BRAZIL: EFFORTS TO RAISE COUNTERNARCOTICS PROFILE

Created: 1/29/1999

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Intelligence Report

Crime and Narcotics Center

9

Brazil: Efforts To Raise Counternarcotics Profile

he administration of President Cardoso, responding to evidence of rising domestic drug-related corruption and violence, took steps to enhance Brazil's counternarcotics performance. Official commitment lo improving drug enforcement was reflected in expanded demand reduction programs; appointmentrugreationational counternarcotics office; and legislation that targets airborne drug transshipment, money laundering, and related criminal activities.

However, newly reelected President Cardoso may find it difficult to fulfill some of his stated enforcement goals. The ongoing Brazilian financial crisis and resulting budget constraints couldariety of demand reduction and interdiction programs and reinforce corruption within some security forces already weakened by tow morale and internal divisions. Cardoso's continuing political battles with congressional party leaders and state governors also could impact negatively on future counternarcotics cooperation against trafficking organizations. Signs to stitch for in Brasilia's efforts to push counternarcotics include:

Effective implementation of recent money-laundering Ugislation;

Ability to crack down on larger drug trafficking organizations;

Final passage of long-pending omnibus antinarcotics law;

Visible efforts to stem bureaucratic infighting and official corruption.

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Heightened Government Commitment

The Cardoso admiiustration'syear coontemarcotics offensive highlighted an increased antidrug comrrutrnenthe President and many of his key lieutenants made strong and frequent public pronouncements aimed at galvanizing domestic opinion around the need to reduce narcotics trafficking. Brasilia alsoariety of social initiatives aimed at narcotics demand reduction, in cooperation with US-funded programs and policies.

theseariety of tradecraft courses and seminars lor numerousorganizations promoting public awareness, demand reduction,programsroad range of civilian and military antidrug trainingpobce. port authorities, judicial officials, and other security personnel.to federal police countcrdnig

operations, ana assistea various Brazilian security elements with antinarcotics information sharing in neighboring Colombia. Peru. Bolivia, and Venezuela.

In June, to enhance coordination of national counternarcotics goals. Presidenta oew Secretariat for National Drug Controlaming civilianMaierovitch to lead thereporting indicates that

Maierovitch strongly boosted Brasilia's counternarcotics profile withmedia interviews, and visits throughout the country to push anambitious antidrug agenda aimed at energizing both interdiction andprograms. Underscoring the importance of the new SEN AD to hisgoals, Cardoso also appointed the head of his military household to act asSENAD coordinator to further enhance the influence of the presidencyenforcement initiatives, according

reporting. Among the priorities of the new SENAD,press

sources,ush to reduce the level of narcotics-related corruption at stare and municipaloal directly in tandem with past presidential pronouncements about the need to stamp out high-level graft and malfeasance.

Ttm nmnotandum was prepaidCrime and NircoOci CenterCNQ.

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Addressing the Domestic Drug Threat

Brazil's rising drug problems stemariety of sources, press reporting indicates increased cultivation of marijuana for rural domestic use and increasing use of methamphetarrunes in urban population centers.ajor producer of drug precursor chemicals. Brazilrowing problem with city-based meth amphetamine and other psychotropic drug labs and illicit transport of chemicals to traffickers in neighboring countries. The largest drug threat, however, appears to emanate from the rising tide of cocaine base and hydrochloride thai is flowing through theignificant portion of which is consumed in the major cities.

national leaders are growing more women aooui violence spawned oy aoject poverty and unemployment, especially in key cities like Rio. Belem, and Sao Paulo, where lawlessness by both criminals and police constabularies has become commonplace. Abetting this phenomenon iss it is portrayed by some officials and the media, which appears to be spreading in several cities and states, even beyond areas where the nation's economic downturn has been most prolonged.

that violence is escalating among rivalgangs mat control wbole neighborhoods and against whom securityto offer only token resistance. Drug-related corruption also fuels thesay US officials in the field; assaults and assassinations sometimespublic figures who have spoken out about official corruption or againstand other organized criminal organizations. Ultimately, theof drug-addicted citizens-major Brazilian cities appear tourge in

violent bank robberies, ourgianes, muggings, ana muroers, which the public and media increasingly have called upon the federal government to address.

Se^rat^

Legislation was passed io8 thai aims to attack money laundering inofnew law:

Criminalizes laundering of proceeds from criminal enterprises; Establishes asset forfeiture provisions;

Provides for expanded banJdng regulations, including mandatory reports of suspicious activity;

Protects whistle-blowers from liability emanating from existing financial secrecy laws;

ew council for Control of Financial Activities (COAF) within the Ministry of Finance, which will receive and investigate reports of suspicious or illicit activities.

The money-laundering legislation is complemented by astillcounternarcotics bill aimed at reducing the legal space in which traffickers and their criminal associates might operate.

newly proposed language in the bill would authorize irnrneoiate saie or connscaica trafficker assets, evenrial or conviction has taken place.

press sources indicate that the Cardoso adminisarauona greater role for the military in counternarcotics, despitewithin the senior officer corps over constimtional restrictions on the use offorces in law enforcement. Inresident Cardosoauthorizing the Air Force to attack illegal aircraft that do not respondorders; however. Cardoso has yet to sign official rules of engagement forinterdiction

shootdown authorization is designed largely to deter airborne transshipment of illegal drugs, weapons, and other contraband, which currently takes place with impunity throughout much of the country.

Interdiction Still Lagging

Brazil often has registered underwhelming successes on the interdiction8 were similarly

federal police' seizedetric tons of cocainessentially equaling the

only rfte federal police anempi io cenmiiie ilabatica] dan iuch as iciajiej and sitcsU. while state and local police tabulations ara usually diiorgaraicd and uncountedny given year. For example, -Jie Siaie of Rio de Janeiro claimed leiruieiUograms of cocaineetric :ow of processedi during ihe momh of

Secret

modest total for the previous year. Marijuana seizures, moreover, amounted to lesshird of the total7 and were especially low in the main marijuana growing areas of the northeast. Federal counterdrug police reportedly eradicatedarijuana plants mis past year, versusillion

Federal authorities gained tittle momentum against trafficking organizations, as

Brazilian law enforcement officials managed to derail ettorts by trarticker lawyers and pliant judicial officials loajor convicted drug kingpin-bent onigh-security prisoninimal facility near bis base of operations. However, with the exception of one mid-level drug bust, cases against key trafficking targets remained largely developmental.

he inability of local authorities toingle drug processing facility during the past three years; indeed, government spokesmen routinely insist that no drug labs exist inside Brazil. However,

Brazilian traffickers are

increasing their use ot labs near air transsnipment sites along the Peruvian.Bolivian frontiers, where cocaine base is readily available for final processinglab bustanch in Rondonia

State in8 yieldedilograms of cocaine.

On Brazil's far western frontier, federal police crateredlandestine airstrips usedflying drugs out of Peru, and were credited withrid confiscatingircraft andoats thought to be involved insome air transshipment

groups were able to repair oamageo runways within days, and

other traffickers in the Amazon Basin have been strengtheningbarely two dozen federal police

counterdrug agents assigned to the whole Amazon region between Manaus andborder, traffickers operated with virtual impunity in the western part of

Brasilia appears mindful of major collection gaps and interdiction shortcomings onwith the Andean source countries and has begun to lay the groundworkaggressive enforcement action.

authorities plan more specialized training for counterdrug cadres and expanded operational ranks for improved investigation and interdiction of important traffickers.ost of nearlyillion, Brasilia is building an Amazon Regional Surveillance Systemto come on line within the next two or three years.

SIVAM is aimed at helping toore visible federal presence in the vast jungle interiorulwark against encroachment by contrabandists, weapons smugglers, drug traffickers, and other criminal elements. This project is augmented by ongoing efforts to equip andhain of intelligence coUection posts in the western zone and deploy interceptor planes for air interdiction.

s

Snapshot of Cocaine Flows Through Brazil

Brazils' huge andifferent nations and. forming thousands of miles of Atlantica major transshipment corridor for cocaine from the source countries of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.

The vast Amazon watershed and other networks of interlocking river systems provide reliable navigation for traffickers moving large drug loads from Brazil's jungles to major cities and ports on the Atlantic coast.

Brazilian wholesale prices for cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride axethe highest in the region, reflectingapidly growingand the lure of profits for local criminal organizations transshippingthe United Stales, Africa, and Europe. While money is the mostofthat precursor

chemicals, weapons, and other contraband are used by Brazilian smugglers to barter for drugs in neighboring source countries.

Near-Term Obstacles

Substantia] progress on the counternarcotics front may prove difficult, at least interm. President Cardoso faces distracting political battles withand multi-parry leadersariety of pressing non-narcotics issues. Hewith obstreperous governors and mayors in key states and cities overfederal assistance and lagging debt repayments to the national treasury.immediate financial crisis is spawning austerity measures that couldon funding for civilian antidrug organizations and security forcePresident, for example, publicly

has pledged to cut budget deficits by m) percent during the coming year. The worsening budget crunch, combined with systemic bureaucratic irifighting within

police and nnlhary forces, probably will exacerbate tbe cnronx lack of counterdrug mining and equipment suffered by most units. This could hrrther uodenrune morale, especially among local security forces, and reinforce corrupt behavior at the tactical level.

Signs to watch for continued counterdrug commitrnent include whether the government can properly implement its recent money-laundering legislation and crack down effectively on larger trafficking organizations and their related crime groups, as

Anticipated passage of the pending omnibus amianig law ana enorts Io stem bureaucratic infighting and reduce official corruption, especially within the judicial system and among state and local law enforcement entities, should also provide opportunities toontinuing ami narcotics corrunitrnenL

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