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Viewing cable 07LIMA1862, CLOCK TICKING FOR GARCIA IN THE HIGHLANDS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07LIMA1862 2007-05-24 17:05 2011-02-25 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Lima
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1862/01 1441721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241721Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5592
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4682
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7353
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0417
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY QUITO 1231
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1294
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
UNCLAS LIMA 001862 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER PGOV PINR SNAR PE
SUBJECT: CLOCK TICKING FOR GARCIA IN THE HIGHLANDS 
 
REF: A. LIMA 4516 (06) 
 
     B. LIMA 248 (06) 
     C. LIMA 37 (05) 
     D. LIMA 4968 (0..
id: 109673
date: 5/24/2007 17:21
refid: 07LIMA1862
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
destination: 07LIMA4516
header:
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1862/01 1441721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241721Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5592
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4682
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7353
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0417
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY QUITO 1231
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1294
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC


----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS LIMA 001862 

SIPDIS 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER PGOV PINR SNAR PE
SUBJECT: CLOCK TICKING FOR GARCIA IN THE HIGHLANDS 

REF: A. LIMA 4516 (06) 

     B. LIMA 248 (06) 
     C. LIMA 37 (05) 
     D. LIMA 4968 (03) 

-------- 
Summary: 
-------- 

1.  (SBU) Residents of Apurimac, a southern highlands region 
and former Humala stronghold, have seen few benefits from the 
Garcia government, according to interlocutors interviewed by 
poloffs during a May 13-15 visit.  Despite a pro-Humala 
history, most elected local leaders are non-ideological 
technocrats.  Local NGO representatives said that this 
mineral-rich region has great economic potential but also 
latent possibilities for signficant mining conflicts with 
highlands indigenous communities.  The vast majority of 
contacts warned that, if the GOP cannot deliver on its 
promises, Apurimac voters would again turn to radical, 
"anti-system" candidates -- to the Humalas or "someone just 
like them" -- in future elections.  End Summary. 

2.  (U) Poloffs visited the Apurimac Region May 13-15 and met 
with a wide variety of local interlocutors, including 
Regional President David Abraham Salazar Morote, Regional 
Vice President Willer Taype, XXXXXXXXXXXX, Abancay Mayor Jose Manuel Campos Cespedes, Abancay 
City Manager Colonel (retired) Raul Gutierrez Rodas, 
XXXXXXXXXXXX, Abancay Public 
School Director Roberto Hurtado, CARE local representative 
Juan Soto, local small enterprise silk producer Jose Peralta 
Huaman, and former International Visitor and Quechua 
translator Alejandrina Contreras Merino. 

----------------------------- 
Apurimac is Humala Country... 
----------------------------- 

3.  (U) Apurimac, one of Peru,s poorest regions, is divided 
by a longstanding rivalry between its two largest cities -- 
the regional capital of Abancay and its largest population 
center, Andahuaylas.  Seventy-eight percent of Apurimac's 
residents live in poverty and 40 percent lack electricity. 
Infrastructure is poor.  The main road that links Andahuaylas 
to Abancay is a rutted, dirt track that requires half a day 
to navigate and features dangerous hairpin curves that 
overlook drops of thousands of feet.  Along the way, one 
finds isolated towns and villages with almost no basic 
services. 

4.  (SBU) Not coincidentally, in recent years Apurimac 
Residents have vocally backed some of Peru's most radical 
political leaders, the Humalas.  In the 2006 presidential 
elections, Apurimac favored radical nationalist candidate 
Ollanta Humala, who garnered 71% of the region's vote in the 
second round run-off against Alan Garcia.  In 2005, the 
region was home to the attempted "Ethno-cacerista" rebellion 
led by Antauro Humala.  That radical fringe group continues 
to enjoy sympathy among elements of the local population. 
(Refs B-D). 

--------------- 
...And It's Not 
--------------- 

5.  (U) Notwithstanding Apurimac's pro-Humala past, neither 
Humala has a strong organizational presence in the region. 
Ollanta Humala's Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) has all but 
disappeared, while Antauro Humala,s Ethnocacerista 
"Reservists" continue to organize in small highlands villages 
in the interior.  In the November 2006 regional and municipal 
elections, local voters opted not for PNP or other 
ideological radicals but instead elected a series of 
technocrats and locally-trained professionals who had risen 
out of regional political movements.  Like many of their 
counterparts around Peru, the style of Apurimac's elected 
regional and municipal leadership is largely non-ideological 
and focused on problem-solving and promoting development. 

6.  (SBU) Interviews with a variety of local leaders 
confirmed their pragmatic bent.  Regional President Salazar, 
an industrial engineer by training, spoke earnestly of his 
support for Peru Trade Promotion Authority (PTPA) and the 
export opportunities it will bring.  Abancay Mayor Manuel 
Campos launched his political career when he formed a group 
of local professionals, including architects and young 
engineers, called "All United for Abancay," that did pro bono 
work refurbishing rural schools.  Andahuaylas Mayor Molina is 
a former lawyer who has assembled a team that includes 
agricultural experts. 

--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
Ominous Signs: Humala, Narcotraffickers, Mining Conflicts 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 

7.  (SBU) Post-2006 election Apurimac remains peaceful, but 
Poloffs heard indications of potential future difficulties: 

--XXXXXXXXXXXX told Poloffs that Antauro Humala,s Ethnocacerista "Reservists" are organizing in the hillside villages around his town.  XXXXXXXXXXXX is an isolated town in the center of Apurimac, accessible only by the dirt road that links Andahuaylas and Abancay. 

--All local officials complained of narcotrafficking. 
Apurimac is a transit zone for drugs produced elsewhere. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX spoke of caravans of expensive 4x4 pickup trucks 
passing through his town in the night.  XXXXXXXXXXXX pointed out a discotheque he had recently closed down 
just off the town's central plaza, "XXXXXXXXXXXX" which he described as noisy and offensive in a 
conservative local culture and an obvious money-laundering 
operation.  XXXXXXXXXXXX also said that narco-money was pushing up 
property values in the town center.  He noted that a building 
on the town square had recently sold for USD 200,000.  He 
asked rhetorically, "Who but narco-traffickers has that kind 
of money out here?"  (Note: The combination of new discos and 
rising property values paralelled what residents of Huanta 
and Ayacucho had reported last November about 
narco-penetration of their local economies, though these 
forces remain incipient in Apurimac (Ref A).  End Note.) 
School Director Roberto Hurtado said drug use among youth in 
Abancay remains low to non-existent "for now," but could soon 
spread into the area from nearby Cusco. 

--Mining Conflicts Latent.  CARE Representative Juan Soto 
told Poloffs that Apurimac faces an imminent challenge in the 
mining arena.   Many foreign mining firms are finding that 
the region is rich in mineral deposits, and will soon seek 
permission from the Ministry of Energy and Mines to develop 
these resources.  The Ministry has few if any back-linkages 
to the highlands, Quechua-speaking communities that live in 
potential mining areas. 

----------------- 
Where,s the Beef? 
----------------- 

8.  (SBU) Apurimac's residents are perplexed at the lack of 
government action almost one year into the Garcia 
Administration.  Leaders in Andahuaylas spoke of planned 
government projects, but nowhere did Poloffs see evidence 
that any were underway.  Locals were dismayed by President 
Garcia,s recent visit to Andahuaylas, particularly his 
announcement of a plan to "study" a long-awaited project to 
pave the road between Andahuaylas and Abancay.  Upon hearing 
that the project remained under study, many in the crowd 
heckled the President.  Also of concern was the central 
government's alleged divide and rule approach.  Abancay Mayor 
Campos maintained that both the Regional President and the 
central government pour resources into the Andahuaylas area, 
where the majority of Apurimac's voters (60 percent) live. 
He alleged that the Regional President had received 
construction equipment from the GOP that he was refusing to 
share with the Abancay Municipality because, the Mayor 
charged, he wanted to address Andahuaylas' needs first. 

-------- 
Comment: 
-------- 
9.  (SBU) Apurimac is a highly traditional, conservative 
region whose political history features bouts of intermittent 
radicalism.  The message from local contacts was clear: if 
visible, concrete action from the GOP in infrastructure, 
health, and education does not come soon, Apurimac's 
residents could turn again to the Humalas or to "someone just 
like them." 
STRUBLE 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

.