BRAZIL: SENATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN CONCERNED ABOUT POSSIBLE TERRORIST PRESENCE IN BRAZIL

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
08BRASILIA523 18 April 2008 Secreto Embassy Brasilia

Buscar la fuente: [Wikileaks] [MRKVA] [Google]

VZCZCXRO2005
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #0523/01 1091534
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 181534Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1457
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6720
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4529
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5441
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4051
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 6116
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3760
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7320
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0268
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7924
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6034
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 1905
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000523

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2038
TAGS: PTER, PREL, FARC, BR, VE, EC, CO, XR, BO
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: SENATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN CONCERNED
ABOUT POSSIBLE TERRORIST PRESENCE IN BRAZIL

REF: BRASILIA 507

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CLIFFORD SOBEL, REASON 1.4 B/D

1. (S) Summary. Senate Foreign Relations and National
Defense Committee Chairman Heraclito Fortes (strictly
protect) (Democrats Party, opposition; of Piaui) told
Ambassador Sobel on March 28 he is deeply concerned about
signs of terrorists in Brazil. He cited a published report
(reftel) of a Brazilian guerrilla force similar to the FARC
operating in Rondonia state, possibly with foreign support
and revealed that a Brazilian Congressional inquiry had
learned of foreign support for a Brazilian NGO, possibly with
terrorist connections, in Teresina, Piaui. He said Bolivians
seem "tired of the Boliviarian idea," and noted that Bolivian
officials recently made positive statements to him about the
importance of good bilateral relations with Brazil. Finally,
he said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was "thrown off
balance" by compromising information from a laptop captured
after Colombia’s raid on FARC militants in Ecuador. Fortes
is one of a modest number of legislators who are paying
attention to what they consider to be emerging threats to
Brazilian security. End summary.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brazilian Group Resembles FARC
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (S) Chairman Fortes told Ambassador Sobel he is deeply
concerned about reports of FARC-like terrorist activity in a
remote area of Brazil. He cited a recent article in the
March 26, 2008, edition of IstoE magazine that reported on
the activities of a far left peasant movement called the Poor
Peasants League (Liga dos Camponeses Pobres, "LCP"), with
unknown, possibly foreign, funding, and in some ways similar
to the FARC. According to IstoE, the LCP holds territory in
Rondonia state, which borders the Bolivian departments of
Pando and Beni. Chairman Fortes said he felt certain there
was foreign, possibly even FARC, involvement in the LCP, and
guerilla training in Brazil was a very serious matter. He
speculated that the LCP could be using Russian or Iranian
"technology." (Note: IstoE reported that LCP guerrillas are
armed with handguns, grenades, and automatic weapons,
including the American-made AR-15, the Russian-made AK-47,
and the FAL, originally of Belgian manufacture but also
manufactured in Brazil for its military use, all of which are
readily available on black markets in the region. End note.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Foreign Influence in a Brazilian NGO
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (S) Fortes also shared with Ambassador information he
stressed was very sensitive and should be strictly protected.
He said that the Senate Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry
into Non-Governmental Organizations learned that an NGO in
Teresina, Piaui, supported by a Trotskyite faction of the
Workers’ Party (PT) had received substantial foreign funding
channeled through a foreign international relations
institution. This NGO, which he named as CEPAC, at one time
had about 15 foreigners working for it for four to six
months, he said. Chairman Fortes said these foreigners were
either terrorists or they had participated in foreign
movements. He pointed out that Teresina is a city with no
history of urban disturbances, and therefore there should
have been no reason to base foreign agents based there. He
also said that in the period 2001-2002 an Italian terrorist
was in Teresina, but was discovered, arrested, and removed
from Brazil. (Note: The PT faction is probably the Socialist
Democracy faction. CEPAC is the Piaui Cultural Action
Center, or Centro Piauiense de Acao Cultural, a Brazilian NGO
closely linked to the PT. In early March 2008, during the
Senate investigation of NGOs, CEPAC came under scrutiny by
opposition politicians for receiving large federal grants
through the Agrarian Development Ministry. The governor of
Piaui, Wellington Dias, belongs to the PT. Fortes is
qualified to speak on conditions in Teresina: he was its
mayor from 1989 to 1992. The Italian he mentioned might be
Cesare Battisti, who was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on March

BRASILIA 00000523 002 OF 002

18, 2007, but is still in Brazil pending extradition to
Italy. End note.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bolivia Tired of Bolivarian Idea
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (S) Turning to the turmoil in Bolivia, Chairman Fortes
noted that on the positive side, there is disenchantment in
Bolivia with the Bolivarian idea. He said he had met earlier
in the week of March 24 with the new Bolivian Ambassador to
Brazil, the president of the Bolivian Senate, and the
Chairman of the Bolivian Senate’s Foreign Relations
Committee. Implying that Bolivia wishes to repair its
relationship with Brazil after its Bolivarian romance,
Chairman Fortes said the Bolivian Ambassador apologized to
him for some disagreements between presidents Lula and
Morales a couple of years ago and agreed with Fortes that the
two countries need to continue their tradition of friendly
relations. Chairman Fortes also said that it is worrisome
that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is able to exert
pressure on Evo Morales "because he financed him." He added
that the situation in Bolivia in "very serious," with
disturbances and people in the streets.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Captured FARC Documents Threw Chavez Off Balance
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (S) Fortes said he had spoken with a person who was
present at the Rio Group meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic, who reported that President Chavez had been thrown
off balance by the discovery of compromising information on a
laptop computer seized after the recent Colombian attack on
FARC forces and, as a result, behaved in a comparatively
subdued manner.

6. (C) Comment. Chairman Fortes is one of a few Brazilian
legislators who have spoken to us of their concerns about
Iranian and Venezuelan meddling in the region, threats to
stability, and other national security issues. Fortes, more
than many, is paying attention to what he considers to be
emerging threats inside and outside of Brazil. His concerns
about the LCP and CEPAC seem valid, based on the information
he has at hand, but we do not have enough information to
evaluate the information’s accuracy and the possible
seriousness of the situations.
SOBEL