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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE258 2006-02-01 21:09 2011-03-08 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: STATE 222564 
1. Per Reftel Embassy San Jose provides the following information 
regarding end-use monitoring of resources acquired with U.S. 
Department of State International Narcotics Control (INL) funds. 
2. Procedures: Embassy San Jose INL section maintains an 
inventory of donated property using an Excel spreadsheet.  The 
Embassy's Information Systems Center continues to work on 
creating a program to transfer the inventory system from the 
Excel spreadsheet to a new database to facilitate the issuance of 
reports.  Post's INL section has been using its own numbering and 
label system to keep track of items donated since April 2003 as 
NEPA (Non-expendable property application) labels can no longer 
be used for INL purchased items.  All donated equipment is also 
documented with a specific donation document signed by an Embassy 
representative and the senior official from the recipient GOCR 
agency.  The donation document specifies the equipment being 
donated and notes the inventory and manufacturer's serial number. 
Donation documents include the following text:  "If the donated 
items do not meet the user's needs, according to the letter of 
agreement, then the items may not be reassigned to another 
Department and the U.S. Embassy Political Section must be 
notified immediately." 
3.  The Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Officer, DEA Special Agents, 
and Office of the Defense Representative periodically visited 
Costa Rican counternarcotics installations and verified the 
proper use and continued maintenance of equipment acquired with 
INL funds.  The Drug Control Police (PCD), Narcotics Section, 
Financial Crimes Unit, and Cybercrimes Unit of the Organization 
for Judicial Investigations (OIJ), Costa Rican Coast Guard 
(SNGC), Air Surveillance Section (SVA), and the Costa Rican 
Institute Against Drugs (ICD) formerly CICAD all used such 
equipment and training in their operations according to the terms 
of Letter of Agreement (LOA's) signed with the GOCR.  Regular 
monitoring of INL-supported projects provides an ongoing 
opportunity for specific end-use monitoring, program evaluation, 
and identification of additional ways to increase program 
4. Resources and status: Embassy San Jose has delivered INL 
funded commodities and services to GOCR authorities in the 
categories below: 
A. Computer Equipment 
Coast Guard (SNGC) Academy:  In CY 02, CY 03, and CY 04 Post INL 
donated a Compaq computer, a Toshiba laptop computer, a Sony 
notebook Pentium 4 laptop computer, a Sony digital camera, a Sony 
camcorder, an HP office jet print/copy/scan/fax, and a Riso high- 
speed reproduction printer in support of the Coast Guard Academy. 
All of this equipment is located at the SNGC Academy in Golfito 
and is being used for its intended purpose. 
Police Academy: In CY 05, Post INL donated a Toshiba laptop, 
Epson Printer, and video projector to the Instructor Development 
Section of the Police Academy. 
Precursor Control: In CY 02 Post INL funded the purchase of 
computers and peripherals consisting of a Jaguar computer with 
monitor, Microsoft XP and antivirus software, HP desk jet 
printer, Epson printer, and a Powerlite LCD projector.  The 
computer is supplementing a Dell computer and monitor donated in 
CY 00. This equipment was originally donated to the Ministry of 
Health which at the time had responsibility for precursor 
chemical control.  In 2004 the Precursors Chemicals Office was 
moved from the Health Ministry to the new ICD's headquarters. 
The Computers and peripherals are now located in this building 
and continue to be used for their intended purpose. 
OIJ Narcotics Section: In CY 01, 02, 03, and 04 Post INL donated: 
7 Dell Computers, a Cannon Digital Copier, 4 Jaguar computers, 2 
Jaguar high performance Pentium IV computers, an Apple computer 
with monitor and DVD recorder, 3 HP deskjet printers, 1 laserjet 
printer, and 2 Sony digital photo printers.  The equipment is 
located at OIJ Narcotics Section offices around the country and 
is being used to support ongoing counternarcotics 
CSE Prosecution Unit: In CY 02, Post INL donated 1 Jaguar 
computer, 3 HP foldable keyboards for HP IPAQ pocket PC, and 1 
piece of specialized transmission/reception equipment to the 
Child Sexual Exploitation Unit of the Prosecutor's Office.  A 
voltage spike burned out the Jaguar computer in 2004, the rest is 
being used for its intended purpose. 
Narcotics Control Police (PCD): In CY 01, 02, 03 and 04 Post INL 
donated 3 Jaguar computers, 1 Dell Optiplex computer, 1 Imac Ruby 
computer, a hard disk, an Apple computer with DVD burner, 
computer software and licenses, computer 48-port switch, a 4-port 
analog module for connectivity outside San Jose, 1 HP printer, 1 
Applied Magic video editor, and Mapinfo geographic information 
system (GIS) software.  The Jaguar and Apple computers are 
installed in the PCD's Counternarcotics Information Center (CIPA) 
in San Jose.  The 4-port analog module is stored at the Ministry 
of Public Security.  The Optiplex computer is used to support the 
growing number of electronic intercept investigations being 
worked with the Prosecutor's Office.  All equipment is being used 
for its intended purpose. 
OIJ K-9 Unit: In CY 01 and 03 Post INL donated 3 Jaguar Pentium 
III computers, HP deskjet printer, HP scanjet scanner, 3 ups, two 
24-switch ports, and 2 optical fiber converters.  This equipment 
is at the OIJ's K-9 Unit in Heredia and is being used for its 
intended purpose. 
ICD Software: Post INL financed the development of administrative 
software to enhance ICD's operational capabilities.  The software 
has had numerous problems and is currently fulfilling 65% of its 
intended functions.  ICD officials believe the developer will be 
able to complete the installation of this software in 2006. 
Guardian Software: Post INL funded the purchase of computer 
software in 2003 that enabled ICD to electronically communicate 
with the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) using the DEA 
Guardian software in the format required by EPIC.  It was 
installed in PCD and SNGC offices around Costa Rica and is 
running well. 
B. Communications Equipment 
Communications Network for SNGC and SVA: In CY 02, Post INL 
funded the purchase of a new communications network for SNGC and 
SVA vessels and aircraft.  The system is still non-operational. 
ICE (state-owned telecommunications monopoly) has provided 
frequencies to the vendor on two separate occasions, however, 
upon testing it was determined that the frequencies were being 
used by other parties.  The vendor has been slow to provide 
equipment.  Post INL and Ministry of Public Security officials 
are reviewing legal options against the vendor.  Previously we 
reported that over 50 percent of the funds for this purchase had 
not been released.  Upon closer review of our records, it appears 
that over 70 percent of the funds for this project had been 
released as of 2003. 
C. Vehicles 
Mobile Enforcement Team (MET):  In CY 02, 03 and 04 Post INL 
provided vehicles and equipment for the Ministry of the 
Presidency's MET.  INL funded the purchase of a customized 
utility truck, utility van, two motorcycles, trailer, a Honda 
generator, tools, and equipment for the vehicles.  The MET 
conducts counternarcotics operations as well as a number of cross- 
border training exercises with counterparts in Nicaragua and 
Panama.  Mechanical problems plagued the truck, and particularly 
its transmission, during 2004.  During 2005 the MET deployed less 
frequently than in 2004.  One deployment, however, lasted 10 days 
and supported the regional "All Inclusive" exercise. 
2003 FORD E-150 8-Passenger Van for PCD: In CY 03 Post INL 
donated a Ford van to support PCD operations throughout the 
country.  The van is being used for its intended purpose. 
2003 FORD E-350 15-Passenger van for MPS K-9 UNIT: In CY 03 Post 
INL donated a Ford Van to support MPS K-9 Unit operations.  The 
van is maintained at the MPS K-9 facility located at the Juan 
Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.  In CY 04 tools 
were provided for the van which kept in a locked box inside the 
van and a single officer is in charge of the inventory.  This 
equipment has provided a significant morale boost to the K-9 
unit, allowing the unit to deploy anywhere in the country. 
2003 TOYOTA RAV-4s FOR OIJ: In CY 03 Post INL purchased 2 Toyota 
RAV-4s for donation to the Organization for Judicial 
Investigations (OIJ) to conduct undercover surveillance 
operations.  The vehicles were formally donated in February, 
2004, and are being used for their intended purpose. 
2003 FORD F-250 XL Truck for SNGC: In CY 03 Post INL funded 50 
percent of the total amount to purchase a Ford F-250 truck which 
allows the SNGC to transport patrol craft to the different Coast 
Guard Stations around the country.  The SNGC provided 50 percent 
of the funding for this vehicle with the understanding that it 
would be subject to the same end use monitoring requirements as 
any other vehicle purchased with INL funds.  It is being used for 
its intended purpose. 
D. Vessels 
COASTAL PATROL CRAFT: Before restrictions on such donations came 
into effect due to the absence of a bilateral Article 98 
agreement, the USG provided Costa Rica with three 82-ft 
decommissioned USCG cutters as a donation of Excess Defense 
Articles (EDA) in CY 1999 and 2001.  Transfer packages for these 
vessels were supported with Post's INL funds, and included the re- 
fitting of all electronics and communication systems, training 
for the SNGC crews, and a full complement of spare parts. 
The ship "Juan Santamaria" is stationed in the Atlantic port town 
of Limon, and the "Juan Rafael Mora" in the Pacific port town of 
Puntarenas.  The "Pancha Carrasco" is stationed in the southern 
Pacific coast town Golfito.  All ships are operational and are 
being used for their intended purpose. 
craft were transferred to SNGC in CY 00, 01, and 02. Each RHI is 
equipped with two Honda 130 hp outboard engines and complete 
rigging, electronics, and safety equipment.  None are 
operational.  These locally manufactured vessels have experienced 
numerous problems with the inflatable section of the hull. 
FIBERGLASS FAST BOATS: two 26-foot fiberglass fast boats were 
donated to the Ministry of Public Security in CY 02.  Each fast 
boat is equipped with two 120 horsepower Mercruiser diesel 
engines, complete rigging, electronics, and safety equipment. 
E. Canine Program 
Ministry of Public Security K-9 Unit: In CY 03 Post INL 
contracted with CSI International for five narcotics detection 
dogs with a one-year training and certification package.  The 
contract called for the delivery of five narcotics detection dogs 
and an initial two-week training course, followed by monthly 
follow-up training, leading to certification.  One of the dogs 
died of chronic ehrlichiosis (transmitted by infected ticks) in 
June 2004.  Another dog needed surgery for coxofemoral dysplasia 
in 2005.  MPS K9 handlers were certified on September 18, 2004. 
CSI has not followed through on promises to address concerns 
about the quality of the dogs it provided.  Post will not 
consider CSI for future procurements. 
F. Construction Projects 
Ministry of Public Security Penas Blancas Border checkpoint: In 
CY 02 Post INL provided funding for the construction of a 
counternarcotics inspection station at Penas Blancas, located at 
a natural chokepoint on the border between Costa Rica and 
Nicaragua.  The inspection station modernized this busy border 
crossing and facilitated cargo inspections that otherwise would 
not have occurred.  In CY 03 Post INL funded the purchase of 
tools, furniture, and other equipment to outfit the inspection 
station.  Also in CY 03, Post INL secured the donation of a 40- 
kilowatt Cummins diesel-powered electrical generator from Embassy 
San Jose for the border inspection station.  Construction was 
completed in November 2003 with the exception of minor 
modifications.  The inspection station was formally donated in 
April, 2004.  Regular operations began in March 2004 and problems 
arose with the building's structure, drainage and electrical 
systems, fans, and air conditioners almost immediately.  Regular 
visits by the contractor and better maintenance by the users have 
addressed some of the problems.  However, ongoing drainage 
issues, combined with cracks in the floors and walls, point to 
problems with the initial site preparation by the Army Corps of 
Coast Guard Station in Quepos: Post's INL funds were used to 
construct a 3000 square foot two-story building with a 
storage/maintenance facility for two fast boats.  It also 
includes a dormitory for 15 personnel, kitchen, dining 
facility/conference room, operations center, and storage 
facilities.  Furniture, computer software, fax, a cordless phone 
and two file cabinets were purchased with INL funds to outfit the 
station.  The coast guard station is located in the Pacific port 
town of Quepos and has been operational since November 2003.  The 
station and the equipment were formally donated to the SNGC in 
February 2004. 
G. Miscellaneous Equipment 
Immigration Directorate: In CY 02 Post INL donated 60 optical 
passport readers, 5 mobile inspection terminals and funded the 
development of specialized software for the Directorate of 
Immigration.  The optical passport readers are located at the 
Juan Santamaria, Daniel Oduber, and Tobias Bolanos international 
airports, Ports of Puntarenas, Limon and Quepos, and the border 
crossings at Paso Canoas and Penas Blancas.  Three mobile 
inspection terminals are located in the maritime inspection 
stations of Limon and Puntarenas and are rotated between ports. 
Two are maintained at the San Jose office to be deployed randomly 
throughout the country.  The software is performing as expected. 
One of the mobile passport readers was damaged by a water leak in 
the ceiling above the reader. 
Air Surveillance Section (SVA):  In CY 02 and 03, Post INL 
donated eight GPS navigation systems for SVA aircraft, and two 6- 
man aviation life rafts with canopies.  The donated GPS 
navigation systems have been installed in the aircrafts and are 
functioning properly.  The life rafts and maintenance parts are 
being properly stored, logged, and used for their intended 
purpose at the SVA's facilities at Base 2, Juan Santamaria 
International Airport in San Jose. 
PCD: In CY 01 Post INL donated five complete contraband detector 
kits to the PCD.  Two of the kits are currently deployed with PCD 
units located at the Penas Blancas and Paso Canoas border 
checkpoints.  One is in the possession of DEA for re-calibration 
and the remaining two are at PCD headquarters in San Jose.  This 
equipment has proven highly effective in detecting cocaine 
secreted in hidden compartments, the fuel tanks and tires of 
tractor-trailers crossing into Costa Rica.  An additional kit 
used for training by Post's Customs Advisor was donated to the 
PCD in 2004, when the Customs Advisor position was vacated due to 
lack of funds.  All of these detectors are heavily used and 
getting old.  Costly re-calibration of the density meters is 
required with increasing frequency.  One of the density meters 
(belonging to the kit donated in 2004) was lost during an 
Undercover Surveillance Equipment: In CY 03 and CY 04 Post INL 
funded the purchase of technical equipment to provide video and 
audio surveillance in PCD operations.  This equipment is highly 
versatile, essential for officer/agent safety, and has been used 
for documentation of undercover narcotics purchases, providing 
valuable documentary evidence that has been used in criminal 
judicial proceedings.  In addition, Post INL donated 2 Panasonic 
digital camcorders, 7 digital Handycams, 60 remote GE tape 
recorders, 1 scanner, 1 Sony GVD 1000 video recorder, 2 Panasonic 
13" monitors, and five night vision goggles to support undercover 
operations.  All this equipment is well maintained and being used 
for its intended purpose. 
Cameras and other video equipment: In CY 02, 03, and 04, Post INL 
donated 2 Epson digital cameras, 2 Sony digital camcorders, 3 
Sony digital cameras, 2 Panasonic digital camcorders, 10 night 
vision goggles, 5 binoculars, 6 double cassette decks, 2 micro 
recorders disguised as cigarette packs, 2 micro recorders 
disguised as eyeglass cases, 3 Sony standard cassette 
transcribing machines, 3 Sony micro cassette transcribing 
machines, and 2 Sony minidvd camcorders to the OIJ Narcotics 
Section.  One of the Sony digital camcorders was stolen in May 
2003 and the 6 double cassette decks proved unsuitable for their 
original purpose.  The OIJ Narcotics Section returned them to its 
Procurement Office instead of the Embassy where they were 
redistributed among OIJ offices in San Jose and two courts. 
Otherwise, all this equipment is being used for its intended 
Demand Reduction Videos: In 2003 Post INL funded the purchase of 
a 3-minute video and five 30-second broadcast advertisements. In 
2005 Post funded a new master video and related material to 
continue with this program. 
Embassy San Jose engaged in a $2.15 million, three-year (2000- 
2003) SNGC Development Plan with Colombia Supplemental funding 
($1.9 million) and Post's INL funds, following implementation of 
the bilateral maritime agreement.  As a result, the SNGC 
experienced significant growth, increased its operational 
capability, and has become a more professional organization.  In 
2005, increased trafficking of narcotics by maritime routes has 
apparently continued, with 11 incidents and a total of 3,620 
kilos of cocaine seized at sea in 2005.  Another 2,548 kilos were 
seized in the vicinity of a grounded go-fast boat.  Traffickers 
used Costa Rican-flagged fishing boats to smuggle drugs and to 
provide fuel for other go-fast boats. 
Approximately $600,000 in Post's INL funds in CY 02 and 03 were 
used in the construction of the Penas Blancas border checkpoint. 
Located at a natural chokepoint on the Pan-American Highway, this 
investment has paid off handsomely, with over 1,000 kilos of 
cocaine seized since it was formally donated in 2004.  Penas 
Blancas represents a permanent deterrent to overland narcotics 
The numerous computer systems donated to the various GOCR 
agencies (over $20,000 in 2005) have increased interagency 
cooperation by allowing easier communication and information- 
sharing between agencies.  This has led to a more integrated 
approach to counter-narcotics operations and helped address a 
critical resource shortage. 
Undercover surveillance equipment donated by Post INL has led to 
the corroboration of intelligence obtained by the OIJ and the DEA 
Costa Rica Office. The equipment has also greatly enhanced 
officer safety and resulted in higher conviction rates. 
Embassy San Jose POC is Robert Copley,