Viewing cable 07PANAMA508

07PANAMA5082007-04-04 14:11:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Panama

DE RUEHZP #0508/01 0941411
P 041411Z APR 07
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: Panama 492 
¶1.  (SBU) Summary:  NAS had a busy and productive first half of FY 
¶07.  Our assistance was vital to preparing the imminent launch of 
DEA's Title III wiretap program.  We completed several major 
donations to the National Police (PNP) and National Maritime Service 
(SMN), including projects that improved both the infrastructure and 
response capability of both institutions. NAS initiated the Police 
Executive Leadership Seminar Series (PELSS) with the PNP and began 
beta-testing crime mapping and analysis technology. NAS also renewed 
support to the Culture of Lawfulness (COL) program and the Omar 
Moreno foundation as part of our efforts to focus on anti-corruption 
and demand reduction.  End Summary. 
Excellent Cooperation and Results 
¶2.  (SBU) NAS support has been crucial to the success of USG-GOP 
bilateral efforts to interdict cocaine shipments, prosecute major 
criminals, and improve the quality of police.  The Attorney 
General's Office and the Technical Judicial Police (PTJ), both major 
recipients of NAS funding, work closely with U.S. law enforcement in 
support of ebbing the flow of narcotics to the U.S.  The GOP has 
been extremely helpful in assisting in detaining and expelling 
fugitives wanted in the U.S.  During the first half of FY 07, there 
were no less than five such assists in the areas child molestation, 
methamphetamine smuggling and distribution, kidnapping, and fraud. 
¶3.  (SBU) Panama regularly contributes to investigations that result 
in large seizures of illegal narcotics even though the actual 
seizure is not made in Panama's jurisdiction.  In some instances, as 
much of 80% of the leg work is conducted in Panama, while for 
strategic reasons actual operations are realized in other countries. 
 We are attempting to development an accurate method for reporting 
this type of assistance. 
Title III Program 
¶4.  (SBU) NAS provided funding to complete the final preparatory 
stages for the launch of a Title III phone intercept program.  The 
program, soon to be operational, will be a key instrument in 
pursuing drug-related activity and crimes in Panama as well as in 
neighboring countries.  The operational/analytical unit is made up 
of vetted Attorney General (AG) Office personnel who will operate 
NAS-donated equipment, and will be under the direction of the AG 
National Maritime Service (SMN) 
¶5.  (SBU) A key aim of NAS support is to improve the infrastructure 
and operational readiness of the SMN, which is currently unequipped 
to face Panama's maritime challenges. 
¶6.  (U) NAS was able to complete projects improving the 
infrastructure at the SMN's Pedregal base in David, Chiriqui 
Province. This is a key post due to its location close to the Costa 
Rican border on the Pacific.  Projects completed included the 
construction of a floating pier and a boat ramp. The base previously 
did not have access to launch its small boats in response to law 
enforcement or humanitarian missions. 
¶7.  (U) NAS also built a small storage area for over $500,000 in 
spare parts to be used in the rehabilitation of four U.S.-donated 
82-foot patrol boats.  The facility will also store parts for the 
Donzi fast boats that were donated to the SMN and the National 
Police (PNP).  It is located at the SMN main base in Panama City but 
the inventory under NAS control. 
¶8.  (U) The rehabilitation of the first 82-foot boat is underway and 
we are hoping to complete work by August 1.  We plan to rehabilitate 
all four vessels, giving the SMN two patrol boats for each coast. 
The first vessel is undergoing the replacement of approximately 30% 
of its hull.  Subsequently, it will enter into dockside maintenance 
in order to rebuild both engines and generators. 
National Police (PNP) - Border and Interdiction Efforts 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
¶9.  (U) NAS donated 15 HUMVEEs (eleven regular and four ambulances) 
to the frontier division of the PNP.  The vehicles will be used to 
increase the police's capability for moving troops in the rough 
terrain areas of both the Costa Rican and Colombian borders. The 
ambulances will provide medevac capability for both PNP troops and 
local residents in certain humanitarian cases.  We procured a 
two-year supply of spare parts for these vehicles. 
¶10.  (SBU) We worked with the frontier division's S-II unit to set 
up small information collection teams that will work along both 
border regions.  NAS and other US law enforcement personnel made 
several visits to border areas with the head of the police's S-II to 
assist in strategic planning for these teams.  NAS also worked 
closely with the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) to visit border 
area police bases and decide on strategic locations for donations 
that are to be made under DOD operation Enduring Friendship. 
National Police (PNP) - Modernization 
¶11.  (U) We recently completed the first two installations of the 
Police Executive Leadership Seminar Series (PELSS), which were held 
in January and March, respectively (reftel).  The PELSS concept, 
developed by our NAS police advisor, is custom designed to help the 
PNO become the first community oriented police agency in Latin 
America.  PELSS I & II were delivered to the 32 top commanders in 
the PNP in a unique partnership with a team of top managers from the 
Miami Dade Police Department.  The key goals were to promote a 
thorough understanding of the SARA model of problem solving and to 
assign a practical SARA exercise to be performed by each student. 
¶12.  (U) PELSS also underscored the changes required in the 
successfully transition from the military-style form of police 
management towards that of community-oriented or democratic 
policing.  One of those key steps - the willingness of the PNP to 
embrace and institutionalize this change - was evidenced by the 
issuance of new vision statements, shortly after the launch of 
¶13.  (U) We also laid the groundwork for the second part of this 
policing change initiative, directed at the executive level of 
command, partnering with the Southern Police Institute (SPI) of the 
University of Louisville.  President Torrijos, who campaigned on 
reducing levels of street crime, has reportedly taken a personal 
interest in these educational initiatives and the resulting PNP 
paradigm shift.  PELSS and SPI mark a radical shift in USG police 
assistance by substituting tailored management-change initiatives in 
place of a one-size-fits-all training. 
Anti-Crime Technology 
¶14.  (U) NAS finished the majority of procurement for a new crime 
mapping and analysis program (INCRIDEFA in Spanish) for the Ministry 
of Government and Justice and the PNP.  INCRIDEFA will give police 
commanders the tools needed to spot problems and hot spots and 
dedicate resources to problem solution.  The result will be more 
effective and efficient policing and enhanced investigative 
capability.  INCRIDEFA technology is presently in beta testing and 
is due for a roll-out in May of 2007. 
Seized Assets 
¶15.  (U) NAS assisted the AG in getting control of their 
accountability for seized assets (90% of which come from 
drug-related crimes).  We worked with the AG and a private company 
to purchase equipment, design software and train personnel on use 
and procedures.  The system will allow for digitalized management of 
assets seized as part of criminal investigations and connects all 
offices involved in the process.  In all, close to 100 employees of 
the AG were trained and five servers and other equipment were 
donated.  The software to manage the process is a secure system and 
will protect against seized items being altered or changed during 
the legal process.  Panama was scheduled to implement the system for 
all of its seized property as of April 1. 
Intelligence Coordination 
¶16.  (SBU) NAS worked with the Ministry of Government and Justice 
and the AG to assist the GOP with the strengthening and 
modernization of the Joint Intelligence Coordination Center (JICC). 
The JICC is a central resource for GOP and USG inquires regarding 
potential illicit activity and actors.  Our assistance included 
relocating the JICC office and donation of computers and servers, 
and upgrades to improve physical security. 
¶17.  (SBU) NAS assisted MOGJ officials in creating written 
agreements that were to be signed by relevant Ministries as 
protocols for information sharing within the GOP.  With our 
assistance, the JICC is now directly connected to 15 databases and 
is providing information to GOP and USG law enforcement and security 
Demand Reduction 
¶18.  (U) A NAS-funded seed money grant to the Omar Moreno Foundation 
continued to yield positive results.  The Moreno Baseball Academy, 
founded by the MLB World Series champion, offers free instruction in 
baseball to at-risk, inner-city youth, thus providing a positive 
daily alternative to involvement in illicit drugs and gang violence. 
 In addition to daily baseball training, reinforcement of positive 
values and discipline are integral parts of the Academy curriculum. 
Leveraging its partnership with the Embassy and AES/Panama, the 
Foundation held its first fund-raising gala in January.  Tens of 
thousands of dollars were raised to guarantee the continued work of 
the Academy.  As a result, plans are underway for expansion of the 
Academy program into the cities of Chitre, Colon, David, and Puerto 
¶19.  (U) Culture of Lawfulness (COL) training and development 
continues within the PNP, at both the institution's academies.  COL 
is in the final stages of curriculum and trainer development use in 
both public and private schools.  Embassy Panama views this COL 
program as a key element of our key goal of promoting transparency 
and respect for rule of law in Panama. 
Additional Training 
¶20.  (U) NAS provided training to dozens of GOP officials in a wide 
range of areas.  Topics included criminal investigations, fraudulent 
document identification, dignitary protection, pilot certifications, 
outboard boat mechanics, and DARE (anti-drug) leader training.