INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS SITUATION REPORT

Created: 9/1/1990

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

ITEM FERSH-ICTTVh THE ESCOBA? AHEAD

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THE HECENT KILLING OT GUSTAVO DE JESUS GAVIRIA RIVERO, EY LIEUTENANT OK PABLO ESCOBAR CAVIRIA, IS THE LATEST MILESTONE IN THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT'S INCREASINGLY EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ESCOBAR AND HIS ORGANIZATION. GAVIRIA'S DEATH FOLLOWS THE GOVERNMENT'S KILLING IN MID-JUNE OF JOHN JAIRO ARIAS TASCON, ANOTHER ESCOBAR PRINCIPAL, AND THEONTH LATER OK EDGAR ROBERTO ESCOBAR TABORDA, ESCOBAB'S TOP PROPAGANDIST. IN OUR JUDGMENT, THE REMOVAL OF SEVERAL OF ESCOBAR'S TOP LIEUTENANTS HAS CHEATED MANAGERIAL AND OPERATIONAL GAPS IN HIS ORGANIZATION THAT LIKELY WILL CONSTRAIN THE ORGANISATION'S TRAFFICKING ACTIVITIES AND INCREASE ITS VULNERABILITY TO CQUNTERSARCOTICS PRESSURES. |

GAVIRIA PIVEPO'S DEATHARGE HOLE IN THE COMMAND AND

ALTHOUGH THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT'S ACTIONS HAVEUMBER of ADVANTAGES ESCOBAR EKJCYEO PREVIOUSLY, WE BELIEVE HE STILLUMBER of OPTIONS TO RESPOND TO THE INCREASING PRESSURE ON HIMSELF AND HIS ORGANIZATION. NEVERTHELESS, BOGOTA'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST ESCOBAR HAS REACHED THE POINT AT WHICH MANY of TKE KINGPIN'S OPTIONS COULD SERVE TO UNDERCUT EITHER HIS SECURITY OP HIS ORGANIZATION'S OPERATIONS:

ESCOBAR ATTEMIT TO FILL TKE GAPS IN HIS ORGANIZATION, HE MAY DE FORCED TO RELY ON LESS EXPERIENCED OR LESS CAPABLE TRAFFICKERS, SI3LY CREATING FUTURE WEAKNESSES WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION AND MAKING IT INCREASINGLY VULNERABLE TO ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS.

X--IT ESCOBAR CHOOSES TO RESUME ACTIVE CONTROL of THE ORGANIZATION'S DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES, HIS ORGANIZATION WOULD PROBABLY BE EAR MORE EFFECTIVE. ON THE OTHER HAND, THIS WOULD IIKELY RESULT IN ESCOBAR'S INCREASEDWOULD LIKELY HAVE TO INCREASE HIS OPERATING AREA, COMMUNICATIONS, AND ACCESSIBILITY TC OTHERHIS RISK TO GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS.

X--HE COULD ATTEMPT TO MATCH THE GOVERNMENT'S CHALLENGE BY

ESCALATING THE LEVEL OT VIOLENCE, BUT THIS WOULD PROBABLY COST HIM ADDITIONAL POPULAR SUPPORT AND SERVE TO STRENGTHEN THE GOVERNMENT'S RESOLVE TO GET HIM AS WELL AS ANY OF HIS LIEUTENANTS WHO HAY BE PERPETRATING VIOLENT ACTS.

X--ESCOBAR COULD ALSO TURN INCREASINGLY TO HIS BUSINESSEXAMPLE, THE CCHOAS AND LEONARDIS VARGASPICK UP THE SLACK IN HIS COCAINE OPERATIONS SO HE CAN FOCUS ON HIS PERSONAL SECURITY AND WAR AGAINS? THE GOVERNMENT. THIS WOULD HELP HIM TRY TO SURVIVE BUT WOULD ALSO REDUCE HIS ORGANIZATION'S STRENGTH AND PROMINENCE IN THE MEDELLIN CARTEL.

MIGHT ALSO FIND THAT TURNING HIMSELF IN TOIS AN INCREASINGLY REALISTIC OPTION IF IT COULD BE r AN AGREEMENT WIT:- BOGOTA FHAT HE

TO THE UNITED STATES. ALTHOUGH SURRENDER WOULD OBVIOUSLYOSS

ofpersonal freedom, it would allow ssccbar to kf.ep his ORGANIZATION LARGELY INTACT. |

REGARDLESS OF HOW THE HUNT FOR ESCOBAR PLAYS OUT, WE BELIEVE THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS THUS FAR HAVE REAFFIRMED THE EFFICACYOUNTERNARCOTICS STRATEGY DESIGNED TO FOCUS ON THE LEAST EXPENDABLE ELEMENTS OF MAJOR TRAFFICKINGKINGPINS AND THEIR KEY LIEUTENANTS. ALTHOUGH THE CONSEQUENCES CF MOST OPTIONS THAT WE BELIEVE ARE AVAILABLE TO ESCOBAR SAKOE FROM INCREASED VULNERABILITY TO INCARCERATION, THEY DO UNDERSCORE THE FACT THAT HEI. RETAINS A CERTAIN DEGREE OF MANEUVERING ROOM EVEN UNDER SIEGE. AS WE SEE TT, BOGOTA'S IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE IS TO CAPITALIZE ON ANY INCREASED VULNERABILITIES THAT RESULT FROM THE GAME Pi.AN ESCOBAR CHOOSES IN HISM FT TO PREVENT THE DISMANTLEMENT OF HIS ORGANIZATION. "

ITEM 2. COLOMBIA: THE COUNTERNARCOTICS LEGACY

COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT'S RELIANCE ON EMERGENCY POWERS ANII STEPPED-UP MILITARY AND POLICE ACTION DURING THE LAST VI MONTHS HAS PROVIDED THE NEW ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT CESAR GAVIRIA WITH TH-TOOLS TO CONTINUE THE ANTIDRUG STRUGGLE OVER THE SHORT TERM. IN OUR JUDGMENT, HOWEVER, FORMER PRESIDENT BARCO'S FAILURE TO STRENGTHEN

AN INSTITUTIONS BARGEE WITH COUNTERNARCOTICS AY IN TIME COMPLICATE GAVIRIA'S EFFORTS TO SUSTAIN THE MOMENTUM. I

IN THE YEAR SINCE THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LUIS CARLOS GALAN ON9 BY DRUG TRAFFICKERS, BOGOTA HAS SCORED SOME SIGNIFICANT SUCCESSES AGAINST THE COLOMBIAN NARCOTICS INDUSTRY. THESE INCLUDE THE DEATHS OF KINGPIN JOSE GOKZALO RODRIGUEZ

ACHA AND SOMH TO? LIEUTENANTS OI KINGPIN PABLO ESCOBAR, ELL EXTRADITION. TRAFFICKERS TO THE UNITED STATES ANDOF SOME IS OTHERS. IN ADDITION, SECURITY FORCESHUNDREDS OF TRAFFICKER PROPERTIES AND Oi THEIR fRANSPORTATION NFRASTRCCT

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BOGOTA'S FOCUS OK APPREHENDING THE KINGPINS AND THEIR LIEUTENANTS AND DISRUPTING THEIR TRAFFICKING NETWORKSAJOR DEPARTURE FROM PREVIOUS INTERDICTION-BASED STRATEGIES THAT HAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED THE TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT. IN THIS REGARD, WE BELIEVE THAT THE RECENT DEATH OF KEY ESCOBAR LIEUTENANT GUSTAVO DE JESUS GAVIRIAIREFIGHT WITH SECURITY FORCES IN MXDELLINEVERE BLOW TO THE ESCOBAR ORGANIZATION.

SUCH ACTIONS, WHICH HIT THE TRADE WHERE IT CAN LEAST EASILY ABSORB LOSSES, HAVE ENABLED BOGOTA TO KEEP NARCOTICS INTERESTS ON THE :trEHSIVS EOS MOST IHE PAST YEAR. VIRTUALLY ALL 01 IKE .OF TRAFFICKERS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO LOWER THEIR PROFILES OR GO UNDERGROUND TO AVOID ARREST OR DEATH. REPORTED SECURITY AND COORDINATION PROBLEMS UP AND DOWN THE TRAFFICKING CHAIN MEANWHILE SUGGEST THAT GOVERNMENT PRESSURE IS HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE NARCOTICS OPERATIONS OF AT LEAST SOME OF COLOMBIA'S DRUG GROUPS. I

NUMEROUS STATE-OF-SIEGE DECREES ISSUED BY BOGOTA SERVE AS THE LEGAL UNDERPINNINGS FOR THE GOVERNMENT? PAORAS EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TRAFFICKERS TO THE UNITEDLARGELY CIRCUMVENT COLOFRIA'a PARALYZED JUDICIARY AND CI.KAP THE WAY FOR AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS BY THE SECURITY FORCES, INCLUDING THE CONFISCATION OF TRAFFICKER ASSETS. THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED CRITICAL SUPPORT FOR ITS EFFORTS FROM THE COLOMBIAN SUPREME COURT, WHICH. SO FAR HAS REFUSED TO YIELD TO TRAFFICKER PRESSURE TO NULLIFY THE DtCREES, ESPECIALLY EXTRADITION.

FLAWS IN THF. ANTIDRUG PROGRAM

SUSTAINING THE CCCNTERNARCOTICS PROGRAM AS IS MAY NEVERTHELESSDIFFICULT FOP THE NEW ADMINISTRATION. DESPITE GOVERNMENT SUCCESSES DURING THE PAST YEAR, THE PROGRAM'S OVERALL IMPACT HAS BEEN LIMITED BY BARCC'S RELUCTANCE TO BROADEN THE CAMPAIGN TO INCLUDE TRAFFICKING GROUPS OUTSIDE OF MEDEL.LIN, WHICH CONTINUE TO ACCOUNT FOP MUCH OF COLOMBIA'S COCAINE TRADE. ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS FOR THF GAVIRIA ADMINISTRATION STEM FROM FORMER PRESIDENT BARCO'S INABILITY TO BUILD POPULAR AND POLITICAL SUPPORTROTRACTED ANTIDRUG EFFORT AND HIS FAILURE TO ADDRESS ESSENTIAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REFORMS,

EQUALLY IMPORTANT, IN OUR JUDGMENT, HAS BEEN THE LACKORRESPONDING EDUCATIONAL PROCESS THAT EMPHASIZES THE NATIONAL

ma eat an entrenched narcotics industry poses,

CORRUPTION OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS BY PRESS REPORTS INDICATE THAT THE MAJORITY OF NARCOTICS-RELATED OLE MCE AS THE GREAT EH THP.SA"

AND DRUG TRAFFICKINGROBLEM FOR THE WESTERN-CONSUMING COUNTRIES. SUCH PERCEPTIONS UNDERSCORE THE TOLL THAT NARCOTICS-

belated violence has had on the populace. according to monthly opinion polls, many colombians relieve the. social and economic costs ot the frontal assault against the traffickers are too great,ubstantial number advocate peace talks with the drug kingpins.

a fractious legislature badly divided over how to pursue the drug war will also complicate gaviria's efforts to maintain the defensive. nevertheless, the new president is more politically astute tiak his predecessor and has concensus-building skills that may help him promote reiohk initiatives in the legislature aimed at controlling drug-related violence. gaviria, however, endorses the previous administration's reliance os narcoterrorism to justify the crackdown arrow focus that could hamper the new government's ability to broaden antidrug efforts.

in this regard, the capture op death of escobar would produce additional public pressure nbia to curtail or redcce counternarcotics operations. those takingosition would note that escobar's removal, following the death of rodriguez gacha, kids the country of the two most violent traffickers and fulfills bogota's avowed goal of bringing them to justice.

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