North and Central America
All records of commodities donated by the USG to the Government of Belize (GOB) are kept by the NAS on a Microsoft Access database. This database has been kept accurately since 2001. All records kept before 2001 have been extremely difficult to track. All donations to the host government are approved or disapproved by the post counter-narcotics and Law Enforcement Committee, which meets several times per month. Monitoring of donated goods is done informally throughout the year. DEA aids in monitoring donated items with regard to the police department's anti-drug unit. The NAS Director and an Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) officer assigned by the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a formal inventory this year. The majority of items were found to be in place.
On-site inspections are regularly conducted for all large items donated. Vehicles that are still in use are regularly monitored to insure that they are maintained properly. The narcotic detention canines are regularly visited to make sure that they are in good physical condition and that they are being used as often as possible. The NAS Director makes periodic visits to the court each year. The Anti-Drug unit office is visited several days per month to ensure that all items remain in place.
The provision of large items is documented in a Memorandum of Understanding format. Smaller items are documented through a single receipt that clearly states the intended use of the items.
The Belize Defense Force (BDF) has a vessel which is maintained by the Anti-Drug Unit. The Anti-Drug Unit maintains a total of three boats, all of which have received upgrades and general maintenance work to keep them operational. They received three fiberglass T-tops for the vessels. These vessels were previously often bowed, which caused technical problems during extreme weather. The T-tops will provide protection for radio and radar equipment that will be installed this spring.
Two Ford Ranger pick up trucks were donated to the Anti-Drug Unit in 1999. These vehicles are based at the ADU office in Belize City and the canine unit in Belmopan. Both vehicles have been well-maintained by the GOB and have over 175,000 miles registered. One 2002 Ford Cutaway van was donated for road interdiction purposes to the Anti-drug Unit in January 2003. This vehicle is used for at least one road interdiction mission per month. All tools and materials purchased specifically for this vehicle were found to be in place.
One 2003 Ford F-250 was donated to the ADU of Belize and one 2003 Prado was donated to the canine unit in Belmopan. Both are well-maintained.
Other vehicles donated by the NAS office over the years are out-of- commission. Many have been auctioned by the police department. The resulting funds have been used for counternarcotics efforts.
Six new canines were purchased for the GOB during 2003. The narcotics detection canines and the explosive detection canine were donated to the Anti-Drug Unit Canine Section. Two narcotics canines and one explosive canine were donated to the Belize airport authority. All six canines are undergoing intensive training and are working at this time. The on-going issue with the Anti-Drug Unit Canine Section is the lack of transportation. Transportation issues need to be examined to improve this program. The dogs are well cared for and the facilities in which they are housed are adequate. No problems have been experienced with the Belize airport canine unit at this time.
CSI International was hired to provide training and support services for the Belize Police Department and Belize airport authority canine units during 2003. CSI is in Belize one week a month to conduct refresher training and to give operational advice. All handlers and canines have received professional certifications.
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. All items were found to be in superior condition and used for their intended purpose.
The INL-funded kennels have been properly maintained. GOB took the initiative to add four additional kennels and to seal the cement floor surface. The was the first time the NAS Director witnessed GOB funds directed into the USG initiative project.
Radio tower, repair work, and radio installation were completed in 2002. Communication equipment in Belize has not been fully functional in the past. Post predicts an end to the constant repairs.
The JICC headquarters was completed in 2001 and is functioning as a central repository of information related to criminal investigations. The JICC received seven computers, and monitors, two backup power supplies and three printers. The JICC also received a laptop computer, a Dell desktop computer, a digital camera and two file cabinets that were previously donated to the Money Laundering Units that disbanded in 2002.
The Magistrate's court received eight complete computer systems, a server, 2 printers, eight back-up power supplies, a scanner and nine monitors this year. They were used to replace computers lost to fire in the Paslow building in 2002.
The Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) office was using old computer systems that were desperately in need of replacement. The NAS provided eight complete computers, eight printers, nine-back-up power supplies, one sever, one scanner, one desktop photocopier and a fax. They were handed over upon the DPP's relocation in September of 2003. This has enabled the staff to share case files.
The Supreme Court received ten complete computers, seven printers, ten back-up power supplies, one desktop photocopier and one fax in 2003.
Four computers, two printers, a server and a photocopier were donated in October of 2002. Those items are fully up and running. Computers donated to the ADU in the past are still in place.
The Security Sector of the Commercial Free Zone (CFZ) received a computer in 2003.
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. INL organized two training sessions that included updates on the use of the "buster kit." ADU does not purchase replacement batteries for the buster kit. INL had to purchase batteries for both training sessions. 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 digital camera was not in place during a recent meeting. 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.
One member of the Anti-Drug Unit is responsible for assigning the use of tools or equipment and for ensuring that the items are returned. This has been an effective method for the unit to keep track of their commodities. Secure storage for sample narcotics at the Police Canine Unit was provided through donation of a safe and refrigerator.
Four pairs of night vision goggles were purchased in June of 2002. The goggles were found to be out-of-commission due to dead batteries. ADU was advised to insure that goggles are powered off when in storage.
Although most equipment provided to the host nation is used for its intended purpose and managed efficiently, boat motors do not receive adequate maintenance. In addition, the boat mechanic has advised that on various occasions, the ADU has sold the parts that post has donated. The counternarcotics committee has concluded that post will no longer provide maintenance for police department vessels.
While Embassy Belize's counternarcotics program is relatively small, it has undertaken the mission of assisting the Anti-Drug Unit to become a competent and efficient organization. Donations and training provided to the unit will enhance its ability to become a powerful interdiction entity. The unit continues to request INL funding assistance because the GOB has been unable to increase its size or budget.
Intelligence regarding narcotics trafficking in Belize suggests that there are "free zones" for traffickers where there is little to no police/anti-drug unit presence. Additional funding by the GOB to increase the size of the Anti-Drug Unit and to expand its operations into the lightly populated area of the country is necessary to address this problem. In recent discussions, the police commissioner declined to enlarge the unit, preferring to foster the growth of other units of the police department. Although this was disappointing news, post will continue to work closely with the 33-member unit and encourage its growth as a skilled force by continuing to provide training and equipment.
In 2003, EUM responsibilities were divided between the NAS Logistics Coordinator, the NAS Police Adviser, the NAS Port Advisor, the U.S. Customs Advisor, NAS Communications Technician, the NAS Computer Systems Manager, the NAS Warehouse Manager, and the NAS Director. When items are received, warehouse personnel inspect the item and complete a receiving report. The Logistics Coordinator certifies receipt to initiate payment. The Warehouse Manager then enters the item into the NAS inventory management program after which it is distributed to the final user. All NAS personnel supervise and monitor distribution of the property to host nation organizations and conduct inventories and property reconciliation. In addition, the NAS fleet manager provides day-to-day EUM of the NAS-provided vehicle fleet and spare parts.
On-site inventories are conducted by the NAS Director, NAS police advisor, NAS communication technician, NAS Computer System Managers, NAS Port Advisor, and NAS logistics coordinator. Spot checks are conducted each time a NAS program officer visits a field site. The computer systems manager assists with periodic inventories of computer equipment primarily located in Guatemala City, while the communications technician conducts detailed inventory of all communications equipment located around the country and at the radio repeater sites. The NAS inventory management system, AMMS 6, is used to generate a detailed list of NAS equipment at the various field locations. Inventories are conducted a minimum of once a year.
The NAS warehouse issues all items using standard receiving reports to verify receipt by the receiving agency. These records are verified by the NAS Logistics Coordinator and monitored by NAS program officers during field inspections. Periodic on-site visits, generally performed at least quarterly, are the primary means of assessing resource status and helps to minimize loss or misuse. All sites with NAS equipment are visited at least semiannually. Post inspects even the remote sites with only unattended radio equipment three to four times a year as part of routine assistance or service visits. Routine trips by the NAS program managers and technicians provide an opportunity for EUM, assessment of impact on existing program resources, and identification of additional requirements/deletions to increase project effectiveness.
No vehicles were purchased in 2003. The disposal of thirteen older vehicles took place in June of 2003. Proceeds from the auction will be used by the respective programs for the purchase of new vehicles and/or parts. The Counternarcotics Police (SAIA) vehicles are being used nationwide by the respective agencies in support of counternarcotics operations. All SAIA vehicles provided by the NAS receive routine preventive and corrective maintenance by the NAS/SAIA automotive shop. When the shop is not capable of performing the maintenance, the work is evaluated and contracted out. The MP vehicles are evaluated by the NAS mechanic, reviewed by the Logistics Coordinator and receive routine preventive and corrective maintenance from a local contractor.
Poor road conditions in areas of counternarcotics operations cause tremendous wear and tear to the vehicles. Continuous maintenance to vehicles is necessary. Negligent drivers involved in accidents have been obligated by the SAIA administration to pay for the repairs in most cases. The NAS has implemented a driver's education course for the SAIA. This course is resulting in better driving habits.
SAIA occasionally acquires seized vehicles for counternarcotics operations. The NAS continues to work with the GOG to incorporate seized vehicles into the SAIA to maximize the use of limited resources. The NAS also provides limited preventive and corrective maintenance for these vehicles.
The NAS supports the SAIA's nationwide UHF/FM secure/non-secure radio network. The network consists of handheld radios, vehicle radios, base stations and a nationwide system of 14 remote site repeaters. This system provides nationwide command and control of counternarcotics operations. Remote repeater sites are inventoried on scheduled visits.
Due to the change from VHF to UHF frequencies of the SAIA radio communications, the NAS completed upgrades and modifications for the entire SAIA radio communications system throughout the country with the radio purchased in the previous year. The NAS and SAIA communications technicians conduct regular End Use Monitoring inspections of all communications equipment throughout the host nation, while performing regularly scheduled maintenance.
The NAS maintains cellular phones with their respective accessories to assist in providing essential telephone communications. NAS officers and advisors, the SAIA, the Public Ministry, and Minister of Government personnel are assigned this equipment. Most units are maintained by the NAS radio laboratory.
In 2003, the NAS purchased 10 computers with their respective monitors, 8 laptops, 4 printers, 5 faxes, 67 UPS, one LAN server and miscellaneous hardware and software items. The equipment has been installed in SAIA, Public Ministry and NAS facilities. NAS personnel regularly service all SAIA program computers.
The NAS purchased 142 computers with their respective monitors, 4 laptops, 36 printers, 5 LAN servers, 54 UPS's and miscellaneous hardware and software items in 2002. The computers were installed in the NAS offices, SAIA facilities at the SAIA headquarters in Guatemala City, the Public Ministry, and Guatemalan Immigration. The units are used to support counternarcotics and demand reduction operations nationwide. Many of these units were bought for the various Mitch-funded projects, while others are bought to replace ADP equipment that in many cases was over 10 years old. All computers are serviced and upgraded to meet the needs of the users.
In 1997, the NAS provided several Zodiac inflatable boats with 40 hp motors and two 25' locally produced fiberglass boats (Tiburoneras), with 75 hp outboard motors to the Guatemalan National Counternarcotics Police Unit. Both of the boats are operational. They are used only for limited brown water counternarcotics.
The Guatemalan Joint Information Coordination Center (JICC) is located in SAIA central headquarters. The JICC was provided 11 computers with respective monitors; 1 server; and 2 printers in 1999. The JICC consists of 10 workstations, a server, and associated hardware. The equipment is maintained by SAIA and NAS-contracted computer technicians. The NAS technician works at the JICC on a daily basis.
The JICC stores and collates information to help develop intelligence for possible support to SAIA investigations and operations. The JICC maintains a wide range of information including a list of known traffickers, vehicle license plates, aircraft and boat registration numbers, phone numbers, etc. It also operates the 24-hour drug hot line, which callers can anonymously provide information on illicit activities. The Guatemalan JICC is one of the better equipped JICC's in the region. The computers are linked to the server through a Local Area Network (LAN) cable connection, which is also linked to the national police information management system via a fiber optic connection.
Its major downfall is access to relevant databases from the private and government sector as there is strong resistance to share information and general distrust for the police. The NAS has placed a strong emphasis on developing the JICC. The NAS, together with ICITAP, has purchased a link analysis program and training for personnel to get them up to speed on current software. The information and software have already surpassed the capacity of the equipment. Therefore, the NAS has already begun a plan for purchasing new computers, servers, and associated equipment to meet the future needs of the JICC. The equipment is being used to capacity. The construction of adequate databases and a good intelligence system manger to give direction to the personnel and the intelligence collection effort is needed.
Septic Leach field-The construction of a Septic Leach Field at the regional Counternarcotics Training Center was required to satisfy the on-going needs and in anticipation of future requirements of the facility. The project was completed in January 2003.
Guatemala MP Office-This project consists of remodeling and electrical upgrades to the Public Ministry's Anti-corruption Office located in Guatemala City. It was begun in April and completed in June of 2003. The facility provides office space for the host government anti-corruption agency assigned to the Public Ministry.
Guatemala MP Office-This project consists of remodeling two working areas in the Public Ministry counternarcotics office located in Guatemala City. It was begun in January and completed in February 2003. The facility provides office space for the host government counternarcotics agency assigned to the Public Ministry.
Generator Shelter Facility-This project consists of the construction of a shelter facility and the installation of two diesel fueled electrical generators. The generators assist with proper electrical distribution in the Regional counter-narcotics Training /Center located in Barberena, Santa Rosa. The project begun in July and was completed in October 2003.
Remodeling SAIA Facility-This project consisted of maintenance repairs and security upgrades for the drug detecting canine kennels and plumbing and electrical upgrades for SAIA, located in Santa Elena, Peten. The project was begun in February and was completed in April of 2003.
Remodeling SAIA Automotive Shop-This project provides maintenance and upgrades to the roofing, plumbing and electrical needs for the SAIA facility. The automotive shop provides daily maintenance to all the USG and GOG donated vehicles assigned to the Counter-Narcotics Police Force, SAIA. The remodeling was begun in June and was completed in August of 2003.
SAIA Training Facility-This project consists of the construction of four rooms that will have a dual purpose; the training and re-certification of drug detecting canines and specialized technical training of SAIA personnel and other counter-narcotics entities. The project was begun in May and was completed in November 2003.
Electrical/Automated Data Upgrades to NAS Office- This project consists of remodeling and electrical upgrades to the Public Ministry's Anti-corruption Office located in Guatemala City. It was begun in April and completed in June of 2003. The facility provides office space for the host government anti-corruption agency assigned to the Public Ministry. Electrical and automated data cabling upgrades of the NAS office facilities were performed to accommodate daily operational needs. This project was performed by IMC contractors and completed in July 2003.
Canine Training Facility
The regional Canine Narcotics Detection Training School at Lagos Los Pinos can house up to 40 dogs. The SAIA currently has 40 dogs in service throughout the Republic of Guatemala. The canine teams are used to examine containers, luggage, vehicles, fixed and mobile checkpoints. The NAS has developed BPA contracts with a veterinarian for the animals to receive regularly scheduled vaccinations and to provide dry food and fuel for transportation of SAIA personnel and canines throughout the country. Routine refresher training and an annual recertification have been the cornerstones to keeping the program successful and energetic. All dogs are healthy. Two canines will be retired from service this year having reached the end of their useful working life.
The NAS purchased five night vision goggles to assist with night seizures. Four goggles are assigned to SAIA headquarters and are being used during operations. One unit is at the NAS warehouse.
The incinerator is located at the new SAIA headquarters and is used for destruction of drugs. Post has used the incinerator to destroy several metric tons of cocaine. The NAS bought two additional contraband detector buster kits. They are used by the U.S. Custom's advisor, post security personnel, and SAIA forces to detect narcotic trafficking via containers and vehicles. These items are controlled by the NAS Customs adviser.
Poor road conditions and mountainous terrain in areas where counternarcotics operations are conducted result in high vehicles wear rates, and continuous maintenance is necessary. Negligent drivers involved in accidents have been forced by the SAIA to pay for the repairs in many cases. The NAS has been successful incorporating a driver education course for the SAIA and as a result continues to decrease poor and negligent driving habits. The quality and consistency of the electricity in Guatemala is inferior to that of the United States. Post regularly has to replace or repair equipment that is damaged by fluctuations or spikes in the electricity.
Guatemala remains a major drug-transit country for cocaine, heroin and illicit narcotics in route to the United States and Europe. In spite of substantial improvements in the government of Guatemala counter-narcotics efforts in 2003, large shipments of cocaine continue to move through Guatemala by air, road, and sea. Guatemala's decertification with a national interest waiver caused the GOG to dramatically increase their efforts against narcotics trafficking; these efforts led to Guatemala's recertification in September.
Cocaine seizures more than tripled compared to 2002 and returned to pre-2000 levels. Many of the seizures were made as direct result of vastly improved GOG police/military coordination and cooperation with USG agencies in the interdiction of suspect aircraft violating Guatemalan airspace. Seizures totaled over $20 million, including $14.5 million seized from a drug trafficking organization, the largest bulk seizure of currency in Guatemala's history. The GOG also aggressively pursued corrupt police: eight members of the now defunct National Civilian Police's Anti-narcotics Operations Department (DOAN) were sentenced to sixteen years imprisonment for the theft of cocaine from the drug warehouse. In another case, sixteen former members of the DOAN were sentenced to more than 25 years in prison after their conviction for the torture and killing of two suspects in an effort to steal 2,000 kilos of cocaine.
SAIA has been very responsive to U.S. training and technical assistance. The USG will continue to work on the professsionalization of the SAIA, prosecutors and courts in order to enhance investigations, interdiction and eradication operations.
DEA Special Agents and other post personnel take advantage of opportunities provided by regular programs to verify the proper use and ongoing maintenance of equipment acquired with INL funds. The Embassy also receives written feedback from recipients regarding the use of provided equipment. Early in 2003, the Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) Drug Unit, on its own initiative, started its own inventory system. The inventory now tracks the location and condition of all vehicles it has received. Post has created a database for commodities the Embassy has donated to the Police that records donated items, serial numbers, and their locations.
In general, equipment delivered to post counterparts is adequately maintained and is used for its intended purposes.
The majority of vehicles donated to the NNP are attached to the NNP Drug Unit. Nine vehicles and thirty-six motorcycles have been given to the unit. In 2003, INL provided the NNP Drug Unit with four trucks and 18 motorcycles. The motorcycles are distributed throughout the country at various regional police offices. In addition to these vehicles, post has equipped two special units for the NNP Drug Unit: a Mobile Inspection Unit (MIU) and a Mobile Surveillance Unit (MSU). The MIU has two vans, a vehicle for carrying canines, two motorcycles, and a full set of entry and inspection tools.
During 2002, post purchased a fiber optic scope to add to the one that is now being used with the MIU. The older unit is inoperative due to mold, with no plans to clean it at this time. The new scope is based in Managua and has been employed regularly along Nicaragua's northern and southern borders. Seven of the vehicles are employed in the surveillance of drug suspects and in interviewing informants. The MIU Mobile Canine Unit received a Land Cruiser in 2003.
In 1998, INL purchased a Boston Whaler for the NNP. It is based in Bluefield's. The boat has persistent engine and electronic problems and remains in storage. The cost of repairs is prohibitive. INL is looking into making a trade for the vessel.
INL refurbished a boat for the Nicaraguan Navy that became operational in the spring of 2003. During 2002, INL Managua made a variety of purchases for the Nicaraguan Navy, including lifejackets, whistles, lights, flares, compasses, radars, radios and various other tracking and communications devices. This equipment has been used in joint counternarcotics operations between the NNP, the Nicaraguan Navy and U.S. law enforcement vessels. Operations with U.S. law enforcement vessels are ongoing.
In 2003, INL Managua evaluated blueprints and a scope of work for the combined Police-Navy boat repair facility in Bluefields. Post expects that the contract for the construction of the facility will be let by March 2004 and the dock completed by July 2004.
INL purchased computers, monitors, and miscellaneous hardware and software items for the NNP. Prior to 2003, the NNP received 19 computers, two scanners, nine printers, and 12 uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for the unit's JICC. DEA also donated one computer to the unit. The computers have been integrated into the JICC system. The NNP is using the computers to gather and catalogue information on suspected drug traffickers at the JICC.
Forty computers, forty UPS's, ten printers, two laptops, and software were procured for use in creating an Anti-Corruption Task Force within the NNP. The unit has been operational since 2001. The Task Force is now at work on a number of high profile cases of government corruption. NAS Managua is considering upgrading a computer network for this unit. The purchase of hard drives and other supplies is also under consideration.
Prior to 2003, post donated two repeaters and thirty-six radios, and three Satellite phones to the NNP Narcotics Unit. They are all in use. The Narcotics Unit uses satellite phones to communicate with the MIU when it operates in remote areas of Nicaragua. During 2002, post donated seven cellular telephones no longer being used by AID to the Internal Affairs Unit and five to the NNP Drug Unit. The Nicaraguan Navy also received communications and navigation equipment in April of 2003.
Two contraband detector buster kits, tools, and inspection equipment are used by the Government of Nicaragua (GON) police forces to detect narcotic trafficking via containers and vehicles. The Special Drug Police has been using this equipment and has had successful results.
During 2000, post installed ten closed circuit television cameras for use by the Narcotics Unit at the Managua International Airport. Six more cameras were installed during 2002. The NNP uses these cameras to conduct surveillance of the airport area and to monitor suspicious persons. Currently, the system is only partly functional due to remodeling of the airport that is slated to be completed in 1 to 1 � years.
In 2000, post signed an LOA with the GON that committed the USG to build a vehicle inspection Station at Pena's Blanca's on the southern border with Costa Rica. The station was inaugurated in August 2002 and outfitted with computers, two forklifts, an ion scanner, a pallet mover and a wide range of tools used in vehicle inspection. It is now operational and in use. INL is looking into water control problems that are affecting the building.
Twelve dogs were delivered to the canine unit in 2002. A comprehensive canine program was conducted that included extensive training for the dog handlers. Six more dogs were added in 2003. This unit continues to function and participate in productive drug busts. The dogs will be based in various areas of the country, including Pena's Blancas on the southern border with Costa Rica, the Managua International airport, and the Atlantic Cost port of Bluefield's. In 2003, the first Nicaraguan-born dog was trained and is now an active component of the unit.
In 1998, INL provided four fax machines and a copy machine for the NNP Drug Unit. One fax is located at the airport, two at the Narcotics Police Headquarters, and one at the Regional Police Office in the Department of Rivas. The photocopy machine is at Managua International Airport where it serves as part of the NNP Narcotics Unit.
The NNP Drug Laboratory was set up in 2002 in Managua for the purpose of evidence processing. It is one of three labs in Nicaragua whose reports the judiciary allows as evidence in trials. INL has provided the laboratory with equipment and supplies, including four computers. However, upon delivery, the computers were found to be faulty and returned to the local supplier. That supplier has since gone out of business and fled the U.S. INL is considering funding at least one ancillary drug laboratory on the Atlantic coast.
The main problem identified in last year's report was the repair and maintenance of the 26-foot Boston Whaler. During 2001, the NNP told DEA that it would take responsibility for the repair of this vessel but has never made good on the promised repairs. In 2003, the decision was made to trade the boat for something of use to the NNP Drug Unit. A trade will take place in 2004.
The M/V Kastor will require considerable resources to make it seaworthy and acceptable for the two-to-three week stints at sea that will be required in its role as mother ship. The ship will require an overhaul of one of its engines and perhaps replacement of its other engine. In addition, the decks and cabin space along with the ship's entire electrical system will need replacement. The hull is also currently being tested for seaworthiness by a team with audio equipment to determine thickness and potential life span.
INL refurbished a Dabor patrol boat for the Nicaraguan Navy that became operational in 2003. Post will begin refurbishing a second Dabor in CY-2004. The U.S. Coast Guard delivered one fast boat to the Nicaraguan Navy in Bluefields in 2003. Two other speedboats were delivered to Managua. One, however, suffered damage to the hull in transit. In 2003, the British government donated funds for the USG to refurbish an additional fast boat as well. The fast boats in Corinto, San Juandel Sur and in Bluefields have been recently visited and all seem to be in working order and being properly used.
The Nicaraguan Navy is not able to track vessels on either coast. Off the Pacific coast, the drug runners pass Nicaragua about 50 miles out to sea, requiring a mother ship to support the fast boats. On the Atlantic, picking out the distinctive low-slung drug-running speedboats from among the islands, fishing fleets and 2-3 foot waves is beyond the Navy's current capabilities. The seizures it does make come from random searches and land-based intelligence sources.
Vehicle Inspection Station
The flooding at the Penas Blancas vehicle Inspection Station will need to be addressed as its efficient operation is being hindered. This intervention could require considerable resources.
Controlling the use of combustibles continues to be a problem. Although fuel was provided for certain NNP and Navy operations during 2003, there are no ways to control fuel usage if fuel disposition is left in the hands of the end-users. This continues to be a problem that hinders maximun use of the resources provided by INL to both the NNO and the Navy.
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.
During 2003, the Narcotics Unit of the NNP continued to seize drugs transiting Nicaragua by land. The NNP significantly increased heroin seizures over the previous year. The MIU's showed particular successes as did both the mobile and stationary K-9 units. The Nicaraguan Navy has achieved some successes on the high seas, seizing a dozen fast boats, most of which had been abandoned, and some quantities of drugs. The closed circuit system at the airport used to monitor suspected drug traffickers as they enter Nicaragua has contributed to a number of investigations. The NNP Anti-corruption Unit has successfully worked on a series of high profile cases of GON corruption, including a number involving former high government officials. The Navy fast boats and Dabors are making some seizures but are hindered by fuel supply issues.
End Use Monitoring was conducted through on-site visits and spot checks by the NAS and other USG personnel. The Office of the Attorney General (PGR) provided reports on the state of USG helicopters and fixed wing aircraft leased from the USG. Financial accounting reports were submitted by other recipient institutions.
Recipient institutions signed Notes of Agreement (NOA) with the NAS upon the delivery of all major non-expendable commodities. These NOA's specified the items donated, their quantities, descriptions, serial numbers, intended uses and locations as well as the regulative authority for donation and receipt of such goods. Use of these documents have helped PGR officials to develop and maintain a centralized inventory of donated equipment.
The PGR furnished monthly reports to the NAS on the location and use of the 25 UH-1H helicopters leased to the PGR by the USG. NAS personnel routinely incorporated site visits and EUM requirements during official trips to Mexico. The NAS program coordinator and FSN traveled to Guadalajara, Acapulco, Chetumal, and Chilpancingo to conduct End Use Monitoring. They confirmed the stationing of INL helicopters at locations specified by the PGR in their monthly reports. They are distributed as follows: Hermosillo (4); Mexicalli (2); Culiacan (2); Guadalajara (2); Chetumal (2); Tapachula (3); Mexico City (5); Acapulco (4); Nuevo Laredo (1).
At the end of 2003, 14 of the 25 helicopters were inoperable due to lack of repair parts and budget restraints. PGR officials maintain all facilities in a clean and operational status. At these locations, lack of spare parts caused by budget constraints hampered work.
The availability rates for aircraft in the PGR Air Services Section continued to decline during 2003. The low rates of availability resulted from several factors, including age of most helicopters and normal wear and tear. Lack of funding to procure spare parts also contributed to the low rates of availability.
The U.S. military support for Vietnam-era UH-1H helicopters will be phased out by 2008. The NAS has decided to refurbish the helicopters through an existing Defense Department contract.
In addition to the UH-1H's, the PGR operated 39 USG donated aircraft. They included: twenty (20) Bell 206 B-III's; three (3) Bell 212 helicopters; one (1) Bell 212 UH-1N; twelve (13) Bell 206 airplanes; and two (2) Dehavilland DNC-6 Twin Otter airplanes. They are distributed as follows: Mexico City (2); Culican (7); Guadalajara (8); Chilpancingo (6); Acapulco (4); Cuernavaca (5); Chihuahua (1); Toluca (1); Hermosillo (1); Uruapan (1); Oaxaca (1); Tlalpa (1); Ciudad (1).
Maintenance-PGR personnel continued to perform depot-level maintenance for UH-1H helicopters in Mexico City. They conducted major maintenance for the fixed-wing Cessna 206 and 210 fleet in Cuernavaca and for larger aircraft in Mexico City, Guadalajara, or at commercial facilities. PGR personnel performed intermediate 4-level rotary or fixed-wing maintenance at Culiacan, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Uruapan, Tapachula and Chetumal. Aircraft located at Forward Operational Bases (FOB) are rotated to these bases for maintenance beyond FOB's capabilities. Embassy personnel visited facilities in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Chilpancingo, and Chetumal, judging them to be clean and efficiently maintained and operated.
The NAS turned over thirty-three computers and printers to the SIU in 2001. All equipment was in working condition and being used at SIU facilities in Mexico City to further narcotics-related investigations. NAS personnel and DEA monitor the equipment during routine visits.
The NAS arranged for the delivery and installation of computers, software, and communications equipment for the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) at facilities near Monterrey. The NAS Director personally oversaw delivery of the initial equipment in late July 2003. The system should become fully operational in early 2004. To date, the Mexican Government has delayed full entry into operation of the system pending resolution of an unrelated issue involving sharing of U.S. export declaration data with GOM officials. U.S. and Mexican officials continue to work to resolve this issue.
The Mexican Office of the Attorney General established the Special Unit of the Prosecutor for Money Laundering in 2001. In 2002, NAS provided computer hardware, including workstations and servers, and software to support the unit's analytical efforts. A NAS project officer confirmed that unit personnel used equipment for stipulated purposes.
The institution-building project of the National Drug Control Planning Center (CENDRO) involved installation of a significantly upgraded center for CENDRO, design and installation of state-of-the-art voice and data communications lines, and a new system architecture. The activity resulted in the purchase and installation of over 350 individual computer workstations, nine servers, enhanced systems management software, refurbishment of alarm systems, and more powerful analytical software. The system will become a nation-wide data network with access to drug-related criminal information for the PGR. NAS staff visited CENDRO on numerous occasions throughout the year and confirmed that CENDRO personnel used the computer equipment for the enhancement of counternarcotics and other major crime investigations.
NAS personnel invested over six million dollars in refurbishment of office spaces and installation of a Local Area Network (LAN); computers and peripherals; and a sophisticated Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP) for use by the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI). The AFI conducts federal investigations leading to arrests of criminals involved in eleven categories of organized crimes. NAS officers routinely visited AFI facilities and attested to the proper use of all donated equipment.
In 2003, three NAS donated five computers to Casa Amiga, a Ciudad Juarez organization which helps victims of domestic violence ad trafficking.
From 1996 to 2001, NAS personnel purchased and installed computer equipment at the Financial Investigative Unit (FIU).
The 55 vehicles donated to the PGR are subject to relocation. DEA, NAS, and other Embassy personnel monitor such vehicles randomly during visits to different cities in Mexico. To enhance investigative operations, PGR manages frequent transfer of such vehicles from one city to another in Mexico. The fleet consists of Jettas, VW sedans, Nissan pickups, Kawasaki and Yamaha motorcycles. NAS personnel verify the locations of the vehicles once the transfers are completed. Mexican officials plan to work with the NAS and DEA counterparts to identify unserviceable vehicles suitable for replacement over time.
The NAS donated 10 motorcycles and five trailers to the Mexican Immigration Service (INM) and twelve Ford Lobo pickup trucks to the SIU's. The 12 Ford Lobo pick-up trucks proved inappropriate for surveillance missions by SIU personnel. The PGR, with DEA and NAS concurrence, exchanged them for other less visible vehicles. Two armored vehicles were reassigned in 2001 to the new Vetted Units coordinators in PGR.
In 2002, post donated a used NAS vehicle, declared as excess property, to a drug rehabilitation project. The Mexican City rotary club complimented post's efforts by matching the NAS grants and offering maintenance and service for the donated vehicle.
One Ford Focus, one Dodge Ram, and one Kawasaki motorcycle were turned over to the SIU.
Vehicles-506 (A) (2)-A fleet of 45 vehicles provided to the PGR under 1991 506 (A) (2) includes 12 pickup trucks (including cisterns), 10 transport vehicles, 8 maintenance trailers, 4 support vehicles, 4 military transport vehicles and 10 transport trucks. Normal usage combined with wear and tear of operating in remote and rugged locations has left two of these vehicles inoperable. Vehicles in this category perform services at permanent locations and are not rotated as frequently as pickup trucks.
The NAS will remove the inoperable military vehicles, two support trucks, and five pickups from the inventory and dispose of them per LOA and USG regulations. The NAS program coordinator is working with the PGR in assessing all of the support equipment. Some of the equipment on the NAS inventory is old and should be replaced. The NAS will conduct an assessment of current equipment, i.e., pick-up trucks, trailers, tanker trucks that was provided under security assistance programs to determine proper disposition.
In 2002, the NAS donated two used ion scanners to the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) and four CT-30 inspection kits to the Mexican Navy.
NAS officials supported the PGR's interdiction and eradication efforts in 2002 with the purchase of additional lab supplies and research materials to facilitate a bilateral opium crop yield survey. The NAS project coordinator visited the PGR laboratories in Vuliacan and Guerrero once during 2002. All equipment was being used as intended to support the opium yield survey.
In 2003, the NAS procured Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NIIE) for use by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit in inspecting container trucks, railroad cars, and other cargo for illicit contraband. The NIIE includes one railroad VACIS machine, five portal VACIS machines, three mobile X-ray vans, and one pallet VACIS machine. The three mobile X-ray vans and one pallet VACIS machine were delivered in late 2003.
Video cassette recorder, binoculars, digital cameras, paper shredder, scanners are used by the SIU vetted units. One recorder and two cameras were found missing during routine inspections.
One of the most significant problems that the GOM will encounter is the need to retain competent computer systems administrators. The NAS has provided state-of-the-art computer equipment and Local Area Networks that require talented, trained technicians to maintain them in proper working order. The GOM needs to establish a more effective way of retraining such people to take full advantage of the technology. Maintenance of these new systems at state-of-the-art levels will also require investment of funds over time.
PGR Airwing Technical Assistance
NAS personnel continued to support the PGR Air Wing. As a result of an assessment conducted in 2002, post developed a scope of work for technical assistance during a five-phase fleet management project. Post will need to pay careful attention to this project to ensure that the Attorney Generals' Office receives maximum benefit from the advice and efforts of contractors.
Program support provided in 2003 contributed to the Mexican government's capabilities and efforts against drug trafficking, terrorism and other types of organized crime. The United States and Mexico achieved unprecedented levels of cooperation in fighting drug trafficking and other transnational crimes in 2003. Mexican authorities attained impressive results in capturing leaders of major drug trafficking organizations, disrupting the ability of these groups to smuggle and distribute illicit drugs on both sides of the border. They seized impressive amounts of illicit drugs, including twenty metric tons of cocaine and over 2,000 metric tons of marijuana, far more marijuana than seized by any country outside the United States. The Attorney General's Office and Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) reinforced the capabilities of their institutions and identified and rooted out corruption.
The GOM conducted robust eradication of marijuana and opium poppy crops; the PGR performed aerial spraying of drug fields; and SEDENA deployed up to 30,000 to destroy the illicit crop manually.
The creation and development of the Federal Investigative Agency (AFI) represents a major undertaking at police reform and institution building. Control of diversion of precursor chemicals has improved considerably during the past year. AFI and the Center for Analysis, Planning, and Intelligence (CENARI) of the PGR continued to develop first-rate cadres of investigators to collect and analyze information on drug trafficking and other organized crimes. With U.S. assistance, they now possess state-of-the-art analytical and investigative tools. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement personnel routinely share sensitive information to capture and prosecute leaders in both countries of major drug trafficking organizations and to seize important shipments of illicit drugs. President Fox and attorney General Macedo have striven to identify and root out corruption among federal police officials.
The NAS has requested a full field inspection of the PGR fleet that includes both USG leased and donated helicopters. Post feels that this technical evaluation is necessary due to the age of the UH-1H helicopters (39 years old). Based on the outcome of the evaluation, the NAS, in consultation with INL and the GOM, will make a determination on the future of the NAS Airwing support.
NAS personnel anticipate further expansion of training courses in 2004 to include anti-corruption, ethics, management, and leadership training. Post will also promote additional courses involving specialized investigative techniques and greater participation by federal prosecutors.
The NAS conducted a formal on-site inventory of donated equipment. The NAS and the Embassy's law enforcement agencies' personnel conduct informal EUM visits throughout the year during their regular contact with their Panamanian counterparts. The Non-Expendable Property Application and Stock Control Systems (NEPA) are used for all project property. These records are maintained in the NEPA inventory system and constantly updated for new donations, return of old or non-working items or NAS-approved transfers between institutions. The majority of the GOP agencies for whom EUM is conducted now retain copies of NAS inventories to facilitate property control and EUM activities.
The GOP is responsible for maintenance of all INL donated equipment in Panama. The NAS sells items that have been returned as non-functioning/non-repairable at GSO directed embassy auctions. The money is returned to program funds at the end of every year.
Computer and Office Equipment
Judicial Technical Police (PTJ)- Most of the computer equipment is located at the main office in Panama City and the Tocumen International Airport, Gelabert Domestic Airport Counternarcotics office, and PTJ's Anti-Narcotics Division in Colon and PTJ's office Anti-narcotics Division. Computer equipment is used by anti-narcotics personnel to compile investigative information, gather statistics on drug-related crimes and seizures, and update records on detained individuals.
NAS Panama has donated one computer to the Judicial Identification Center, enabling the NAS to obtain police records for compliance with the 487 certification program.
Banking Superintendency (previously the National Banking Commission)-In 1995, INL provided modems, software, hard disks, Simms memory chips (for the server), 32 UPS', and additional equipment required to make the existing USAID-donated computer system operational. Other NAS-funded computer equipment includes a Pentium server, Pentium workstations with UPS, and data base software. Since the Banking Superintendency is a self-financing entity, post has not donated any equipment since 1995. Superintendent personnel use equipment to conduct banking regulatory activities and to share information with the Financial Analysis Unit. All INL-donated equipment is in good working condition.
Ministry of Education Drug Prevention-INL items donated to the Ministry of Education Drug Prevention include office furniture and equipment such as desks, chairs, tables, filing cabinets, fax machine, copier, computer, typewriters, etc. Equipment is located at the Drug Prevention Office in the Ministry of Education Building located in downtown Panama City or at the Drug Education and Information Center (CENAID) at Albrook. The majority of donated items are outdated but in good condition.
The equipment is used to support the Ministry of Education's demand reduction programs and to assist students and teachers. The project focuses on assisting the ministry in training youth leaders, supporting the highly successful trainers workshops. CENAID's donated items are in good condition.
Immigration and Naturalizatio (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' 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 of 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.
Financial Analysis Unit (FAU)-The FAU became fully operational in July 1996. 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 servers, Oracle software, Simms memory chips. The equipment is used by the FAU personnel to input suspicious transaction reports and to analyze such reports to detect money laundering patterns. Maintenance is the responsibility of the FAU and appears to be adequate. The NAS donated new computer equipment in 2000 and 2001 to upgrade the FAU's server and computer network. This upgrade includes a sophisticated analytic program to detect money-laundering patterns better. Maintenance of all items is excellent.
The National Commission for the Prevention Rehabilitation and Study of Drug Addiction (CONAPRED)-INL-funded equipment consists of computer hardware and printers, office furniture and equipment such as telephones and fax machines. Equipment is located at the CONAPRED office in downtown, Panama City. Equipment is used by CONAPRED officials and volunteers in conducting demand reduction seminars and for the dissemination of anti-drug information. Most of the commodities are maintained by CONAPRED and are in good condition.
JICC-The JICC is fully operational and capable of exchanging information with law enforcement officials throughout Panama. All equipment is located in the former Howard Air Force Base. The computers are used by JICC personnel for information collection, analysis and dissemination and to exchange information with law enforcement officials throughout Panama and with DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The JICC also shares information with other JICC offices in the Caribbean and Central America. Maintenance of all equipment has been excellent. Newer equipment is in good working condition. The JICC maintains a detailed inventory in their computer system.
The Guardian Intel system has been installed and configured. 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.
National Air Service (SAN)-INL-funded equipment consists of computers, printers, and a UPS. All equipment is based out of the SAN's headquarters at Tocumen Airport. 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 2000, post donated computer equipment to the SMN's Anti-Narcotics Intelligence Department (DIAN). The computers remain in good working condition, except for the laptop, which is missing. As a result, the NAS has determined that no additional laptops will be donated to the SMN.
Drug Prosecutor's Office-The NAS provided a computer, printer, and fax machines, a photocopier, other office furniture, and UPS for the use of the deputy drug prosecutor. The equipment is located in the Avesa building in downtown Panama and in their Colon office. The equipment is used for maintaining files and building databases in support of prosecution of drug related/money laundering cases. The equipment is well kept and maintained and is being used for its intended purpose.
Colon Free Zone Administration (CFZ)-Computer equipment was donated to the CFZ administration office in 1996. All computer equipment is being used and in good working condition at the administration office. CFZ officials were very helpful in enabling the inspection of the donated equipment.
National Commission for Criminal Statistics Analysis (CONADEC)-In 2000, post replaced a server and six 10-year old computers. It also provided Oracle software so that CONADEC would be compliant with the Oracle software used by other GOP entities. All equipment is well maintained and in excellent condition.
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) Office-The NAS has provided computers, printers, UPS and other word processing equipment. Most of the equipment donated was available and in good working condition. Last year, the NAS was unable to locate a monitor and printer. The equipment has been located.
National Air Service (SAN)-The GPS, computer equipment, printer and fax are maintained at the SAN headquarters at Tocumen Airport. The equipment has been kept in good condition.
Department of Civil Aeronautics- INL donated a computer, monitor and CPU. The equipment is maintained at the Director's Airport Security Section.
Panama National Police-A computer monitor, CPU, and printer donated to the Panama National Police are located at the various counternarcotics offices located in Panama city and in the interior of the city. All equipment is well-maintained.
PTJ communications equipment is located at various repeater sites: Santa Rita and Cerro Azul in Panama province, Volcan Baru at Chiriqui, and Cerro Grande in San Blas. Other communications equipment such as portable car and hand-held radios are functioning and are monitored from the PTJ Communications Division at the PTJ headquarters in Panama City. Maintenance of communications equipment appears to be good. Inventory records are maintained in the PTJ computer files and are periodically updated and checked against NAS inventory records.
In 1997, INL purchased 20 hand-held radios, which are part of a radio communications network that was donated to the Immigration Directorate in 1998 for use in border and port regions to support operations. This network included twelve mobile radios, two repeaters, and three base stations. Post found that some of the radios are damaged. Post informed the newly assigned DNM officer in charge of controlling EUM assets to report this discrepancy.
A scanner, digital camera, CD writer, and 4 cellular phones were donated to the SAN's Intelligence Unit in 2000. One of the cellular phones was stolen. SAN has provided a copy of the police report. The Unit uses the equipment to provide valuable assistance to DEA, including photos of clandestine airstrips; tracking movement of suspected airplanes; tracking movements of suspect airplanes; identifying ownership and criminal antecedents of suspect airplanes; surveillance activity; maintaining the SAN's counterdrug database; and sharing aircraft intelligence received from the SAN's Colombian counterparts.
The 1993 Jeep Cherokee is being used only for local deliveries of sensitive information. Post provided four heavy-duty trucks to the SMN in 2001. A Jeep Cherokee was donated to the Cruz Blanca office in downtown Panama. Two Ford sedans and two motorcycles were donated in support of the Mobile Inspection Unit in 2003. A Jeep Cherokee was donated to Cruz Blanca.
INL-funded items in 1998 consisted of three tool kits for SMN's MK-4 patrol boats used exclusively for counter drug-patrols. There has been a notable improvement in the patrol boats' readiness status since receipt of the kits. A 22-foot inflatable boat (Zodiac) was donated in 2002. The SMN fleet is very well maintained. All new equipment is in good working condition.
Video equipment, two gasoline pumps, and binoculars were donated to the SAN; office furniture/equipment, bulletproof vests, fax machine, video equipment, tape recorders, raid jackets, bulletproof vests, and a shredder were donated to the PTJ; telephones, fax machine, and a photocopier were donated to CONAPRED and the Drug Prosecutor's Office; desks, fax machines and typewriters were donated to the Ministry of Education Drug Prevention Office and the FAU; a refrigerator and fax machine were donated to the Colon Free Zone (CFZ). The equipment is well maintained. However, the photocopier continues to require repair frequently. It appears to be approaching the end of its useful life.
In 2001, post provided camcorders and cases, a PowerPoint projector and fax machines to the SMN.
Panama Customs has failed to account for most INL-donated equipment provided in previous years. The donated items include a computer workstation, four Wyse terminals and keyboards, two modems, one laser printer and a circuit video system. As a result, post is no longer providing INL-funded resources to Panama Customs.
NAS programs have contributed to the success of bilateral law enforcement operations and helped strengthen the institutions involved in counternarcotics, anti-money laundering, and counter terrorism. Panama's cocaine and heroin seizures during 2003 were the highest in the Mexico and Central America region. Record numbers of prisoners were transferred through Panama saving millions of dollars for U.S. taxpayers. Interdiction programs developed in conjunction with DEA, in particular at Tocumen airport and a new Mobile Inspection Unit, achieved great success. Panama's Public force counterparts do not receive sufficient funds from the Government of Panama to fulfill their varied and complex missions. They rely on NAS to enable completion of ongoing missions. For example, NAS funds account for about 1/7 of the budget of the National Maritime Service. Planned future NAS programs will emphasize the importance of maintenance and logistics programs in order to maximize the useful life of donated equipment.
The Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Officer, U.S. Coast Guard adviser and DEA Special Agents periodically visit Costa Rican counterdrug installations and verify the proper use and continued maintenance of equipment acquired with International Narcotics Control funds. The Drug Control Police (PCD), Narcotics Section of the Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ), Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNGC), Air Surveillance Section (SVA), Costa Rican Institute Against Drugs (ICD), formerly CICAD, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Health use such equipment in counternarcotics operations. Regular monitoring of INL-supported projects provides an on-going opportunity for specific End Use Monitoring, program evaluation, and identification of additional ways to increase program effectiveness.
Six 24-ft Rigid Hull Inflatable (RHI) fast patrol craft were transferred to the Coast Guard in 2002. Each RHI is equipped with two Honda 130 HP outboard engines and complete rigging, electronics, and safety equipment. One is stationed at the Pacific Port of Golfito; two are stationed at the Pacific Port of Puntarenas; one is stationed at the Caribbean Port of Limon; one is stationed in Quepos; and one is stationed in Barra Colorado. The RHI is a multi-mission vessel that allows the Costa Rican Coast Guard to conduct coastal maritime law enforcement operations. Four are in service and in good condition; two are not in service due to engine problems. The SNCG has requested procurement of the needed parts using their own funds.
Three 82-foot decommissioned USCG cutters were transferred to the GOCR Coast Guard in 1999 and 2001. The Costa Rican Coast Guard ships named Juan Rafael Mora and Juan Santamaria are stationed in the pacific port town of Puntarenas. The Juan Rafael Mora is in the final stages of a maintenance overhaul. The Pancha Carrasco is stationed in the southern Pacific coast town of Golfito and is scheduled for a maintenance overhaul next year. The transfer packages accompanying these transfers included the re-fitting of all electronics and communications systems, training for the Costa Rican Coast Guard crews, and a full complement of spare parts. All ships are being used for their intended purpose.
The Costa Rican Coast Guard director was fired by the Ministry of Security on December 15, 2002, for misuse of the cutters following a 10-week investigation by the Costa Rican Attorney General's Office. The investigation was spurred by a national news story with photos of one of the 82-foot donated patrol boats with 30-plus civilians on board in swimming attire. The Ministry of Public Security is starting a search for a new director.
Two 26-foor fiberglass fast boats were donated to the Ministry of Public Security in 2002. Each fast boat is equipped with two 120 horsepower Mercruiser diesel engines, complete rigging, electronics, and safety equipment. They are currently impounded by a court order due to a civil court action brought against the manufacturer; therefore, they are non-operational. However, the Ministry reports that the release of these boats is imminent.
Zodiacs purchased previously for the Maritime Section continue to be actively used in ship boardings in Costa Rican territorial waters. An additional Zodiac is maintained by the Embassy DEA for use by the Interagency Drug Task Force. It continues to be used during joint law enforcement operations such as Central Skies and Libertador.
Post procured spare parts in 2002-2003 to keep the SNGC operational. They are stored at the Coast Guard stations in Golfito and Puntarenas.
In 2003, post purchased two Toyota RAV-4s for donation to the Organization for Judicial Investigations (OIJ) to conduct undercover operations. The vehicles are at the Embassy and will be donated to the OIJ once they have arranged title transfer.
INL funded 50 percent of a Ford F-250 in 2003 to allow the SNGC to transport patrol craft to the different Coast Guard stations within the country. It was funded with the understanding from the SNGC that this vehicle would be subject to the same End Use Monitoring requirements as any other vehicle purchased with INL funds.
In 2002 and 2003, INL provided vehicles and equipment for the Ministry of the Presidency's Mobile Enforcement Team. INL funded the purchase of a customized utility truck, utility van, two motorcycles, trailer, a Honda generator, tools, and equipment for the vehicles. The utility truck and the rest of the equipment have been used in conducting counternarcotics operations as well as in a number of cross border training exercises with their counterparts in Nicaragua. A prior problem with the truck's differential was covered under the warranty and repaired by the Ford dealer in Costa Rica.
Post donated a Ford E-150 8-passenger van to the PCD in 2003 to support MPS K-9 unit operations. The van is maintained at the MPS K-9 facility located at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. It has provided a significant morale boost to the K-9 unit and has allowed it to be deployed anywhere in the country.
Post INL funds were used in 1999 as partial payment for the trade-in of used vehicles for two newer model vehicles for use by National Counternarcotics Center (CICAD) personnel. The two vehicles are housed at CICAD headquarters. Post is satisfied that these vehicles are used for counternarcotics purposes and are adequately maintained. No other vehicles have been procured with INC funds for GOCR agencies in the last five years.
In 2001-2003, INL donated the following equipment to the OIJ Narcotics Section: 7 Dell computers, Canon Digital copier, 4 Jaguar computers with viewsonic monitors, 2 Jaguar high performance Pentium IV computers, 2 PC 800 monitor TFT LCD, 3 HP deskjet printers, 59 recorders, 1 laserjet printer, 2 Sony digital photo printers, 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital photoprinters, 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital camcorders, 2 cassette duplicating equipment, 6 double cassette decks, 2 micro recorder eyeglass case, 3 Sony micro cassette transcribing machines, 4 DTMF recorder kits, 1 Honda generator, 2 Sony parabolic microphone handheld, 8 Siemens telephones, 6 AM/FM stereo radio cassette recorder, 2 Black & Decker cordless rechargeable drill, 1 apple computer with CD Rom and DVD recorder, and monitor. The equipment is located at the OIJ Narcotics Section offices.
The equipment is being used to support on-going counternarcotics operatives/initiatives. One of the Sony digital camcorders was stolen in May 2003. The 6 double cassette decks were not suitable for their intended purpose. OIJ Narcotics Section returned them to their procurement office. They were distributed as follows: 1 to the Limon court; 1 to the Guapiles court and 4 remain in their procurement office in San Jose.
In 2002, post donated a Compaq computer, Toshiba laptop computer, HP office jet printer, Sony digital camera, and a Sony camcorder to the Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNGC). The equipment is located at the Coast Guard station in Golfito. It is being used for its intended purpose. The office jet printer is damaged. The replacement part needed is unavailable. Post is looking into the possibility of having the printer serviced in the U.S. In 2002, post funded the installation of a computer network for the Ministry of the Presidency (CICAD). This network allows computers previously donated in 2001 to be linked, thereby dramatically increasing their effectiveness and ability to share and disseminate information.
The network, computers, printers at Costa Rica's JICC are being properly maintained and used for their intended purpose. In 2002, post donated computers and peripherals consisting of a Jaguar computer with viewsonic monitor, Microsoft software, HD DeskJet printer to the Ministry of Health. The equipment is in the office in San Jose. It is being used for its intended purpose. In 2001-2003, post donated computers and peripherals to the various Departments within the Ministry of Public security. All computers are being used for their intended purposes. The computer equipment located at the OIJ Narcotics Section offices in San Jose is being used daily in support of ongoing counterdrug operations/initiatives.
In 2001 and 2003, INL donated 3 Jaguar Pentium III computers, HP deskjet printer, HP scanjet scanner, 3 UPS, two 24-switch port, 2 optical fiber converters, Sony digital camcorder, Sony video tape, Sony flash/video light, and memory stick to the OIJ's K-9 unit in Heredia. They are properly maintained and used for their intended purposes.
Post furnished financial administrative software to enhance CICAD's operational capabilities. The software was recently delivered and will be installed in ICD's computer.
Post funded the purchase of computer software in 2003 that will enable ICD to electronically communicate with the DEA El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) using the DEA Guardian software in the format required by EPIC. ICD plans to install the software at the following entry points in Costa Rica: Juan Santamaria Airport, Daniel Oduber airport, Penas Blancas, Paso Cancas, Sixaola, Playas del Coco, Puerto calderas, Golfito and Limon.
In 2002, post funded the purchase of a new communications network for the SNGC and SVA bases, vessels, and aircraft. The system is nonoperational. ICE ( the state-owned telecommunications monopoly) has not provided the proper frequencies to be programmed into the radios. ICE has provided frequencies to the vendor on several occasions. However, upon testing, it was determined the frequencies were being used by other parties. Post has not released over 50 percent of the funds for this purchase and will not do so until the system is operational. The Ministry of Public Security leadership is still working to encourage rapid establishment of the required frequencies.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) Canine Unit occupies two kennel locations. One kennel building is located adjacent to the Ministry's Air Surveillance Section facilities, which are contiguous with the Juan Santamaria International Airport. The second kennel facility is in the San Jose suburb of Pavas. Both facilities are adequately maintained with enough kennel space for the dogs. They offer complete protection from the weather. The MPS Canine Unit consists of 15 dogs of which 9 are drug detector dogs; 3 are explosives detectors; and 3 are used for search and rescue.
The drug detector dogs are primarily used at the international airport and the northern border crossing of Penas Blancas. The MPS's Drug Control Police also regularly use the canine unit in law enforcement operations. The dogs and guides are well trained and the unit holds regular refresher exercises. The unit's current deputy is a regionally recognized expert trainer who has received praise from USG canine officials for his expertise and training techniques. He has recently assisted NAS-Guatemala in a regional canine training school. The unit works with the Drug Control Police officials stationed at the international airport and has been actively involved in the recent increase of airport seizures of illicit narcotics being transported through Costa Rica via commercial airline passengers.
As part of a training package for the MPS and the OIJ, the OIJ was to receive one of five dogs. However, after repeated problems and complaints, it became apparent that the OIJ director was less than enthusiastic about the program. He complained about the dog he was initially given. The training representative replaced the dog at his own expense, which satisfied the director for a while. However, within a few weeks he informed post that the OIJ veterinarian had declared the new dog unfit for duty. The representative provided medical records and X-rays that disputed this finding. After discussions with everyone involved, the INL officer decided to remove the dog from the OIJ and give it to the MPS unit.
Five complete contraband detector kits or "busters" were donated to the PCD. The "busters" are being used on a daily basis. The equipment is deployed to the PCD delegations located at Paso Canoas, Penas Blancas, Puntarenas, Puerto Limon and at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. This equipment has proven valuable at the Paso Canoas port-of entry (Panama/cost Rica border) in detecting cocaine secreted in the false walls and tires of tractor-trailers crossing into Costa /Rica. In the last six months, an estimated 276 kgs. of cocaine were seized in two separate border interdiction events. The equipment was returned to the vendor to be re-calibrated.
In 2002, post donated 60 optical passport readers, 5 mobile inspection terminals and funded the development of software for the immigration department. The optical passport readers are located at the Juan Santamaria and Daniel Oduber International airports, Ports of Golfito and Quepos, and the border crossing at Paso Canoas and Penas Blancas. The mobile inspection terminals are located in the ports of Limon, Golfito, Puntarenas; two are maintained at the San Juan Office to be deployed randomly throughout the country. The software has been inspected and is performing as expected.
In 2003, post donated 215 immigation seals with enhanced security features and 25 liters of security ink to the Ministry of Public Security's Migration director. Migration is running a pilot program with the seals at the Juan Santamario International airport. After the proper protocols are worked out in March, the rest of the seals will be deployed to all of the entry points throughout the Country.
In 2000, INL donated tactical rappelling harnesses helmets, gloves, andgoggles to the Drug Control Police (PCD). This equipment is used in marijuana eradication efforts (Operation Central skies). It allows agents access to areas that otherwise would be inaccessible. This equipment is maintained by the PCD. It is in good condition and continues to be used in marijuana eradication operations.
In 2003, INL donated duty holsters, duty belts, double magazine pouches, universal handcuffs, and flashlights to support PCD officials. The equipment is located at PCD headquarters and at PCD field offices. It is logged in every three months and assigned to different officials.
In 2002-2003, INL donated eight GPS navigation systems for SVA aircraft, two 6-man aviation life rafts with canopies, and parts. The donated GSP navigation systems have been installed in the aircraft and are functioning properly. Thelife rafts and maintenance parts are being properly maintained, logged, and used for their intended purposes.
In 2003, INL procured video and audio surveillance equipment for use in PCD operations. The equipment is versatile and has been used for documentation of undercover narcotics purchases-from street level deals to negotiations inside hotels. This equipment has provided valuable documentary evidence that has been used in criminal judicial proceedings. The mini-pix-video receiver/recorder is not working properly. This item has a 2-year warranty from the vendor and arrangements have been made to have it repaired.
A 3,000 square foot two-story Coast Guard station building was constructed in Quepos. It has a storage facility with two fast boats. It also includes a dormitory for 15 personnel, kitchen, dining facility/conference room, operations center, and storage facilities.
Construction of a counternarcotics inspection station at the Penas Blancas border crossing between Costa Rica and Nicaragua began in December 2002. Except for minor modifications, the construction has been completed. The furniture and equipment is stored in the Embassy's warehouse. These items will be transported to the station prior to the donation ceremony scheduled for February 2004.
Embassy San Jose engaged in a s $2.15 million, three-year SNGS Development Plan with Colombia Supplemental funding ($1.9 million) and post's INL funds ($250,000) since implementation of the maritime agreement and the accompanying MOU. As a result, the SNGC experienced significant growth, increased its operational capability, and has become a more professional organization. The SNGC has participated in nine US/CS combined maritime counter-drug operations which increased deterrence factor along the Pacific and Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Results include hundreds of sea boardings, the detention of dozens of vessels for illegal fishing (resulting in fines in excess of $325,000 for the GOCR), the detention of suspect go-fast refuelers, hot-pursuit with disabling fire against a go-fast, the first successful prosecution of a maritime pollution incident in Costa Rican history, and a rescue of a sinking ferry with 48 passengers. The SNGC has also provided port security for visiting U.S. law enforcement vessels.
Subsequent to the INL donations of narcotics detection dogs, related technical assistance in handling, training, and a van to permit transport of the dogs and their handlers, the Ministry of Public Security's K9 unit made significant contributions to the narcotics interdiction. Those contributions included the detection of 102 kilos of cocaine on December 17, 2003. In another incident, authorities confiscated $90,000 after the unit's K9 detected traces of cocaine on the currency. All three incidents took place near San Vito, along Costa Rica's southern border with Panama.
Navigation and safety computer systems donated to the various COCR agencies have increased interagency cooperation by allowing easier communication and information-sharing among agencies. This has led to a more integrated approach to counternarcotics operations and a higher conviction rates.
The use of OIJ audiovisual equipment has led to the corroboration of intelligence obtained by the OIJ and the DEA Costa Rica Office.
The rappelling equipment continues to be used in the destruction of millions of marijuana plants annually. In 2003, the GOCR funded and conducted its own marijuana eradication operations without assistance form Embassy San Jose.
The San Salvador INL program manager notifies Salvadoran law enforcement agencies of all INL donations through official letters. Salvadorian law enforcement agencies assign a control number to each piece of donated equipment and maintain an internal inventory. The San Salvador INL program manager also maintains an internal record of donated goods and periodically requests detailed inventories from the receiving agencies. Post personnel regularly visit the Anti-Narcotics Division (DAN) headquarters of the National Civilian Police (PNC), ports of entry, as well as the Attorney General's Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) and Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Attorney General's office, and monitor closely the status of donated items. The INL program manager receives additional reports on the physical condition of donated goods from the DEA country office. Salvadorian cooperation on the monitoring of goods donated by the USG is excellent.
The PNC is installing repeaters, towers, and cables for the radio communications equipment donated in 2002. Previously donated radio equipment, including parts for repair, is in use. All of this equipment is located at the DAN headquarters in San Salvador and is being used for its intended purpose to enhance operations at the new airport office and other ports of entry.
The 76 motorcycles and 20 cars donated to the PNC and the six cars donated to the Attorney General's Office in 2002 remain in excellent condition. These vehicles have been assigned throughout the country and are being used for their intended purposes.
Post funds the maintenance costs for 23 vehicles donated to the DAN in previous years for use of the inspection teams, JICC, and the canine unit. These vehicles are based at the DAN headquarters in San Salvador and are being used for their intended purposes. When local support is not available, operational equipment is sent to the United States for maintenance and repairs. All of the equipment is not in working order at all times because of the DAN's funding shortages and delays in acquiring spare parts.
Post procured eight new dogs in 2003. The dogs and their handlers are being trained in Guatemala. All but two of the PNC's original eleven canine dogs have retired. The dogs are the key to the drug interdiction effort. Construction contracts for the PNC's new canine kennels and training facility at Planes de Benderos are in the process of being awarded.
The computer equipment donated to the Joint Information and Communications Center (JICC) is being maintained properly. The USG donated equipment includes two servers and five computers for ports of entry to facilitate the storage of information and enhance the communication between headquarters and posts at the ports of entry. INL funds cover payment of a three-year service contract for use of a router and a digital telephone line. This allows the JICC to access databases of different government agencies, such as the National Registry of Property and Ministry of Treasury. The construction contract for the development of a new JICC headquarters is in the process of being awarded.
Post procured a mobile ion-scan machine in November 2003. A laser-tattoo-removal machine was procured in April 2003 and donated to the Salvadoran Government Anti-Gang Prevention Commission (CNSP). The machine worked well for six months but then broke down. It was sent to the U.S. manufacturer in November for repairs. The machine is scheduled to be returned to El Salvador in February 2004.
The video and digital cameras and fax machines donated to the Attorney General's office are in excellent condition and are being used for their intended purpose.
The field operations equipment, including ballistic vests, battering rams, electronic listening devices, head gear, cameras, and video equipment are being used for their intended purpose and are in good condition. The three portable electric generators, hand tools to inspect vehicles, 20 tents, 30 radios, and 300 extra radio batteries donated for the DAN inspection team in 2001 are being used to conduct interdiction operations along the two most used transnational routes, the Pan-American and Littoral Highways. They are all in good condition.
The computers and server provided to the FIU are in good condition and are being used for the intended purpose.
The equipment purchased with INL funds for the use of the Salvadorian law enforcement has increased its ability to carry out its anti-narcotics vision. For example, in 2003, the DAN seized about 22.1 kilograms of heroin, an amount more than 66% greater than the 13.2 kilograms seized in 2002 and more than twice as much as the 10.5 kilograms seized in 2001. The equipment provided to the FIU has been key to their ability to investigate money-laundering cases. The JICC uses the router and a digital telephone line to access databases of different government agencies during counternarcotics investigations. The computers and servers provided to the JICC enhance communications for counter-narcotics purposes between posts at the ports of entry and headquarters in the capital.
EUM inspections are conducted on an annual basis with the JICC, the National Council Against Drug Trafficking, and the Directorate of Special Investigative Services (DGSEI). Constant interaction and communication with these organizations provided post's Political Section (POL) with satisfactory feedback for determining that provided INL resources are being used appropriately.
The JICC has two Ranger pickup trucks and three 4-wheel drive vehicles. It received a pickup truck and a double cab with diesel engines in 2001.
The Elite Unit project, established during the second quarter of 2002, has three Ford pickup Rangers and one Chevrolet pickup located in Tegucigalpa. The vehicles were recently painted. They and are in good working condition. They are used throughout the country in support of interdiction operations. Post purchased and received three SUV's (Jeep Cherokees) for canine transportation in 2000.
CEINCO has one Honda motorcycle in poor condition.
The FSN conducted a complete analysis of donated vehicles and drafted an extensive report including photographs depicting the vehicles' current condition. Post also established a plan for preventive/corrective maintenance control procedures that includes monthly control reports from the GOH agencies.
CEINCO has 12 desktop computers; one laptop, six printers, one server; and three scanners. The server and three desktop computers are outdated and will be discarded.
The two 36-foot boats and two 25-foot boats in the maritime projects are 80% operational. Upon final repairs, the boats will be assigned to the Ministry of Public Security.
The canine unit was transferred to the Frontier Police in July 2003. Fixed assets, such as buildings, and some mobile assets such as vehicles and trailers are pending final signature transfer. The canines have been formally transferred to the Ministry of Security. The canine program has been used in several border areas by the Frontier Police with positive results. Additional training of the handlers and canines along with veterinary services, food, and supplies continue to be maintained by the INL program.
The Directorate for the Fight Against Narcotrafficking (DLNC) is using the following items: binoculars, cameras, televisions, fingerprint kits, holsters, handcuffs, bullet-proof vests, one GPS unit, two data scopes, 50 test sticks for cocaine and 50 for THC, 50 test cups for drug analysis; four washers and four dryers.
Post encountered problems with the DLCN, maritime (boat) and canine project. POL/INL is no longer supporting the DLCN; the maritime and canine projects were turned over to the Ministry of Public Security. They are currently operational and providing positive results.
Post's projects have had a positive impact on host country's overall anti-narcotics effort. A counternarcotics infrastructure is now in place capable of providing effective operational support. Through constant monitoring and interaction, a sense of professionalism and accountability has been established with host country counternarcotics organizations. This has allowed resources to be more effectively utilized.
Post is monitoring the use of the excess U.S. Customs Service vessel provided to Government of Canada (GOC).
INL transferred an excess U.S. Customs Services vessel to the Government of Canada in October 2002. The vessel, a 1985 Ocean Alexander MKII pilothouse, is fifty feet in length with a twin diesel engine. The vessel is being used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) section in Vancouver. It is moored in the lower mainland area of Vancouver.
The vessel has had a positive impact on the antinarcotics mission and the relationship between the United States and Canada law enforcement officials.