BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON INSTITUTIONAL SECURITY CHIEF

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06BRASILIA1966 18 September 2006 Secreto Embassy Brasilia

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001966

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2016
TAGS: PREL, BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR’S COURTESY CALL ON
INSTITUTIONAL SECURITY CHIEF

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR DENNIS HEARNE. REASONS: 1.4 (B)(D).

1. (S/NF) Summary. On 14 September, Ambassador
(accompanied by PolCouns and DATT) made a courtesy call on
General Jorge Armando Felix, Minister for Institutional
Security in the Brazilian Presidency. Felix’s office oversees
both national intelligence and narcotics prevention efforts
nationwide, and is also an interagency crisis management
center for the Brazilian Government (GOB). Felix was
accompanied by his deputy, General Wellington; Marcio
Buzanelli, Director of Brazil’s National Intelligence Agency
(ABIN); and General Paulo Uchoa, Director of Brazil’s
Counter-Drug Secretariat (SENAD). The frank and broad
discussion covered bilateral cooperation against terrorism
and narcotrafficking, and USG concerns about delays in
security preparations for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio.
Ambassador also raised the issue of bilateral cooperation in
intelligence sharing on regional issues. End summary.

INSTITUTIONAL SECURITY CABINET


2. (SBU) Felix shared with Ambassador a slide presentation
outling the responsibilities of the Presidency’s
Institutional Security Office (Portuguese acronym GSI),
stressing that the GSI has primarily "coordination" vice
"executive" authorities. Felix explained that his office —
in addition to providing direct security support to the
President, serving on the National Defense Council, and
coordinating interagency crisis management in the GOB — is
responsible for overseeing the work of the Brazilian
Intelligence Agency (ABIN) and is the seat of the President’s
National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD). Felix praised the
cooperation of Embassy agencies, including the Narcotics
Affairs Section (NAS), with his office and emphasized a
desire to intensify cooperation whenever possible. In
response to questions by Ambassador, Felix further clarified
that ABIN is primarily focused on intelligence issues and
security within Brazil, and SENAD is focused on prevention
and treatment of drug usage, vice repression and enforcement,
which are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Police.

CT ISSUES


3. (C) Ambassador reviewed USG concerns about possible
terrorist financing activities in the tri-border area, and
solicited Felix’s views on potential threats. He also asked
Felix about the structure of decision-making and executive
responsibility on CT issues within the GOB, and raised the
possibility of high-level visits by senior U.S. intelligence
officials for meetings with Brazilian counterparts. On
operational issues, Ambassador praised the relationship
between Brazilian intelligence and security officials and the
Embassy, but expressed concern about the state of security
preparations for the Pan-American games in Brazil in 2007.
He also asked whether the GSI and ABIN have monitored persons
coming to Brazil in evacuations from the recent fighting in
southern Lebanon.

4. (C) On the tri-border question, Felix said that the area
is a focus of concern for Brazil in several respects,
including narcotrafficking, arms smuggling, piracy and
falisfication of myriad products, as well as money laundering
and terrorist financing. The GOB’s police and intelligence
services have an extensive presence in the region, and also
have liaison relations with Argentine, Paraguayan and other
national intelligence services, including U.S. agencies. The
GOB pursues CT investigations in the TBA and elsewhere
rigorously, he said, but is mindful of not "stigmatizing" the
Muslim community in the region, or prejudicing the area’s

BRASILIA 00001966 002 OF 003

image as a tourist destination. Brazil also has to be
"sensitive" to the differences — in economic development
levels, in police capacity — that exist among the three TBA
"neighbors" and work in a "gradual" fashion to build
confidence and lay groundwork for enhanced security
cooperation between the three nations.

5. (C) With regard to the GOB’s bureaucratic architecture for
managing CT issues, Felix told Ambassador that the GSI had
recently sent to President Lula da Silva a proposal for new
legislation that would organize the GOB’s CT efforts into a
more centralized structure under the supervision of Felix.
If Lula approves the proposal, it will be forwarded to
Brazil’s congress as a "projeto de lei" (legislative
proposal) for debate. Felix, who traveled to the U.S. last
year for consultations with USG agencies on development of
interagency CT coordination, welcomed the Ambassador’s
proposal for high-level visits, and said he and the ABIN
director would be the GOB interlocutors for such meetings.
He directed his staff to prepare a draft agenda of potential
issues of mutual concern to be addressed in the meetings, and
undertook to provide the agenda to the Embassy.

6.(C) Noting the Ambassador’s concern that security
preparations for the Pan Am Games appear to be moving slowly,
Felix nonetheless demurred on a substantive reply, saying
only that the National Secrariat for Public Security has the
lead within the GOB for security for the games. Felix
further implied he would not welcome taking on the task.
(Comment: Notwithstanding Felix’s comments, there is
widespread frustration within the GOB and among international
missions and service providers with the work being done by
the Public Security Secretariat, and Mission elements are
working informally on the issue with working-level
counterparts in the GSI, who indicate they expect the
security coordination mission for the games will be
transferred formally to GSI in the near future. End comment.)

7. (S/NF) ABIN Director Buzanelli, responding to Ambassador’s
question about movements of persons into Brazil from Lebanon
in the wake of recent fighting there, said his agency has
been carefully checking the names and backgrounds of
Brazilian passport holders (and relatives) evacuated from
Lebanon, and is coordinating this effort with other
intelligence services, including those of the USG. But the
work has been difficult and time-consuming, he said, as
almost 3,000 Brazilians were evacuated from Lebanon, though
some are now returning there with the ceasefire in place.
Felix added that the GOB has been highly concerned about the
possibility of terrorist elements or combatants slipping into
Brazil with other evacuees, and remains attentive. Felix
noted that Brazil’s population of over 7 million persons of
Lebanese descent is, by far, made up mostly of Maronite and
Orthodox Christians, who immigrated before the Lebanese civil
war in the 1970s. During and following the war, Muslims
immigrated to Brazil, settling mainly in the tri-border area
and Sao Paulo. The predominent population of settled,
prosperous non-Muslim Lebanese has "helped to maintain
balance" and limit radicalization of the Lebanese population
in Brazil, despite the deep emotional resonance events in
Lebanon and the Middle East have in Brazil’s middle eastern
community, according to Felix.

CRIME AND BORDER CONTROL


8. (C) Ambassador recalled his recent meeting with Justice
Minister Thomas Bastos, in which a possible visit by the U.S.
Attorney General, DEA Administrator, and INL A/S were
discussed, and in which Ambassador offered USG assistance in

BRASILIA 00001966 003 OF 003

addressing the recent violent attacks in Sao Paulo by the PCC
organized crime group. He noted conversations with Sao Paulo
Governor Claudio Lembo and Rio Mayor Cesar Maia in which both
had expressed high concern about cocaine inundating their
cities. He further recounted his meeting with Federal Police
Director Paulo Lacerda, noting Lacerda’s concern about the
illicit flow of both narcotics and heavy-caliber weapons
across Brazil’s immense frontiers. Lacerda had observed that
he had only 7,000 Federal Police agents, and that the
Brazilian Army has constitutional authority to purse public
order/law enforcement missions within 150 kilometers of
national borders. Ambassador asked for Felix’s perspectives
on these concerns.

9. (C) Felix said his office would welcome visits by the U.S.
Attorney General, DEA Administrator, and INL A/S and
expressed gratitude for offers of assistance to deal with the
PCC. Observing that Brazilian authorities are becoming
progressively better at "following the money trail," Felix
said Brazilian police are now increasingly using financial
investigation tactics against organized crime, including the
PCC and other narcotics and gun smugglers. He said there is
proposed legislation to expand the Federal Police to more
than 14,000 agents, but that the Brazilian military continues
to be reluctant to engage in border operations against
narcotics smuggling, fearing the potential for corruption
among the troops — a troubling trend seen in neighboring
countries, Felix added.

10. (C) Brazil’s battle against narcotrafficking has been "a
cycle of success-failure," and he said the classic example of
this is seen with Bolivia. Brazilian law enforcement has
enjoyed considerable success in controlling precursor
chemcials and materials flowing from Brazil into Bolivia for
the processing of coca into refined cocaine products. As a
result, Bolivia’s cocaine has degraded to a point that it
attracts little interest in the U.S. and European markets.
But an unintended consquence is now evident as low-quality
Bolivian cocaine floods Brazilian cities: Brazil is now
Bolivia’s main drug market.

REGIONAL ISSUES


11. (S/NF) Ambassador inquired whether the GSI and ABIN would
be interested in colloborating with U.S. counterparts in
sharing intelligence on developments in the region, including
in Venezuela. Felix was careful in his reply, but said such
cooperation could be "useful," and said, with no elaboration,
that "Paraguay could be of special interest." Ambassador
pressed further on the question of Venezuela, to which Felix
quietly replied, "Why not?"

12. (C) Comment. Felix appears willing to cooperate with USG
authorities, and is clearly concerned with improving and
streamling the GOB’s capacity for dealing with
counter-terrorism priorities. We believe it would be
worthwhile to involve his office more extensively in
collobrative efforts on CT, counter-narcotics and organized
crime, and foresee, in particular, the possible necessity of
making the GSI a focal point for our efforts to work with
Brazil on security preparation for the Pan Am Games.

Sobel