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Se reportan nexos entre el Apra y los Sánchez Paredes

id: 176319 date: 10/31/2008 22:10 refid: 08LIMA1733 origin: Embassy Lima classification: CONFIDENTIAL destination: header: P 312210Z OCT 08 FM AMEMBASSY LIMA TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9522 INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY CIA WASHDC PRIORITY DIA WASHDC PRIORITY USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY USCINCSO MIAMI FL PRIORITY ----------------- header ends ---------------- C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 001733 E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2018 TAGS: PGOV, SNAR, PE SUBJECT: PUCALLPA MAYOR ARRESTED ON DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES Classified By: Polcouns Alexis Ludwig. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (C) Summary: Peruvian police arrested Pucallpa Mayor Luis Valdez October 14 on charges of laundering drug trafficking proceeds through an extensive network of commercial enterprises. Twice elected mayor, Valdez enjoys significant public sympathy in his hometown. Peruvian law enforcement officials consider Valdez's arrest as on par in importance with that of kingpin Fernando Zevallos in 2004, but serious challenges in bringing him to justice -- and in confronting other traffickers -- remain. End Summary. 2. (SBU) Units of the Peruvian National Police Anti-drug Directorate (DIRANDRO) arrested Pucallpa Mayor Luis VALDEZ Villacorta and 13 others October 14 on money laundering charges. Arrest warrants remained outstanding for another 8 persons. Pucallpa is the capital of the jungle region of Ucayali in eastern Peru. Valdez owns a number of businesses in the region including a lumber mill, river ferry service, and brewery. Authorities began asset seizure proceedings for those operations, in addition to 34 properties in Lima, Iquitos and Pucallpa; 44 boats; and 200 vehicles. Police transported the suspects to Lima where they were to be held while authorities prepared a formal indictment. 3. (SBU) The arrests were the result of an investigation that began in February 2008, based on drug seizures dating back to 2003 in Guatemala, Panama and most recently in Holland. PNP officials subsequently determined that financial records of Valdez's enterprises showed at least USD 71 million in assets whose origin could not be substantiated. 4. (C) Given that Valdez's companies employ some 3,000 people in Ucayali and his election twice as Pucallpa mayor, he enjoys strong support from the public. After his detention some 30-40 supporters blocked streets and the entrance to the airport, hoping to prevent the authorities from removing him to Lima. Analysts explained to poloff that Valdez and his organization controlled the flow of drugs out of Peru to the east and northeast, primarily into Brazil. The organization used its commercial network and logistical resources to facilitate the movement out of the country of large quantities of cocaine, say those observers. Even without good estimates of the quantity of drugs the Valdez network moved, one analyst told poloff that Valdez's arrest was the single biggest blow to drug trafficking interests in Peru since the 2004 arrest of Peruvian drug kingpin Fernando Zevallos. 5. (C) Comment: While the Valdez arrest is good news in Peru's fight against drug trafficking, many challenges remain. First is whether the Peruvian justice system can avoid external pressures and successfully prosecute the case to its conclusion. Historical examples of lengthy prosecutions such as the Zevallos or Sanchez Paredes cases would put that result in doubt. Second, observers explain there is at least one Luis Valdez equivalent for every major exit route in the country, and many others waiting to take their places. As one analyst told poloff, much of the traffic previously moved to the northeast by the Valdez organization already had been diverted to land routes to Brazil in the far eastern region of Madre de Dios, along portions of the Interoceanic Highway. Similar routes existed overland via Puno to Bolivia; and out of ports in Arequipa, Lima, and Piura to maritime distribution channels in the Pacific, they said. MCKINLEY =======================CABLE ENDS============================ id: 166149 date: 8/14/2008 20:20 refid: 08LIMA1348 origin: Embassy Lima classification: CONFIDENTIAL destination: 08LIMA1081|08LIMA1191|08LIMA389 header: VZCZCXRO1096 PP RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC DE RUEHPE #1348/01 2272020 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 142020Z AUG 08 FM AMEMBASSY LIMA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9152 INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL PRIORITY ----------------- header ends ---------------- C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LIMA 001348 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/15/2018 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, ECON, PE SUBJECT: PRESIDENT GARCIA AT TWO YEARS: WEAKENED BUT PRESSING ON REF: A. LIMA 389 B. LIMA 1191 C. LIMA 1081 Classified By: Amb. P Michael McKinley for reasons 1.4b and d. 1. (C) Summary: President Alan Garcia enters the third year of his presidency facing the same principal challenges that have confronted his government since he took office in July 2006: how to turn Peru's strong growth into benefits for the entire population. Peru grew 9% in 2007 and the government has made substantial strides in combating poverty and expanding infrastructure, but polls suggest that much of the population believes it has not gained. Discontent with the uneven distribution of economic wealth has helped fuel numerous protests during the past year, particularly in the unruly southern Andes, and dragged Garcia's popular support below 30%. Garcia has publicly acknowledged that many are unhappy with his government and pledged to do more to ensure that growth benefits the poor. Despite the President's drop in support, the opposition remains in disarray, and Garcia maintains the political strength to implement the policies his government believes will help spread growth evenly. End Summary. Economy Continues to Boom ------------------------- 2. (U) President Alan Garcia enters the third year of his presidency facing the same principal challenges that have confronted his government since he took office in July 2006: how to turn Peru's strong, borderline spectacular growth into palpable benefits for the entire population. First the good news: according to Peru's government statistical institute INEI, GDP grew 9% in 2007 and is on track to grow about 8% in 2008, which will make six consecutive years of growth over 4%. The mining sector, Peru's principle economic driver, grew 3% in 2007, and 7% through May 2008. Despite this rapid growth and rising world agriculture and fuel prices, the GOP maintained inflation at 5.8% -- measured between August 2007 and July 2008 -- the second-lowest inflation rate in Latin America. At the same time, according to GOP statistics poverty rates dropped from 48.7% in 2005 to 44.5% in 2006 and to 39.3% in 2007. 3. (U) President Garcia highlighted these successes during his July 28th State of the Nation address and set ambitious new goals for the coming year. Garcia emphasized that national production by the end of this year will probably reach $135 billion, near the $140 billion goal he had earlier set for 2011. He also said that in his first two years, the GOP had built or repaired 1,100 miles of roads and would more than double this total in the next twelve months. He promised that by the end of 2008 his government will have invested $12 billion in infrastructure. Garcia listed a series of statistics about the number of houses built, people taught to read, and water services delivered, and reiterated his pledge to reduce poverty to 30% by the time he leaves office in 2011. Yet Polls Say Populace Not Benefiting Evenly -------------------------------------------- 4. (U) Despite Peru's success during President Garcia's first two years, polls suggest that much of the population perceives that it is not benefiting from economic growth. According to a recent national, urban Ipsos-Apoyo poll, 48% of the two poorest sectors of society -- which pollsters call Sectors D & E and compose a majority of the population -- perceive their economic situation as bad or very bad compared to last year. By comparison, only 11% and 20% of the wealthiest two sectors (Sectors A & B) respectively believe their economic situation has worsened (most believe it has improved). Looking to the coming year, only 26% and 29% of Sectors D & E believe their economic situation will improve, compared to 64% and 40% of Sectors A & B, which have benefited most from high growth. General consumer confidence has also slipped to a Garcia-administration low of 43.7%, down from a high of 60.6% shortly after the President took office in July 2006. The main complaint, suggest the polls, is the price of essential food items -- such as bread, rice, and cooking oil -- which is rising at a much higher rate than general inflation. Sporadic Protests Reflect Discontent with Uneven Growth --------------------------------------------- ---------- 5. (U) Discontent with the unevenly distributed benefits of economic growth has fueled numerous protests during the past year, particularly in the unruly southern Andes. A national agricultural strike in February shut down major roads and led to clashes with police that left several dead protestors in Ayacucho and Arequipa. Later that month, rock-throwing LIMA 00001348 002 OF 003 protestors shut down rural and urban Cusco and attacked the local airport. Protestors in Puno took to the streets in April against Regional President Hernan Fuentes as well as President Alan Garcia, bringing economic activity to a halt. A national strike called in early July by a major labor union fizzled in Lima, but gathered force in Ayacucho, Cusco, Madre de Dios and Puno. (Refs A & B) According to the Ipsos-Apoyo poll, 67% of Peruvians outside Lima -- including 83% in central and southern regions -- favored the national strike. Statistics from the Human Rights Ombudsman's office (Defensoria del Pueblo) show a rising number of conflicts throughout the country, and an increasing percentage of these conflicts involving protests of mining investments and projects. According to some sources, radical groups across the country such as the communist Patria Roja party and the CGTP labor confederation have a concerted plan to draw on this discontent in order to fan the flames of anti-government and anti-mining protests. Critics Attack Garcia's Decentralization and Anti-Narcotics Efforts --------------------------------------------- -------------- 6. (U) Another critique lobbed by administration opponents is that the government is ineffectively implementing its decentralization policy and doing little to fight narco-trafficking. On decentralization, many regional leaders complain that central government has rapidly devolved numerous responsibilities without sharing the necessary resources or technical capability to manage the new tasks. The government retorts that it has delivered the necessary resources, but regional governments are unwilling or unable to carry out their newly broadened functions. Leveraging the mechanism of the Association of Regional Presidents (ANGR) to coordinate a coherent policy approach with the central government, regional presidents have sought to gain the administrative and budgetary tools they need to implement decentralization more effectively. 7. (U) On the anti-narcotics fight, both press and expert analysts have begun to criticize what they perceive as government inaction. While accepting the scope and complexity of the challenge and acknowledging that counter-narcotics efforts have improved significantly over those of President Garcia's predecessor -- particularly in the Upper Huallaga Valley coca-production zone -- analysts point out that the government has made little or no effort in the key Ene and Apurimac River Valley (VRAE) production zone. (Note: Several contacts allege military and police complicity with narcotrafficking in the VRAE. End Note.) Observers also say that prosecutors have made little progress in the major narcotics trafficking case against the Sanchez Paredes family, which many believe has close ties to members of the APRA party. Garcia Continues to Lose Popularity, Pledges to Press On --------------------------------------------- ----------- 8. (U) As consumer confidence has fallen and protests have increased, President Garcia has fallen in popular opinion polls. The Ipsos-Apoyo poll says Garcia had 26% approval in July, down from 63% after he took office in mid-2006, and 44% in mid-2007. While Garcia maintained 30% approval in Lima and comparatively wealthy northern Peru, his support in the discontented south dropped to 11%. Although Garcia's approval levels have fluctuated somewhat during the past year, the clear trajectory is downward. (Note: Garcia won about 24.3% of the vote in the first round of the 2006 presidential election, and therefore appears to retain his political base. By comparison, Garcia's predecessor Alejandro Toledo had single-digit support through much of his administration. End Note.) 9. (U) President Garcia acknowledged during his recent State of the Nation address that many are unhappy with his government and pledged to do more to ensure that growth benefits the entire population, particularly the poor. Garcia also expressed frustration that Peruvians have not given him credit for his accomplishments while blaming him for inflation that was in fact caused by global conditions rather than his administration's economic management. But the President -- who was notoriously obsessed with his poll ratings during his 1980s government -- promised only continued hard work, rather than grand populist initiatives designed to arrest his falling poll numbers. (Note: Some analysts believe that Garcia intentionally sought to contrast his speech this year from his second State of the Nation in 1987, when he announced the nationalization of the banking system. Moreover, a ruling party insider claimed the government was not overly concerned with the downward trajectory in the polls, as long as the macro-economic picture held steady. End Note) LIMA 00001348 003 OF 003 Government Bolstered by Opposition Disarray ------------------------------------------- 10. (U) The Garcia Administration's governing prospects during this period of relative public disaffection are strengthened by the opposition's continued disarray. Despite a successful June opposition effort to block constitutional reforms and reported divisions within APRA (Ref C), the governing party rallied in July to recapture the congressional presidency for another one-year term. APRA won the office in part by horse-trading to obtain a handful of votes from the opposition National Unity and Union for Peru parties, causing both opposition groups to splinter into several factions. The ruling party also (reportedly) strengthened its tacit cooperation agreement with former President Alberto Fujimori's party -- Fujimorista Congressman Alejandro Aguinaga is Congress's first vice-president -- as well as the center-right Popular Christian Party and National Solidarity. Among the opposition, only Ollanta Humala's Peruvian Nationalist Party -- with 23 of 120 deputies -- retains a cohesive congressional bloc. Comment: Another Year to Show Results ------------------------------------- 11. (C) As the political temperature slowly rises, President Garcia probably has another year or so of relative stability to show that he can effectively distribute Peru's growing prosperity. After this year, Garcia will probably face mounting political challenges as both the opposition and groups currently aligned with APRA seek to position themselves for the November 2010 regional elections, and the April 2011 presidential elections. MCKINLEY =======================CABLE ENDS============================