Viewing cable 04PANAMA484
Title: THREE PURCHASES BY DEPORTES EL CAZADOR OK:

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04PANAMA4842004-03-02 14:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Panama
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS PANAMA 000484 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KOMC ETTC PM LABOR HUMAN RIGHTSPOLMIL
SUBJECT: THREE PURCHASES BY DEPORTES EL CAZADOR OK: 
05-903671, 05-910606, 05-910607 
 
REF: STATE 26986 
 
 
¶1. (U) This message contains proprietary business 
information.  Please protect.  Not for internet distribution. 
 
 
¶2. (SBU) On February 27, EmbOffs met with Deportes El 
Cazador's owner and president Rolando GONZALEZ Salerno at the 
company's offices, which are co-located with Gonzalez' 
residence.  Since Deportes El Cazador was incorporated with 
Panama's Public Registry on July 16, 1991, the company has 
been located at its present site for the last seven of nearly 
13 years.  Gonzalez stated that El Cazador is primarily a 
wholesaler to large Panamanian department store chains, such 
as, El Machetazo and Cochez.  The company's offices have no 
external markings, signs or advertisements, and Gonzalez 
apparently relies on trade shows and word of mouth to attract 
clients.  The company also sells to smaller stores outside of 
Panama City and to GOP agencies.  There is no indication that 
the referenced purchases of weapons and ammunition will be 
diverted outside of Panama.  According to Gonzalez, El 
Cazador almost exclusively purchases from US firms, except 
for the company's Glock stock from Austria.  The company 
stores weapons within a double-door steel vault within the 
locked offices behind the residence's security wall.  El 
Cazador's records are impeccable, filed by US vendor and 
Panamanian purchaser.  The company not only meets Panamanian 
legal regulations and industry standards for weapons storage 
and purchases/sales records but surpasses them. 
 
 
¶3. (SBU) Gonzalez stated that the two referenced purchases 
intended for commercial re-sale represented annual orders. 
EmbOffs reviewed the company's records; the orders are 
actually smaller than in previous years.  Embassy's Foreign 
Commercial Service (FCS) office considers the order amounts 
to be "normal" for the company and for Panama and confirmed 
its own recent and positive check of El Cazador in January. 
The company's weapons and ammunition stocks from last year 
are not yet depleted, but Gonzalez times orders to take into 
account the lag in the US' and Panama's authorization 
processes.  Gonzalez estimates stocks from this year's 
purchases to last 12 to 14 months.  He will place another 
order around December 2004.  Gonzalez noted that the GOP, as 
it has in the past, will likely declare a moratorium on 
weapons and ammunition sales before and after the country's 
national elections on May 2 and presidential inauguration on 
September 1, which may actually retard his estimates. 
Regarding the one referenced purchase of ammunition intended 
for re-sale to GOP agencies, EmbOffs confirmed the amounts 
stated in the contract with the information provided in ref, 
para 4, section C.  Most of the ammunition is for use by 
Panama's National Police (PNP), but smaller quantities will 
be used by government security guards assigned to the Social 
Security Fund, National Bank, Colon Free Zone and Panama City 
Municipal offices. 
 
 
¶4. (SBU) Panama's Public Security Director Edgardo Matteo 
confirmed the GOP authorizations described in ref, para 5. 
Matteo stated that the GOP has "no issues" with El Cazador or 
its owners, and regarding the latter, called Gonzalez a "very 
serious businessman."  Matteo did not consider the amounts of 
the two referenced purchases intended for commercial re-sale 
to be excessive, noting that the GOP expanded and extended 
the sports hunting season this year.  He stated that, for 
example, Panama approved the import of 3.8 million rounds of 
ammunition in 2002 and a little under 2.0 million rounds of 
ammunition in 2003.  Matteo also pointed out that only 1.8% 
of violent crimes committed in Panama each year involve a 
legally imported weapon, most of which are stolen beforehand 
from their authorized owners. 
 
 
¶5. (SBU) Comment: EmbOffs also questioned the amounts of the 
three purchases, but have allayed their initial concerns 
after visiting the offices of Deportes El Cazador and 
cross-checking with Embassy's FCS and the appropriate GOP 
agency. 
 
 
 
 
MCMULLEN