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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE2778, GWOT: COSTA RICAN COLLECTION OF IDENTIFYING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE2778 2006-12-18 22:10 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
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #2778/01 3522226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 182226Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6857
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 002778 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR S/CT (FRED VOGEL), CA (ALCY FELICK) AND INR/I 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV PINR CVIS ASEC KVPR CS
SUBJECT: GWOT: COSTA RICAN COLLECTION OF IDENTIFYING 
PERSONAL INFORMATION 
 
REF: A. STATE 190832 
     B. SAN JOSE 2054 
     C. STATE 114021 
 
(SBU) The following information is keyed to the questions in 
Ref A.  Ref B was Post's September response to similar 
questions posed Ref C. 
 
A. Immigration Databases 
 
--What computerized immigration databases are used to track 
entries and exits?  Is the immigration database available at 
all ports of entry (POE)?  If immigration databases are 
available at some POE but not all, how does the GOCR decide 
which POE will receive the tool? 
 
(U) Costa Rica has a computerized immigration database that 
tracks entries and exits.  It is available at the two 
international airports and at the major land and sea POE. 
The GOCR prioritizes POE based on the volume of traffic. 
 
--What problems, if any, limit the effectiveness of the 
systems?  For example, limited training, power brownouts, 
budgetary restraints, corruption, etc.? 
 
(SBU) All of the above with the exception of brownouts. 
Several immigration employees were dismissed last year for 
entering false data to assist a criminal suspect in creating 
an alibi. 
 
--How often are national immigration databases updated? 
 
(SBU) Due to a data-entry backlog, there is a three-month lag 
between entry/exit and the availability of the data. 
Immigration Director Mario Zamora told us on November 28 that 
he has secured 80,000 dollars to upgrade equipment at the 
Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose allowing 
processing of entries/exits in real time. 
 
B. Watchlists and Information Sharing 
 
--Is there a name-based watchlist system used to screen 
travelers at POE? 
 
(U) Yes. 
 
--What domestic sources of information populate the 
name-based watchlist; i.e. names of deported persons, 
terrorist 
lookouts, criminal wants/warrants? 
 
(U) The watchlist contains the names of those under court 
order not to leave Costa Rica, those previously 
deported/extradited/expelled, refugees, and terrorist 
lookouts. 
 
--What international watchlists do host countries use for 
screening individuals, such as Interpol or TSA No Fly Lists, 
UN, etc.? 
 
(SBU) Costa Rica utilizes the Interpol and UN lists. 
Interpol data is held/checked by the Costa Rican Intelligence 
Service (DIS).  Due to corruption concerns, Immigration does 
not have direct access. 
 
--What bilateral/multilateral watchlist agreements exist 
between host government and its neighbors? 
 
(U) None. 
 
C.  Biometrics 
 
--Are biometric systems in place at ports of entry 
(Air/Land/Sea)?  If not, does the country have plans to 
install such a system? 
 
(SBU) No, and currently there are no plans to install a 
biometric system. 
 
--What biometric technologies, if any, does the country use; 
i.e. fingerprint identification, facial recognition, iris 
recognition, hand geometry, retinal identification, DNA-based 
identification, keystroke dynamics, gait analysis?  Are the 
systems ICAO compliant? 
 
N/A 
 
--Does the host country issue a machine-readable passport 
containing biometric information? 
 
(SBU) The passport is machine-readable with a digitized 
photograph, but without biometric information.  There are 
currently no plans to incorporate biometric features into the 
document. 
 
D. Appropriate Partners 
 
(SBU) Post believes the GOCR would be an appropriate partner 
for data sharing based on the GOCR's current use of 
watchlists.  We have no concerns that watchlists would be 
manipulated to include members of the political opposition or 
other dissidents.  We have no indications the GOCR would 
share the data inappropriately. 
LANGDALE