NACMIS system, the investigation process is more efficient. A manual procedure has been transformed into an automated system. Computer and other equipment donated to CEINCO assisted them in conducting 250 polygraph tests for members of the National Police and applicants to the National Police Academy. Overall, the donation of equipment has helped to strengthen the law enforcement organization and its capability to fight against trafficking and consumption of illicit narcotics, and enhanced border security.
No major program changes are required or recommended as a result of the End Use Monitoring program. Special attention must be given to future donations of computers and vehicles, giving the difficulty the police units have in maintaining them. INL representatives in the field express great appreciation for the donations and the will to maintain them, but pos needs to secure buy-in from the leadership and ensure they make the hard budgeting decision needed to maintain the donations.
Post is monitoring the use of the excess U.S. Customs Service vessel provided to Government of Canada (GOC).
INL transferred an excess U.S. Customs Services vessel to the Government of Canada in October 2002. The vessel, a 1985 Ocean Alexander MKII pilothouse, is currently moored in British Colombia, Canada. The vessel is being used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) Section in Vancouver. The use of the vessel has been consistent with the signed MOU between the GOC and the USG. During 2007, the RCMP spent in excess of $200,000 to maintain and upgrade the vessel.
The vessel s had a positive impact on the antinarcotics mission in 2007.