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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE1840, SUCCESSFUL NDU DEMOCRATIC SECURITY SEMINAR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE1840 2006-08-18 22:10 2011-03-08 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2702320.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2702324.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702325.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702326.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702327.aspx
VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #1840 2302234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 182234Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5873
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001840 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL CS
SUBJECT: SUCCESSFUL NDU DEMOCRATIC SECURITY SEMINAR 
 
 
1. SUMMARY: With Embassy support, the National Defense 
University's Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) 
presented a weekend seminar on methodologies for developing a 
national-level democratic security strategy to top officials 
of the Arias Administration on July 28-31, 2006.  The seminar 
was funded by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and was 
designed to assist Costa Rican authorities with refining 
security objectives, balancing those objectives against 
limited resources and establishing effective measures of 
progress.  As an additional benefit, extensive contact with 
SOUTHCOM personnel enhanced understanding on the part of new 
Costa Rican officials of the U.S. military's positive 
involvement in regional security.  The seminar not only 
opened a national security dialogue among GOCR officials who 
do not normally work together, but in the case of Public 
Security Minister Berrocal (point man on security issues), 
seemed to lessen the Tico allergy to things "military". 
These are both positive developments.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  High-ranking participants included Vice President Laura 
Chinchilla, Minister of Presidency Rodrigo Arias, Minister of 
Public Security Fernando Berrocal, and Attorney General 
Francisco Dall'Anese.  Participation was active and 
constructive.  Opportunities for informal contact abounded 
and many participants commented that, outside of a national 
crisis, it would be nearly impossible to get such a diverse 
group of Costa Rican officials working together on a 
multi-day, national-level project.  Participants also 
frequently commented on the usefulness of the methodology 
presented by the CHDS facilitators.  On the final day, 
working groups provided presentations of their results and 
findings to Rodrigo Arias, who is also brother and closest 
advisor to President Oscar Arias. 
 
3.  In the wake of the seminar, we have received numerous 
requests for copies of presentations by the working groups 
and by the facilitators.  For example, Police Director 
Alpizar told us he needed the information as part of a 
planning document the Minister of Public Security has been 
tasked to develop for President Arias.  This is a direct 
result of the seminar.  In another case, Vice Minister of 
Justice Ferraro requested specific presentations in order to 
refine a planning document for the Costa Rican prison system. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
4.  Aside from the progress made in advancing Costa Rica's 
strategic thinking in the area of democratic security, the 
seminar produced a number of concrete benefits in terms of 
relationship building.  Perhaps most important was the 
opportunity Minister Berrocal had to engage with SOUTHCOM 
personnel.  One result was progress made toward Costa Rican 
participation in the State Partnership program.  Another 
result was a more nuanced understanding of SOUTHCOM and the 
U.S. military's role in regional security.  Minister Berrocal 
is now so inclined to work with SOUTHCOM that he intends to 
reduce the amount of time he spends in Washington during a 
planned October visit in order to allow more time to visit 
SOUTHCOM HQ in Miami.  We view the speed with which the 
Minister seemed to shed the typical Costa Rican "allergic 
reaction" to all things military as a very positive sign for 
the new government.  Our follow up will be essential, 
however, to keep up the momentum. 
FRISBIE