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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE2113, NATIONAL GUARD STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM FOR COSTA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE2113 2006-09-25 19:07 2011-03-08 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 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
VZCZCXYZ0022
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #2113/01 2681950
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251950Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6157
RUEAUSA/NGB WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 002113 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR WHA/CEN, WHA/PPC AND PM 
DOD FOR OSD POLICY:JALVERSON 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV SNAR XK CS
SUBJECT: NATIONAL GUARD STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM FOR COSTA 
RICA:  NEW MEXICO MAY NOT BE THE BEST OPTION 
 
REF: SAN JOSE 2060 (NOTAL) 
 
1.  (U) See action request, para 7. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Public Security Minister Berrocal is 
enthusiastic about the National Guard,s State Partnership 
Program (SPP).  Using his relationship with Governor 
Richardson, which dates from their service as UN Permreps, 
Berrocal believes he has a partnership agreement all but 
locked up with New Mexico.  He is planning to visit New 
Mexico in November, and has told the media the trip is to 
conclude "an assistance agreement," presumably for the SPP. 
As part of the same trip, Berrocal has also requested the 
Embassy to facilitate a visit to SOUTHCOM.  Although we 
strongly endorse the SPP initiative as a creative way to 
provide the sort of training and equipment so sorely needed 
by Costa Rican security personnel, New Mexico does not strike 
us as the ideal choice as a state partner.  Costa Rica would 
benefit most, in our view, from working with a state facing 
generally similar (and mostly maritime-based), trafficking, 
immigration and law enforcement challenges.  We are confident 
that the National Guard Bureau, DoD, SOUTHCOM and others 
involved in the SPP decision will select the partner 
best-equipped to meet Costa Rica,s operational needs.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
3. (SBU) Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal remains 
enthusiastic about the SPP, first raised with him during the 
July 28-31 NDU-led workshop on national security strategy. 
During a September 8 meeting to discuss other issues (Ref), 
Berrocal told the Ambassador that he had twice talked about 
the SPP project with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, 
whom Berrocal described as an "old friend" from their days in 
New York as UN Permreps.  According to Berrocal, Richardson 
was also enthusiastic and willing to come to Costa Rica after 
the U.S. elections in November to sign a partnership 
agreement.  The Minister hoped this would lead to additional 
training and equipment for Costa Rican security personnel. 
 
4.  (SBU) Berrocal has seized on the New Mexico partnership 
idea.  On September 19, his staff informed us that the 
Minister himself now planned to make an "official visit" to 
New Mexico November 12-14, to explore possibilities for 
security assistance for Costa Rica.  Berrocal has already 
told the local media that he would sign an "assistance 
agreement" (NFI, but we assume he means the SPP agreement) 
with Richardson while in New Mexico.  Berrocal has also 
requested Embassy assistance in organizing an official visit 
to U.S. Southern Command, preferably on Wednesday, November 
15, after his visit to New Mexico.  Fuerza Publica (police) 
director Oswaldo Alpizar and Police Academy Director Carlos 
Roverssi would accompany Berrocal to New Mexico and Miami. 
 
5.  (U) Some of Berrocal,s staff, meanwhile, have been 
exposed to the general types of programs and assets that 
could be involved in an SPP agreement.  September 6-7, Vice 
Minister Rafael Gutierrez, Coast Guard Director Carlos 
Alvarado, and officers from the Air Component of the Public 
Security Ministry visited ANG and USCG units in Puerto Rico, 
where they were briefed on U.S. air and maritime efforts 
against drug trafficking and illegal immigration, as well as 
search and rescue, operational coordination and maintenance 
programs. 
 
6.  (SBU) COMMENT: We strongly endorse the SPP initiative as 
a creative way to provide the sort of security training and 
equipment needed by Costa Rica while skirting the 
sensibilities of accepting direct military assistance. 
However, New Mexico does not strike us as the ideal choice as 
a state partner.  If Puerto Rico were not already partnering 
with two other countries, that would be a logical pairing to 
us; the GOCR delegation,s visit there was successful and 
useful.  Costa Rica would benefit more, in our view, from 
working with a state facing generally similar (and mostly 
maritime-based) trafficking, immigration and law enforcement 
challenges.  We are confident that the National Guard Bureau, 
DoD, SOUTHCOM and others involved in the SPP decision will 
select the partner best-equipped to meet Costa Rica,s 
operational needs.  Berrocal,s apparent closeness to Gov. 
Richardson may also yield some benefits for Costa Rica, but 
this should not be the sole or primary factor in identifying 
a state partner.  More than political support, Costa Rica 
needs tangible, well-matched security assistance.  END 
SOMMENT. 
 
7. (U) ACTION REQUEST:  Please advise status of and likely 
timetable for SPP decision for Costa Rica. 
FRISBIE