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Publicado el 8 de Septiembre de 2011

id: 47809
date: 12/15/2005 19:15
refid: 05SANSALVADOR3491
origin: Embassy San Salvador
classification: UNCLASSIFIED
destination: 05SECSTATE209560
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


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E.O. 12958: N/A
1. (U) Per Reftel, the following is Post's first draft of the
2006 INCSR Part I.  Year-end statistics for CY-2005 are not
yet available.  Post will add these statistics in January
2006 and retransmit this report.  Text follows.
2. (U) El Salvador
I. Summary
El Salvador is a transit country for narcotics, mainly
cocaine and heroin. In 2005, the National Police seized XXXX
kilograms (Kg) of cocaine and XXX Kg of heroin.  The Forward
Operating Location facilities contributed to the seizure of
XX metric tons (MT) of illicit narcotics in Salvadoran
territory and disrupted the delivery of XX MT of narcotics to
the rest of the region.  Salvadoran law enforcement agencies
cooperated with U.S. authorities on cases that led to the
U.S. indictments of XX major drug traffickers.  Although El
Salvador is not a major financial center, assets forfeited
and seized as the result of drug-related crimes amounted to
US$XXXXXX.  Salvadoran authorities complied with resolutions
regarding terrorist assets and did not find assets from
individuals or entities on the terrorism lists.
II. Status of Country
Located in the isthmus between the United States and the
major drug producing nations, El Salvador is a transit point
for trafficking. Cocaine and heroin are the most commonly
trafficked drugs. Climate and soil conditions are unfavorable
for coca cultivation. Precursor chemical production, trading,
and transit are not significant problems.
III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2005
Policy Initiatives:  In 2005, the Government of El Salvador
(GOES), in cooperation with other Central American (CA)
countries, implemented Operation Controlled (Operacion
Controlado) to interdict narcotics trafficking through
Central America.  The operation established joint patrols by
the anti-narcotics police of each CA country along the
unmonitored areas on the CA border regions.
Accomplishments:  Several significant developments during the
year demonstrated the GOES commitment to achieving compliance
with the objectives of the 1988 Untied Nations Drug
Convention.  Utilizing a stringent counter-narcotics law that
came into effect in November 2003, the National Civilian
Police (PNC) interdicted XX percent more cocaine over the
preceding year.  Using the same comparison, the PNC arrested
XX percent more individuals for drug trafficking offenses.
The GOES seized US$XXXXX in assets linked to narcotics
trafficking, representing a XX percent increase over the
US$554,113 seized in 2004. Once convictions are realized,
seized assets are used to fund law enforcement, drug
treatment, and drug prevention efforts.
The Embassy-supported Containerized Freight Tracking System
(CFTS) at the Amatillo border crossing with Honduras began
operations in July 2004.  The purpose of the facility is to
permit the GOES to inspect commercial and passenger vehicles
arriving from Honduras.  In 2005, PNC personnel at the CFTS
seized XX Kg of marijuana, XX Kg of cocaine, and XX Kg of
heroin, and arrested XXX individuals for trafficking offenses.
Aircraft deployed to the Forward Operation Location (FOL) at
the Salvadoran Air Force base in Comalapa track aircraft and
sea vessels moving north towards the United States.  FOL
aircraft report their findings to U.S. law enforcement
agencies, which then notify regional governments.  In 2005,
cooperation between the FOL, the Embassy, the Salvadoran Air
Force, and the PNC resulted in the seizure of XXXX Kg of
cocaine, and the arrest of XX narcotics traffickers by
Salvadoran officials.  The presence of the FOL in El Salvador
contributed to an additional total seizure of XX MT of
cocaine by U.S. law enforcement agencies and other regional
In July 2004, the GOES implemented Plan Super Heavy Hand in
response to rising street gang violence.  Although the plan
addresses all gang related activity (to include kidnapping,
rape, extortion, murder, fraud, aggravated theft, human
trafficking), it also aims to disrupt narcotics trafficking
and distribution controlled by gangs.  During the year, the
PNC arrested XXX and convicted XX gang members for drug
trafficking and distribution offenses.
The GOES actively cooperated with the United Nations Drug
Control Program.  The obstacles that prevented El Salvador
from fully achieving all of the objectives of the 1988 United
Nations Drug Convention included legal impediments and
limited resources, as discussed below.
Law Enforcement Efforts:  Salvadoran law enforcement efforts
are still hindered by constitutional prohibitions against
investigative tools such as wiretapping.  Investigations were
further hampered by a lack of cooperation between the
Attorney General and the police.  Although the Attorney
General's office did not impede investigations, its failure
to seek arrest and search warrants in a timely manner
severely restricted police operations against narcotics
trafficking.  Overall, the GOES gives a very high priority to
counter-narcotics law enforcement, but its lack of resources
and inadequate prosecutorial support limit its ability to
achieve its counter-narcotics objectives.
Despite a low rate of convictions, law enforcement efforts in
2005 were adequate, given resource constraints and legal
impediments.  These efforts were primarily focused on
priority targets of mutual interest to both the United States
and the GOES.  Salvadoran police investigators and
prosecutors traveled to the United States on numerous
occasions throughout the year to share intelligence and
coordinate operations.  Joint cooperation led to the
conviction of William Eliu Martinez, a former Salvadoran
federal legislator extradited to the United States on drug
charges.  Apart from joint operations, the PNC seized XXX Kg
of marijuana, XXX Kg of cocaine, and XXX Kg of heroin.  PNC
officers arrested XXXX individuals for drug related offenses,
XXXX of which resulted in convictions.
Corruption:  Under Salvadoran law, using one's official
position in relation to the commission of a drug offense is
an aggravating circumstance that can result in an increased
sentence of up to one-third of the statutory maximum.  This
includes accepting or receiving money or other benefits in
exchange for an act or omission in relation to one,s
official duties.  The PNC's Internal Affairs Unit and the
Attorney General's Office investigate and prosecute GOES
officials for corruption and abuse of authority.
In 2005, the INL-supported and U.S.-based National Strategic
Information Center, in cooperation with the Salvadoran
Ministry of Education, continued implementing the Culture of
Lawfulness program in Salvadoran schools.  The program
focuses on the advantages that accrue to the individual and
society if everyone follows the rule of law.  Special
emphasis is placed on the social costs of corruption and
bribery.  In 2005, XX teachers were trained in the mechanics
of presenting the program.
As a matter of policy, the GOES does not encourage or
facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics or
psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the
laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.  No
senior official is known to engage in, encourage, or
facilitate the illicit production or distribution of such
drugs or substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions. The GOES has no INL-provided
aircraft, nor has it misused any other equipment purchased
with INL funds.
El Salvador is a party to the Inter-American Convention
Against Corruption.  Consistent with the country's
obligations under that Convention, the law criminalizes
soliciting, receiving, offering, promising, and giving
bribes, as well as the illicit use and concealment of
property derived from such activity.
Agreements and Treaties:  El Salvador is a party to the
following international agreements:  the 1971 United Nations
(UN) Convention on Psychotropic Substances; the 1961 UN
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972
Protocol; the Central American convention for the Prevention
of Money Laundering Related to Drug-Trafficking and Similar
Crimes; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized
Crime and its protocols; the Protocol against the Illicit
Trafficking of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air; the Protocol
to Prevent, Suppress, and Sanction Trafficking in Persons;
and, the Protocol Against the Manufacture and Illicit
Trafficking of Firearms, their Parts, Components, and
The current extradition treaty between the United States and
El Salvador does not provide for the extradition of
Salvadoran nationals. Narcotics offenses are covered as
extraditable crimes by virtue of the 1988 UN Drug Convention,
to which El Salvador is a party.
Mutual legal assistance in narcotics cases is available to
the United States and El Salvador under Article 7 of the 1988
UN Drug Convention.  In August 2004, El Salvador became a
party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance
in Criminal Matters, which provides further tools to
facilitate legal cooperation between the United States and
the GOES.
There is no bilateral precursor chemical agreement between El
Salvador and the United States.  Likewise, no maritime
interdiction agreement exists between the two countries.
Annually, the two governments sign agreements under which the
United States provides counter-narcotics and law enforcement
assistance to El Salvador.
Cultivation/Production:  Climate and soil conditions do not
favor the cultivation of coca plants. Small quantities of
cannabis are produced in the mountainous regions along the
border with Guatemala and Honduras.  The cannabis is of poor
quality, however, and is only consumed domestically. There
were no gains or setbacks in controlling cannabis cultivation
and production because the small quantity and poor quality of
the crop does not justify the expenditure of a systematic
campaign against it. There is no local methodology for
determining cannabis crop size and yields. Cannabis is
detected due to tips, routine foot patrols, and air
Drug Flow/Transit:  Cocaine and heroin from Colombia
typically transits El Salvador via the Pan-American Highway
and maritime routes off the country's Pacific coast.  Most
drugs transiting by land are carried by commercial bus
passengers in their luggage.  Both heroin and cocaine also
transit by go-fast boats and commercial vessels off the
Salvadoran coast.
Domestic Programs (Demand Reduction): The GOES manages its
demand reduction program through several government agencies.
 The Ministry of Education presents lifestyle and drug
prevention courses in the public schools, as well as
providing after school activities.  The PNC operates a
D.A.R.E. program modeled on the U.S. program of the same
name.  The Ministries of Governance and Transportation have
anti-doping units that advocate drug-free lifestyles.  The
Public Security Council (Consejo Nacional de Seguridad
Publica) is actively involved in substance abuse prevention
within Salvador,s gang communities.
The Embassy-supported Salvadoran NGO FundaSalva works with
the GOES to provide substance abuse awareness, counseling,
rehabilitation, and reinsertion services (job training) to
the public.  In 2005, FundaSalva provided demand reduction
services to over XXXX individuals.  The Embassy also sponsors
the U.S.-based "Second Step" program.  Second Step is taught
in first grade and assists teachers to identify anti-social
behavior that later leads to substance abuse and violence.
Other less comprehensive demand reduction programs exist,
usually faith-based and run by recovering addicts or
religious leaders.
In addition, as part of Plan Friendly Hand, FundaSalva
operates an INL-donated laser tattoo removal machine.  Former
gang members who meet the stringent requirements of gang
demobilization (leaving the gang life behind) and successful
substance abuse treatment are eligible to have their gang
tattoos removed for free.  Removing tattoos decreases the
possibility of gang recidivism while increasing the prospect
of finding gainful employment, both of which reduce the
likelihood of future drug consumption.  In 2005, FundaSalva
provided tattoo removal services for XXX individuals.
A national survey conducted in 2004 by FundaSalva reveals
that substance abuse in El Salvador is significant and
growing.  According to the survey results, seven percent of
the population (ages 12 to 45) used illicit narcotics in the
past year, with four percent using drugs within the past
month.  Fourteen percent of those surveyed admitted to
ingesting pharmaceutical stimulants and depressants in the
past year.  First use of alcohol or drugs occurs between the
ages of twelve and fourteen years old.  Fifty percent of all
minors surveyed indicated that they had used drugs or alcohol
on at least one occasion.  Relative to the size of the
at-risk and addicted populations, demand reduction programs
are inadequate.
IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs
Policy Initiatives: U.S. assistance primarily focuses on
developing El Salvador,s law enforcement agencies,
increasing the GOES ability to combat money laundering and
public corruption, and ensuring a transparent criminal
justice system.  From August 5 to October 8, 2005, U.S.
government agencies and CA police forces conducted Operation
All Inclusive to gather intelligence on regional narcotics
trafficking operations.  The successful operation netted 43
MT of cocaine, 88 kg of heroin, 27 MT of marijuana, and 372
Bilateral Cooperation: The United States provided funding for
operational support of Grupo Cuscatlan and the high-profile
crimes unit (GEAN) within the Anti-Narcotics Police.  The
United States also funded training and travel related to
airport security, money laundering, maritime boarding
operations, and anti-gang measures.  DEA and INL officers
work closely with the PNC anti-narcotics unit, the PNC
financial crimes unit, the Financial Investigations Unit of
the federal prosecutor's office, and the federal banking
regulators on issues relating to drug trafficking and money
Road Ahead: The United States will continue to provide
operational support to Salvadoran law enforcement
institutions, anti-money laundering training, and essential
investigative tools.  Together with the U.S. Department of
Treasury, the Embassy plans to provide a secure communication
link and database to be shared by the police, the Attorney
General's office, and the banking regulators to facilitate
money laundering and narcotics investigations.

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