Cable sobre unos vínculos cada vez más estrechos entre EE UU y Brasil

En octubre de 2009 la embajada estadounidense hace un balance de las relaciones bilaterales ante la visita de Shari Villarosa, coordinadora adjunta de Asuntos Regionales

Date:2009-10-02 21:25:00
Source:Embassy Brasilia
DE RUEHBR #1216/01 2752125
O 022125Z OCT 09




E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2019

B. B. BRASILIA 00156
C. C. BRASILIA 01095

Classified By: Political Counselor Steve Liston, reason: 1.4 (b) and (d


1. (C) The relationship between the United States and Brazil
is as productive and broad-based as it has ever been in
recent decades, the result of the cordial personal connection
already established between President Obama and President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which is building on Lula,s
excellent relationship with former President Bush. New
cooperation mechanisms on biofuels, business issues, and
economic matters, and our shared goals of fostering
hemispheric stability, promoting democracy, developing a
consensus on next steps for climate change, and achieving a
mutually satisfactory conclusion to the Doha round of WTO
negotiations have fostered the view in Brazil that relations
between our two countries are closer than ever. Brazil
appears to be headed for a rapid recovery from the effects of
the global financial crisis, and Lula remains as popular as
ever as the country turns its focus on the race to succeed
him in January 2011.

2. (C) Internationally, U.S.-Brazil cooperation is often
limited by the GOB,s unwillingness to speak out against
anti-democratic actions in the hemisphere (Venezuela and
Cuba), take proactive steps to address key issues such as
nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism concerns, and
expand its international leadership in meaningful ways.
However, military-to-military relations are good and growing,
and most of the Brazilian military understands the potential
benefits of partnership with the United States. At the
operational level, cooperation on law enforcement issues,
such as counternarcotics, container security, and
intelligence sharing, is excellent and improving. As the most
senior official in S/CT to visit Brazil in several years,
your visit provides an opportunity to highlight the
importance of a regional approach to counterterrorism efforts
and to explore new avenues for cooperation in that field.

Counterterrorism: Operational Partnership, Policy
Intransigence, Legal Weakness

3. (S) The primary counterterrorism concern for both
Brazilian officials and the U.S. Mission in Brazil is the
presence and activities of individuals with links to
terrorism-particularly several suspected Sunni extremists and
some individuals linked to Hizballah-in Sao Paulo and other
areas of southern Brazil. Despite publicly expressed
sentiments of high-level officials denying the existence of
proven terrorist activity on Brazilian soil, Brazil,s
intelligence and law enforcement services are rightly
concerned that terrorists could exploit Brazilian territory
to support and facilitate terrorist attacks, whether
domestically or abroad, and have focused their efforts in the
areas of Sao Paulo, where the vast majority of Brazil,s
estimated 1.2-1.5 million Muslims live; Brazil,s tri-border
areas with Argentina and Paraguay and with Peru and Colombia;
and its borders with Colombia and Venezuela. Brazil,s
recognition of the potential threat from terrorism prompted a
reform of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) that
raised the profile of the issue by upgrading the
counterterrorism division to the department level and
establishing the Brazilian Intelligence System (SISBIN)-an
NCTC-like entity within ABIN to coordinate intelligence
gathering and sharing across the GOB.

4. (C) During an early July 2009 hearing before a
Congressional committee (ref A), the Brazilian Federal
Police,s head of intelligence publicly admitted that an
individual arrested in April for hate speech who the press
had revealed to be linked to al Qaeda was indeed connected to
the group, contradicting the government,s previous claims
that there was no terrorism-nexus in the arrest. The arrested

BRASILIA 00001216 002 OF 004

individual, Khaled Hussein Ali, who was released pending
trial, was the global head of the Jihad Media Battalion, and
according to the DPF, had performed duties for the terrorist
group, ranging from propaganda, to logistics, recruitment,
and other activities. Because Brazil lacks counterterrorism
legislation, the DPF arrested him on charges of hate crimes,
which carry a much lighter sentence.

5. (SBU) The Brazilian government continues to be a
cooperative partner in countering terrorism and related
activities that could contribute to the facilitation of
attacks in the region or elsewhere-to include investigating
potential terrorism financing, document forgery networks, and
other illicit activity. Operationally, elements of the GOB
responsible for combating terrorism -- the Federal Police,
Customs, and to a lesser extent ABIN -- effectively work with
their U.S. counterparts and diligently pursue investigative
leads provided by U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, and
financial agencies regarding terrorist suspects. The senior
levels of the Brazilian government, however, publicly deny
the possibility that terrorist groups or individuals
connected to such groups operate or transit through Brazilian
soil and vigorously protest any claims made by U.S.
authorities to that effect.

6. (C) The Brazilian government and non-government elite
shows particular sensitivity when USG officials raise a key
issues, including the re-establishment of the Fourth Fleet,
sovereignty over their recent off-shore sub-salt oil
discoveries and the Amazon, and the status of indigenous
people and lands. Terrorism and the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay
Tri-Border Area (TBA) are also sensitive in government

-- Terrorism. Officially, Brazil does not have terrorism
inside its borders. In reality, several Islamic groups with
known or suspected ties to extremist organizations have
branches in Brazil and are suspected of carrying out
financing activities. Although there is good working-level
law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil on
terrorism related activities, the official position of the
government is to deny that Brazil has any terrorist activity.

-- Tri-Border Area (TBA). Related to the above, Brazilian
officials rebuff any suggestion by U.S. officials that there
is terrorist activity in the TBA. A frequent Brazilian retort
to comments about the TBA is, "Which one? We have nine
tri-border areas." As we are generally unable to share
intelligence regarding terrorism-related activities, the USG
is regularly accused of making unsupported assertions that
malign TBA residents and have a negative impact on tourism in
the region. The GOB insists there is no proven terrorist
activity in the TBA and, in its defense, points to statements
to that effect in the repeated joint communiques out of the
annual 3 Plus 1 meetings.

7. (SBU) Brazil,s overall commitment to combating terrorism
and the illicit activities that could be exploited to
facilitate terrorism is undermined by the GOB,s failure to
significantly strengthen its legal counterterrorism
framework. Two key counterterrorism-related legislative
initiatives continued to languish in 2009. An anti-terrorism
bill that would have established the crime of terrorism and
other associated crimes was drafted but shelved before its
introduction in Congress and a long-delayed anti-money
laundering bill has not been approved by Congress. If passed,
the latter bill would facilitate greater law enforcement
access to financial and banking records during
investigations, criminalize illicit enrichment, allow
administrative freezing of assets, and facilitate
prosecutions of money laundering cases by amending the legal
definition of money laundering and making it an autonomous

Counterterrorism: Making the 3 Plus 1 Work

8. (C) The 3 Plus 1 Mechanism (ref b) on Security in the TBA
of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay remains, six years after
its initial plenary session, the only instrument available to
discuss CT with regional partners at the policy level. Given

BRASILIA 00001216 003 OF 004

the likelihood that the Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty) will
reject new policy-level proposals for regional security
cooperation as the GOB focuses on building up a regional
security architecture in South America that does not include
the United States (i.e., Mercosul working groups on security,
UNASUL, South American Defense Council), re-invigorating the
3 Plus 1 becomes all the more necessary, both as a means of
achieving meaningful policy-level commitments from Brazil on
this important issue and as a way of maintaining a foothold
in regional security discussions. The United States, turn to
host the upcoming 3 Plus 1 offers the best opportunity since
the initial plenary to shift the dynamics of the mechanism in
a way that ensures its effectiveness and our broader security
interest in the region. Taking advantage of greater GOB
openness to the new U.S. Administration, a concerted USG
strategy to implement this new approach that includes careful
inter-agency preparation and high-level participation could
lay the groundwork for the GOB to accept expanding the scope
of the 3 Plus 1-substantively, geographically, or both-to
make it a more effective regional security dialogue.

9. (C) The history of the 3 Plus 1 suggests that it will
require careful planning and execution to make it a truly
effective forum for cooperation. The Brazilians have been
consistent in limiting discussions on topics that are not
within the established and narrow confines of the 3 Plus 1
(only counterterrorism, only TBA), and have made it nearly
impossible for the USG to propose projects for the four
partners to undertake jointly.

10. (C) During SouthCom Commander General Douglas Fraser,s
visit to Brazil July 29-31 (ref c) Foreign Ministry Under
Secretary for Political Affairs I Amb. Vera Machado said
Brazil,s "great concern" was the control of transnational
illicit activities, nothing that this area is very sensitive,
as it is seen by some as having this potential to lead to
external interference in domestic affairs. Foreign Ministry
Transnational Crimes Director Minister Virginia Toniatti
raised the 3 Plus 1 security forum for the TBA, noting that
WHA DAS Chris McMullen had struck the right tone in their
January 2008 meeting by not speaking about terrorism in the
border but rather talking about broader illicit activities.
(Comment: This is the same person who in the past has often
insisted that 3 Plus 1 could discuss nothing but
counterterrorism, and who has effectively derailed productive
dialogue at the 3 Plus 1 meetings. End comment.) Stressing
how much she disliked the term "tri-border area," as it
suggested an uncontrolled area when in fact each country
exercised control up to its own borders, Toniatti nonetheless
said that Brazil is ready to work with its neighbors and the
United States in a concrete way to address confirmed illicit
activities. She rejected unsupported assertions made by USG
officials of support for terrorist activity in the region,
which only serve to stigmatize it. She noted that there had
so far been no evidence of terrorist activity or finance in
the region and that all of the 3 Plus 1 declarations had
explicitly states as much.

11. (C) Despite these difficulties, the 3 Plus 1 mechanism
serves several important purposes. Policy-level dialogue:
Although law enforcement cooperation with Brazil has always
been excellent and fluid at the operational level, 3 Plus 1
is the only sub-regional discussion on these issues in which
we participate at a policy level. Networking: Members of the
Mission,s Law Enforcement Working Group (LEWG) -- which
includes DEA, DHS (ICE, CBP, and USSS), DOj (FBI, RLA), DOD
(DAO, MLO), and State -- who have attended the 3 Plus 1
sessions see value in the networking possibilities created
through the mechanism. Accountability: The 3 Plus 1 allows us
the opportunity to question Brazil and other partners as to
what progress they have made to comply with basic
international norms, and to remind them of their
international obligations. Information sharing: Mission
believes much of this information is valuable for
understanding what the GOB is doing independently and jointly
with its neighbors, not all of which is information we
receive through other contacts or in the vetted and open way
in which it is reported at 3 Plus 1. Moral suasion: Brazilian
government officials repeatedly cite their participation in
the 3 Plus 1 as a measure of their commitment to combat
terrorist activity in the region. To the extent that GOB puts
value on the 3 Plus 1, it provides some leverage to encourage

BRASILIA 00001216 004 OF 004

Brazil to be a positive partner.

12. (C) As a result of these benefits, Mission Brazil
believes 3 Plus 1 mechanism should be maintained. But we also
need to look for ways to make it more effective. We see two
main options for improving the mechanism: a somewhat simpler
but less satisfactory evolution to a broader TBA agenda, or a
more difficult and ambitious effort at restructuring the 3
Plus 1 into a country-wide counter-crime forum. (See ref C
for more detail on Mission proposals.)

Moving Forward on CT Cooperation

13. (C) High-level, long-term USG commitment to engaging
Brazil on counterterrorism, including in the 3 Plus 1, will
be necessary to build a productive CT relationship above the
operational level. Although we expect limited results until a
new GOB Administration takes office in 2011, your visit
provides an excellent opportunity to reiterate the high
priority that the Obama Administration gives to this issue,
frame the discussion toward a more productive relationship,
and explore possibilities for policy-level cooperation.. Your
visit also serves as an opportunity to push U.S. goals and
regain momentum in advance of the upcoming 3 Plus 1 meeting.
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