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Viewing cable 08SANJOSE692, BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08SANJOSE692 2008-08-25 15:03 2011-03-07 18:06 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/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702325.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2702324.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702326.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702327.aspx
VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0692 2381502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251502Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0036
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000692 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETTC KOMC CS
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK 
CONDUCTED ON LICENSE 050108543 
 
REF: A. STATE 69218 
     B. 06 SAN JOSE 1586 
 
1. Per Ref A request, on August 21, we met with Juan Carlos 
Martin, the owner of Armas Martin Armar, and established the 
bona fides of the company.  We consider Armas Martin Armar a 
legitimate recipient of United States Munitions List (USML) 
items.  Martin told us he was familiar with the regulations 
governing the import of U.S.-origin defense articles, 
including restrictions on re-transfer or re-export.  We 
recommend approval of the license to import the weapons as 
described in Ref A. 
 
2. Armas Martin Armar, located in San Jose, has been in 
business since 2003.  In 2006, this company was subject to an 
unfavorable Blue Lantern (Ref B) due to its then relationship 
with unreliable gunshop Armeria Rex.  During our August 21 
visit, Martin was transparent about all interactions that his 
company has had with Armeria Rex.  As a result of losing the 
license in 2006, he stopped selling weapons to other 
gunshops.  When asked about his current business relationship 
with Armeria Rex, Martin said they no longer sell weapons to 
them but they occasionally buy some accessories from Rex, 
such as electronic stun guns, mace spray, etc.  He made it 
clear that he would not sell weapons to Armeria Rex now or in 
the future. 
 
3. Martin also clarified Post's confusion regarding the 
relationship between his company and another company, 
Electromecanica Pablo Murillo, due to background checks we 
completed on Martin Armar showing the two companies sharing 
the same phone number.  Martin said that he and Pablo Murillo 
had founded a business corporation to sell arms back in 2003 
with assistance from Murillo's father, who works for ICE 
(Costa Rica's national telecom provider).  Murillo's father 
assisted them with the installation of their phone lines and 
were thus registered under the name Electromecanica Pablo 
Murillo.  Though now split, Armas Martin Armar pays the phone 
bill under the original registration name of Electromecanica 
because they did not want to change their phone number for 
their customers.  Martin said they would do the necessary 
work to drop the name of Electromecanica, yet still hopefully 
keep the same phone number. 
 
4. We also shared with Martin a press article detailing some 
negative information on Finlander Paniagua, who has bought 
weapons from Martin Armar in the past and resold them to 
customers in the northern part of Costa Rica.  Martin was 
unaware of any potential problems with Paniagua and assured 
us he would be diligent in the future with any dealings with 
him.  The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) informed us that 
Paniagua does have a valid permit to sell weapons in Costa 
Rica, but that he can only sell one weapon at a time with a 
lawyer's script.  We do not expect Martin Armar to sell 
weapons to Paniagua in the future.  We also checked all of 
Martin Armar's weapons sales in 2008 and no weapons had been 
sold to Paniagua. 
 
5. The security of the premises of Martin Armar seems very 
good.  There are three barred, reinforced doors between the 
exterior entrance and the weapons displays.  The weapons 
storage vault, as previously described in Ref B, has a 
reinforced door with heavy security locks.  The store has a 
modern alarm and camera system.  Martin Armar maintains files 
on all of their customers and is visited twice a week by the 
MPS's General Directorate for Arms and Explosives to review 
and approve purchase requests and final sales.  The company 
has a valid license to import and sell firearms from the 
Ministry. 
 
======= 
COMMENT 
======= 
 
6. Martin was transparent and clearly wanted to cooperate 
with us.  There was no hesitation to show us records, files, 
or explain the nature of his company's relationship with 
Armeria Rex.  All of his paperwork seemed in order and well 
organized.  Of all the gunshops in Costa Rica Post has 
visited in recent memory, there is little doubt that this one 
has the best security and most professional image. 
CIANCHETTE