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Thread: US State Department: Terrorism report released 4/30/2009

  1. #1

    Default US State Department: Terrorism report released 4/30/2009


    In 2008 Nicaragua made no substantive progress towards establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit or on a counterterrorism bill first proposed in 2004. Nicaragua’s judiciary remained highly politicized, corrupt, and prone to manipulation. President Daniel Ortega’s 2007 decision to grant Iranian nationals visa-free entry into Nicaragua remained in effect.

    President Ortega maintained close relations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). On March 6, President Ortega broke diplomatic relations with Colombia for 24 hours following Colombia’s March 1 military action against a FARC base in Ecuador. Nicaragua also publicly welcomed survivors of the March 1 Colombian military operation against the FARC and granted asylum to suspected FARC operatives:

    • On April 19, President Ortega personally met Lucia Andrea Morett Alvarez and her parents on their arrival in Nicaragua. Morett, a Mexican university student, suffered injuries during the March 1 Colombian military operation against FARC personnel in Ecuador. According to the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry, Morett was in Nicaragua as a tourist. She was never offered, nor did she request asylum or Nicaraguan citizenship.

    • On May 11, President Ortega sent a Nicaraguan Air Force plane to Ecuador to retrieve two Colombian survivors of the March 1 operation, Doris Torres Bohórquez and Martha Pérez Gutiérrez. Nicaragua granted both asylum, and on July 19, the anniversary of the Sandinista revolutionary victory, President Ortega officially welcomed them as survivors of “state-sponsored terrorism by Colombia.”

    • On August 19, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos, confirmed that a third Colombian, Nubia Calderón de Trujillo, also known as “Esperanza,” had been granted “humanitarian asylum” in Nicaragua. Santos stated that Nicaragua had responded to a request for assistance sent to the Nicaraguan Embassy in Ecuador by Calderón, who was also injured in the March 1 operation. On September 30, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) named Calderón and seven other international representatives of the FARC as significant narcotraffickers under the Kingpin Act. The OFAC press release noted that, “Nubia Calderón de Trujillo was recently granted asylum by Nicaragua, even though she is a member of an internationally recognized narcoterrorist organization.” Unlike Morett and the two other Colombians, Calderón did not appear in public after arriving in Nicaragua.

    • In July, the local press discovered that, in late 2007, an official of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) issued a Nicaraguan national identity card (cédula) to a René Alberto Gutiérrez Pastrán. Gutiérrez Pastrán was actually FARC emissary Alberto Bermúdez, aka “Cojo.” Bermúdez subsequently used his false identity to transit Nicaragua.

  2. #2

    Default Re: US State Department: Terrorism report released 4/30/2009

    State sponsors of terrorism provide critical support to non-state terrorist groups. Without state sponsors, terrorist groups would have greater difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations. The United States will continue to insist that these countries end the support they give to terrorist groups.

    Sudan continued to take significant steps towards better counterterrorism cooperation. Iran and Syria have not renounced terrorism or made efforts to act against Foreign Terrorist Organizations and routinely provided safe haven, substantial resources, and guidance to terrorist organizations. Cuba continued to publicly defend the FARC and provide safe haven to some members of terrorist organizations, though some were in Cuba in connection with peace negotiations with the Governments of Spain and Colombia.

    On October 11, the United States rescinded the designation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a state sponsor of terrorism in accordance with criteria set forth in U.S. law, including a certification that the Government of North Korea had not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period and the provision by the government of assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.

    State Sponsor: Implications

    Designating countries that repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism as state sponsors of terrorism imposes four main sets of U.S. Government sanctions:

    1. A ban on arms-related exports and sales.

    2. Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for
    goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country's military
    capability or ability to support terrorism.

    3. Prohibitions on economic assistance.

    4. Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions, including:

    Requiring the United States to oppose loans by the World Bank and other international financial institutions;
    Exception from the jurisdictional immunity in U.S. courts of state sponsor countries, and all former state sponsor countries (with the exception of Iraq), with respect to claims for money damages for personal injury or death caused by certain acts of terrorism, torture, or extrajudicial killing, or the provision of material support or resources for such acts;
    Denying companies and individuals tax credits for income earned in terrorist-list countries;
    Denial of duty-free treatment of goods exported to the United States;
    Authority to prohibit any U.S. citizen from engaging in a financial transaction with a terrorist-list government without a Treasury Department license; and
    Prohibition of Defense Department contracts above $100,000 with companies in which a state sponsor government owns or controls a significant interest.

  3. #3

    Default Re: US State Department: Terrorism report released 4/30/2009


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