[OS] US/GUATEMALA/BELIZE/HONDURAS/NICARAGUA/COSTA RICA/PANAMA/EL SALVADOR/CT – 6/20 – US in new push against drugs in Central America

Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 3008353
Date 2011-06-21 15:30:18
From brian.larkin@stratfor.com
To os@stratfor.com

US in new push against drugs in Central America
June 20, 2011

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gxHKRXNKscqU_7xNRAYDD5XnGpTg?docId=CNG.f6e4cf8f7bcbf9e0be98991770b9f79b.c21

WASHINGTON – The United States will discuss efforts to be a “more
effective” partner with Central America in fighting drug trafficking when
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Guatemala Wednesday, aides said.

The chief US diplomat, aides said Monday, will visit Guatemala City to
discuss a counternarcotics strategy with the leaders of Guatemala, Belize,
El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Other leaders or top officials attending the talks will represent Mexico,
Colombia, Chile, Spain and the European Union, they added.

Clinton has “been concerned about the situation in Central America for
some time,” Arturo Valenzuela, the assistant secretary of state for
Western Hemisphere affairs, told reporters.

As Mexico has tried to fight its drug trafficking scourge, drug mafias
have increasingly pushed south into Central America and countries like
Guatemala and Belize have seen a surge in violence that they seem almost
powerless to stop.

Clinton has “been pushing for greater engagement on the part of the United
States since she began to focus on these issues some time ago,” Valenzuela
said.

However, he said, the meeting will not amount to a donors’ conference and
will instead focus on using existing resources better.

“The question is: Is the funding being used strategically in the
appropriate way? And that?s what we?re going to be addressing in this
meeting,” Valenzuela said.

“The various donors have been pledging monies now for some time in
different kinds of categories,” he added.

“The secretary may announce how we?re repackaging some of our own
assistance,” in support of the counternarcotics strategies of the region’s
countries, he said.

“We want to be more effective partners in carrying out their expectations,
which of course, is also in our fundamental interest,” Valenzuela said,
referring to US efforts to fight drug traffickers traveling north.

Washington cooperates with Central America, which UN figures say is the
world’s most violent region outside of war zones, through the Central
American Regional Security Initiative, with a budget of 260 million
dollars.

Clinton’s main concern is organized crime and its threat to the
continent’s democratic institutions, particularly those in Central
America, said Michael Shifter, who heads the Inter-American Dialogue, a
DC-based think tank.

“When she thinks about the region, it is what concerns her most, and I
believe she wants to achieve a concrete result to contain and respond to
this growing criminality in Central America,” Shifter told AFP.

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[OS] COSTA RICA/CHINA/TAIWAN – Costa Rica breaks relations with Taiwan

Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 337194
Date 2007-06-07 09:33:12
From os@stratfor.com
To analysts@stratfor.com

Eszter – they broke up after all. Arias announced, the Taiwanese FM
offered to resign.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – President Oscar Arias announced Wednesday that
Costa Rica has broken diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established
relations with China, delivering a blow to the Asian island’s fragile
international standing.

Arias said Costa Rica needed to strengthen ties with China to attract
foreign investment.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister James Huang quickly offered to resign to take
responsibility for Costa Rica’s switch, which left the Taiwan with
relations with just two dozen nations.

Since splitting amid civil war in 1949, Taiwan and China have fought to
win the diplomatic allegiance of countries around the world. China refuses
to have diplomatic ties with nations that recognize Taiwan, which Beijing
regards as a renegade province it plans to eventually unify with the
mainland.

Central America in particular has been a bulwark of support for Taiwan,
and Taiwan had expressed fears that if Costa Rica were to shift its
recognition to Beijing, other nations such as Nicaragua and Panama could
soon follow suit.

“We are looking to strengthen the commercial ties and attract investment,”
Arias said. “China is the most successful emerging economy in the world
and soon it will be the second strongest economy in the world after the
United States.”

Arias said China is the Central American nation’s No. 1 trading partner,
buying more than $1 billion worth of Costa Rican exports last year.

China spends heavily to induce nations to change diplomatic allegiances,
offering investment, loans and other incentives.

“Taiwan has been very generous and I thank it for the solidarity and
co-operation it has shown for nearly 60 years, but I have taken this
decision thinking of all the Costa Ricans,” Arias said.

The change is just one more strike against Taiwan in its campaign for
international legitimacy. During the late 1960s, it had full relations
with 67 countries, including the United States. But the U.S. pulled it
embassy out of the Taiwanese capital a decade later and today just 24
states recognize Taiwan.

The United States, Japan, Great Britain and dozens of others maintain
quasi-official ties * part of a diplomatic sleight of hand to honor
Beijing’s condition that full diplomatic recognition be accorded to only
one of the rivals.

However, Beijing resents even those connections. Its main concern is the
United States, which remains Taiwan’s most important foreign link,
providing it weapons for its defense against a possible Chinese attack.

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has said that Taiwan could enjoy formal
independence in his lifetime. This angered China, which has threatened to
attack the island if it formalizes its de facto independence.

At a press briefing shortly after Costa Rica’s announcement, Huang,
Taiwan’s foreign minister, offered to resign.

“I went to President Chen (Shui-bian) … and asked to resign to take
political responsibility,” Huang told reporters. He did not say if his
offer was accepted.

Huang said that he believed Costa Rica was an isolated case. But he
acknowledged he had ordered Taiwanese embassies in Latin America to guard
against possible Chinese inroads.

“I’ve asked our embassies to take extreme precautions against any further
pressure by the Chinese communists,” he said.

Taiwan has been concerned about a deterioration of its relations with
Costa Rica since May 14, when the Latin American country voted at an
international health conference against holding a discussion on proposed
Taiwanese membership in the World Health Organization.

On May 25, Huang met with officials from Costa Rica and four other Latin
American countries in Belize City in an effort to shore up Taiwan’s
diplomatic standing in the region.

Arias declined to comment on whether his decision could encourage other
Central American nations to transfer their allegiance from Taipei to
Beijing.

Analyst Andrew Yang of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy
Studies said the Costa Rican action would probably create a chain reaction
among at least a number of Taiwan’s remaining seven Latin American allies.

“This will have a significant impact on other countries, a kind of domino
effect” he said. “Probably Nicaragua and Panama are next and then maybe
Paraguay.”

Salvadoran President Tony Saca said Wednesday that his nation was
interested in establishing relations with China but did not want to sever
ties with Taiwan.

“Taiwan is an independent country that has won its space and we will going
maintaining relations with Taiwan. If China accepts this we will open
relations with pleasure,” Saca said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070607/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/costa_rica_taiwan_china

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INSIGHT – AR 516 – Peru’s response to the spy scandal, and thoughts from upper level military

Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 375935
Date 2009-11-18 17:26:01

This demonstrates a relatively high level of agitation among the
Peruvians. My main military contact in Chile has been downplaying this
issue strongly, saying it doesn’t matter, tha tensions between Peru and
Chile are no big deal and that the Peruvians are exaggerating all of it.

Bypassing WO as per Stick.

PUBLICATION: Not yet
SOURCE: AR 01 chatting with AR 516
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor Source
SOURCE placement : B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 3
DISTRO: SECURE
Handler: Karen

He said well we talked a lot about the Peruvian officer, Chile spy case.
I asked what they thought/opinionated about that and his immediate
response was `well we have to by more arms.’ From there I asked him to
elaborate on that and explain how he arrived at this conclusion. And as a
result the following comments were made:

– First I asked how serious and credible this was. Was Peru 100% sure
that this guy was spying and be paid by Chile. He said that they were
more than 100% sure. He said that in Venezuela and Bolivia and sometimes
even in Argentina you’ll hear about all sorts of scandals or rumors or
exaggerated stories that should be taken with a grain of salt. He said,
however, that when it comes to Chile and Peru these things were taken
very seriously and as credible problems/threats.

– Peru is taking this scandal as a very big offense that, to an extent, is
being treated a bit like `the straw that broke the camel’s back’ in terms
of Chile-Peru tensions. He said that Alan
and the Frgn Min coming back shows just how serious the govt is taking
this issue and that they felt relations with Chile were put at a huge
risk. He said that while they haven’t officially broken off diplomatic
relations with Chile or recalled ambassadors, but that could be a
potential next step.

– He said this was shameful for Chile to finance such a spy project. He
said more importantly that Peru (at least the military) was absolutely
embarrassed and feels like they have
really been made the fool. He literally said at one point in the
conversation `somos los payasos.’

– At this point the recent diplomatic efforts by Peru to promote its pact
of non-aggression came up in the conversation. Again he said that Peru
looks foolish now for doing that and that they should not have believed
Chile saying `yeah not a bad idea.’ For him and the people in this
conversation and many in the military that diplomatic approach was over.
The idea of using diplomacy and believing in a possible agreement to
limit/control arms purchases is dead. Peru can’t afford to pursue that
any more and needs to make more assertive moves if it wants to be taken
seriously by Chile and not get so easily walked upon.

– He reiterated that Chile’s arms purchases were just way too much and
could not be justified by any means and for Peru it was clearly an
aggressive move that now can be interpreted no other way.

– He also said that the potential deal between Chile and the US was
particularly alarming. For them it signifies that the US has chosen to
side with Chile in any future Chile-Peru conflicts. They feel that Peru
can now not go to the US to buy weapons since its basically looks certain
that the US will be supplying Chile with arms.

– I asked if he knew how the Chile-US arms deal came about. If the US
started it or Chile. He said he didn’t know but that it didn’t matter
because a deal like that requires two very willing parties.

– They were also just very surprised in general that the US would side or
support Chile. According to him, the US has some DEA, anti-drug projects
in Peru and at least in this area, the military has always considered the
US a reliable and good partner. Betrayal is way to strong a word, but
perhaps snubbed or surprised describes some of their reactions/feelings to
the US possibly selling arms to Chile.

– Then came talk about what Peru would do. He said that Peru had to buy
weapons. I said they should only buy from the best and with the US not
being seen as an option, who was left. He said Israel and Russia were the
big, good, reliable arms suppliers out there for Peru to deal with. I
asked a bit of why for Israel since I
thought Israel purchased a lot of US arms. He said that Israel produces
some arms and that it has very good defense capability, both in equipment
and with the personnel. He also said that Peru has the money to make
large arms purchases should it so choose.

– I asked if the General or people were worried about things. He said the
general was not `preocupado’ but that he was certainly `consternado’.
They are all expecting a very tense week ahead and are waiting to see what
Garcia, the cabinet and governments do in the coming days.

Re: [alpha] INSIGHT – MEXICO – Iranian plot and Mexican “cooperation” with US – N/A

Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 5072197
Date 2011-10-14 21:45:42

I don’t know about the other cooperation stuff, but Arbabsiar entered
Mexico at least 3 times prior to getting denied.

What changed that last time other than US notification?

———————————————————————-

From: Marc Lanthemann <marc.lanthemann@stratfor.com>
Sender: alpha-bounces@stratfor.com
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:43:37 -0500 (CDT)
To: Alpha List<alpha@stratfor.com>
ReplyTo: Alpha List <alpha@stratfor.com>
Subject: [alpha] INSIGHT – MEXICO – Iranian plot and Mexican “cooperation”
with US – N/A
Not yet assigned source code. Individual is former federal-level law
enforcement official for Mexican government.

Just a comment about the article published today regarding the alleged
iranian plot.

I am a firm believer that mexican drug cartels don`t have any dealings
with foreign terrorist groups. They will not risk their main business to
become international terrorists. Besides, muslims and mexicans don`t mix
very well.

As you well know, Mexico keeps an immigration alert database containing
information related to international fugitives and suspects of other
crimes like terrorism.

Every day mexican immigration authorities encounter subjects on the alert
system who are not allowed to enter Mexico and are sent back to the point
of origin of their trip, notifying the recipient authorities.

That is exactly what happened with Manssor Arbabsiar. He was denied entry
and sent back to the US where he was arrested.

What is being said about the “cooperation” from the mexican government to
avoid the plot makes me laugh. The only cooperation was that we caught
Arbabsiar at the mexican airport and sent him back to the US just on the
fact that he was on the aforementioned alert.

The cooperation and communication between Mexico and the US is on it`s
lowest level.

You know that Mexico is not fully cooperating with the US since the
“wikileaks” reports showing that your Ambassador Carlos Pascual was
sending messages with “derogatory” information about mexican
authoritiesand after the “Fast and Furious Operation”.

Those incidents caused a fracture on the bi-lateral relation, mainly in
the mexican side.

Mexico now is keeping a lid on open communication with the US with the
only exception when Mexico has a benefit (like the Merida Plan).

It`s a shame that things are not as they were before.

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