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Viewing cable 07LIMA3673, ONDCP DIRECTOR WALTERS SEES PROGRESS IN PERU'S WAR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07LIMA3673 2007-11-20 13:01 2011-02-17 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lima
Appears in these articles:
http://elcomercio.pe/politica/715001/noticia-wikileaks-peru-pidio-ayuda-fbi-combatir-narcos-mexicanos
VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #3673/01 3241337
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201337Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7349
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 5285
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7672
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3196
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0930
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV 4626
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1593
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1612
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 003673 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
WHITE HOUSE FOR ONDCP; DEPT. FOR WHA/AND, INL, AND INR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER SNAR PE
SUBJECT: ONDCP DIRECTOR WALTERS SEES PROGRESS IN PERU'S WAR 
ON DRUG...

id: 130835 DROGAS 2
date: 11/20/2007 13:37
refid: 07LIMA3673
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 07LIMA3638
header:
VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #3673/01 3241337
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201337Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7349
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 5285
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7672
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3196
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0930
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV 4626
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1593
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1612
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 003673 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

WHITE HOUSE FOR ONDCP; DEPT. FOR WHA/AND, INL, AND INR 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER SNAR PE
SUBJECT: ONDCP DIRECTOR WALTERS SEES PROGRESS IN PERU'S WAR 
ON DRUGS 

REF: LIMA 3638 

Classified By: DCM JAMES D. NEALON. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 

1. (C) Summary: ONDCP Director Walters met with Interior 
Minister Luis Alva Castro and Drug Policy Agency (DEVIDA) 
head Romulo Pizarro during a November 5-6 visit to Lima. 
Alva Castro characterized Peru's anti-drug efforts as an 
urgent fight to which U.S. assistance was critical.  Pizarro 
credited USG assistance in helping to achieve Peru's 
counter-narcotics goals, but worried that Peru could become a 
platform for international cartels unless the GOP continued 
its fight in earnest.  Director Walters recognized Peru's 
achievements in combating the production and trafficking of 
illegal narcotics and pledged continued U.S. assistance in 
facing these shared problems.  Later, a panel of leading 
Peruvian narco-trafficking analysts and opinion makers told 
Director Walters that international cooperation was key to 
combating drugs in Peru and that GOP counter-narcotics 
efforts lacked cohesion. End Summary. 

2. (C) Director of the White House Office of National Drug 
Control Policy John P. Walters visited Peru November 5-6. 
Director Walters, Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, NAS 
Director Susan Keogh, ONDCP COS Patrick Ward, ONDCP OSR 
Bradley Hittle, and poloff met with Peruvian Minister of 
Interior Luis Alva Castro.  Romulo Pizarro, head of Peru's 
drug policy directorate, DEVIDA, later hosted a lunch for 
Director Walters and his staff.  NAS Director Susan Keogh, 
AID Mission Director Paul Weisenfeld, ONDCP COS Patrick Ward, 
ONDCP OSR Bradley Hittle, and poloff attended. 

--------------------------------------------- - 
MEETING WITH INTERIOR MINISTER LUIS ALVA CASTRO 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

3. (C) Alva Castro opened the meeting by noting ongoing 
confrontations between police and striking coca growers in 
the jungle town of Aguaytia.  He reviewed GOP efforts to 
disrupt cocaine production, confront traffickers, and halt 
the laundering of drug profits in Peru.  Alva Castro 
described Peru's fight against drugs as "not negotiable" and 
pointed to U.S. assistance as crucial to the effort.  He 
noted specifically aviation support to the Police (PNP), 
funding for Peru's coca eradication corps, and the 
construction of three PNP Basic Training Academies for 
anti-drug officers.  Alva Castro noted that President Garcia 
would attend the opening of the academy in Ayacucho, 
scheduled for January 2008.  He reported that the President 
had held a press conference earlier that morning, in which he 
announced the disruption of three organizations that had 
laundered over USD 174 million in suspected drug funds during 
the last decade.  Alva Castro opined that the action would 
serve as a sign of Peru's seriousness in preventing the 
transit of drug money.  He announced the planned opening of a 
base for special operations units in Ocabamba in the Apurimac 
region, the site of a fatal attack on a police station on 
October 31.  Alva Castro characterized Peru's anti-drug 
efforts as a continuing fight that was important to Peru and 
to the world. 

4. (C) Director Walters thanked Minister Alva Castro for his 
efforts.  He noted that it was his first visit to Peru in 15 
years and remarked that the country's progress since that 
time and its commitment to the war on drugs were clear.  He 
said that security and prosperity required hard work and 
applauded GOP efforts to increase police presence in drug 
zones.  Director Walters hoped that the pending free trade 
agreement would create new opportunities and prosperity for 
all Peruvians.  Minister Alva Castro responded that Peru was 
blessed with abundant natural resources, but that security 
was key to attracting investment.  He said that U.S. and 
European markets were very important for Peruvian products 
and that increased trade would bring greater stability and 
rule of law to Peru, helping to force out drug production and 
trafficking.  He saw an open road to prosperity for Peru and 
would consider it an enormous privilege to enter into a 
formal free trade agreement with the U.S. 

5. (C) Director Walters noted reduced demand for drugs in the 

U.S. and reduced production in Peru as compared to the 
1990's.  He observed that Peruvian cocaine found its way to 
other countries such as Brazil, and inquired about Peru's 
experience working with those governments.  Alva Castro 
replied that Peru was working to improve its legal anti-drug 
framework, but noted that international drug cartels had vast 
economic resources.  He claimed that corruption in Peru was 
decreasing, thanks largely to professional, dedicated staff. 
He noted U.S. assistance in Peru's efforts to control 
precursor chemicals and cited increasing amounts seized in 
recent years, and thanked the Embassy's Narcotics Affairs 
Section for providing a new, environmentally friendly 
incinerator to dispose of such waste.  He pointed to 
continued success of Peru's coca eradication program -- which 
he described as a "noble cause" despite increasing crop 
densities.  Alva Castro noted that drug producers reacted 
quickly to movements of eradication teams and mentioned the 
surge during 2007 of improvised explosive devices planted in 
coca fields, which had caused a sharp spike in the number of 
injuries among eradication workers. 

6. (C) Director Walters assured Minister Alva Castro that the 
U.S. understands Peru was on the front lines of the war on 
drugs and that the U.S. took seriously its responsibility to 
reduce domestic demand and help other countries in the 
hemisphere in their efforts.  He remarked that leadership and 
commitment were keys to success and recognized those 
Peruvians who had given their lives in the fight against 
narcotrafficking.  He expressed satisfaction with Peru's 
comprehensive strategy to combat drugs and his optimism that 
our combined efforts would ultimately prevail.  He assured 
the Minister that the U.S. would continue to stand by Peru in 
its fight against illegal drugs. 

-------------------------------------------- 
MEETING WITH DEVIDA DIRECTOR ROMULO PIZARRO 
-------------------------------------------- 

7. (C) DEVIDA Director Pizarro remarked that he saw the visit 
as an opportunity to demonstrate Peru's achievements in 
combating illegal drugs and, by extension, serve as a model 
for other countries.  He said "some countries, especially 
Bolivia", had their "own ideas" about how to fight drugs, but 
that it was a complex issue because the countries were 
neighbors. 

8. (C) Pizarro explained that he began his work at DEVIDA by 
studying how Colombia had conducted its anti-drug efforts, 
and had concluded that being too much "in the forefront" 
could hinder progress.  He noted that coca's status as a 
"traditional" crop complicated the situation, but dismissed 
talk that is was commercially viable.  Pizarro said the 
"carrot and stick" approach, referring to the need for both 
alternative development and coca eradication, was the only 
way to go, and that USAID's development assistance was 
essential in achieving Peru's counter-narcotics goals.  He 
noted Peru's success in the last two decades in reducing the 
total area under coca cultivation and efforts to increase 
public awareness of the dangers of drug use, but worried that 
Peru could become a platform for international cartels given 
the country's vast coastline and borders with Ecuador, Brazil 
and Colombia.  He solicited USG support for a dedicated, 
full-time police force for Peru's seaports. 

9. (C) In response to Pizarro's comment on Peru's need for 
regional partners, Director Walters expressed surprise that 
Brazil had not done more to help.  Pizarro replied that the 
construction of two new transcontinental highways between 
Peru and Brazil, scheduled to be finished in 2009, would 
provide increased mobility to traffickers -- a big challenge 
for which all must be ready, he warned.  He discussed the 
need for increased and more rapid information sharing, 
especially among Peru, Mexico, and Colombia, on the movements 
of known traffickers.  "Mexicans aren't coming here to see 
Machu Picchu", he said, and reported that as a result, 
Colombians and Mexicans now must obtain visas before entering 
Peru. 

10. (C) In a formal slide presentation, Pizarro noted that 
Peru currently produced less than half of the cocaine it 

could, based on estimates of areas suitable for coca 
cultivation, and highlighted the link between drug 
trafficking and acts of terrorism.  He reviewed the GOP's 
security and development plans for Peru's drug-affected 
regions and efforts to control precursor chemicals and money 
laundering.  Director Walters commented that he saw a 
remarkable change in Peru's fight against illegal drugs.  He 
reviewed encouraging signs, such as the reduction in U.S. 
demand and the steady drop in the area under cultivation of 
coca in Peru.  He challenged all to respond not just to 
individual threats, but to the network of drug production, 
transport, and consumption throughout the hemisphere. 

11. (C) Director Walters and Pizarro discussed briefly the 
growing production in Peru of synthetic drugs, often using 
generic legal over-the-counter medications from India and 
China.  Pizarro related that the GOP was quietly combating 
the practice, which may involve large and otherwise 
legitimate pharmaceutical interests.  In general, he said, 
Peru could not afford to let narco-traffickers take advantage 
of the country's economic growth, lest Peru become like 
Mexico. 

------------------------------ 
ROUNDTABLE WITH OPINION MAKERS 
------------------------------ 

12. (C) Director Walters attended a roundtable discussion at 
the Embassy with leading Peruvian narco-trafficking analysts 
and opinion makers.  The speakers highlighted: 

-- narco-trafficking in Peru as an impediment to economic 
growth and national security; 
-- lack of cohesion in GOP counter-narcotics efforts; 
-- corruption and institutional weakness as hindrances to GOP 
counter-narcotics efforts; 
-- involvement of Mexican and Colombian cartels as well as 
the Venezuelan government; and 
-- the need for international cooperation 
(Peru-Mexico-Colombia-U.S and others) to combat 
narco-trafficking. 

13. (U) ONDCP has not cleared this message. 
MCKINLEY 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================