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PRESENCE - AND BETTER FUTURES - EAST OF THE ANDES ¶1.(U) SUMMARY: The 3 NAS-sponsored police PreAcademies, with a total of 764 students enrolled this year, are starting to provide a betterprepared pool of candidates for the 3 NAS/PNP Academies East of the Andes, that now graduate around 1000 new police each year. In 2007, half of the Mazamari pre-Academy students passed the PNP entrance exams: next year the goal is 70 percent. The main goals for all these Academies -augmenting well-trained CN police East of the Andes and increasing state presence, as well as improving community-police relations, are being achieved, despite some bumps in the road. Additionally, local economies are receiving a boost, educational opportunities are opening, and women and indigenous groups are being integrated into national structures. In a study of the impact of the pre-Academies/Academies in Mazamari, assessors found the locally recruited students are contributing not only to security in previously lawless zones, but are also a source of pride to wide family circles, and they embark on professional careers. END SUMMARY.

----------BACKGROUND ----------¶2.(U) To redress the lack of police presence in Peru's lawless coca growing zones -- security is the prerequisite for broader state presence, development, and social inclusion -- NAS developed a beachhead program in 2004 consisting of 3 Police Academies (in the towns of Santa Lucia, Mazamari and in 2005, Ayacucho) to train recruits from East of the Andes. These recruits commit to serving 3 years in counter-narcotics duties. Over 1000 students are currently in training. By the end of 2008, 3000 new police will have passed through the program and the first graduates will be moving on to regular policing duties. To meet the annual intake of 350 recruits in each Academy, NAS set up pre-Academies in the same towns to provide a pool of qualified local candidates. Currently 764 school-leavers between the ages of 17-25 are enrolled in the 3 pre-Academies. (Note: Peru has a young population - 65 percent is under 29. Most living East of the Andes have scant hope of a professional career. The demographics show this trend will continue during the next 10 years, providing a significant challenge to this and the next government. End Note). ¶3.(U) During a rotation at NAS Lima, INL/RM Foreign Affairs Officer Keira Goldstein looked at the functioning of the pre-academies as feeder schools for the main NAS/PNP Academies at Santa Lucia, Mazamari and Ayacucho. Goldstein did a

field visit to the pre-academy at Mazamari, (VRAE), where she interviewed representatives of the local government, social service providers, community leaders, police, and the students and teachers of the pre-Academy to assess the efficacy of the program. The information below is based on her report. -------------------------------------MAZAMARI - POOR YET A "REGIONAL ENVY" -------------------------------------¶4.(U) Mazamari is a typical impoverished Peruvian town yet an exceptional one, described by its governor as a "regional envy". Most residents are farmers with an average income of 10 soles (3.15 USD) a day. The town has no paved roads, no potable water, and no university or trade school. The population of around 20,000 has a significant Ashaninka minority. The presence of a PNP base and the Police Academy sets Mazamari apart. Both Presidents Toledo and Garcia have visited, along with several of Ministers, because of the Academy / Pre-academies, that provide local youth a chance for a professional career in a town with no other options. The police base, built in 1965, has provided Mazamari with increased security and prevented it from becoming a center of narcotrafficking. Thus, both the challenges and the potential in Mazamari are substantial. --------------------ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS ---------------------

¶5.(U) All PNP Academies accept students through a national exam process. Aspiring police must pass medicals, a test of physical abilities, academics, psychological evaluation, and a personal interview. In the NAS/PNP Academies, men and women are trained together, and must pass the same entrance exams (except men are tested on upper body strength and women on abdominal strength). A set number of indigenous applicants are accepted into the NAS/PNP Academies without having to pass the academic portion of the entrance exam (administered by a Peruvian university to ensure fairness). The second year the Academies were in operation they encountered a problem: not enough locals were passing the entrance exam. Academy slots were being filled by students from coastal cities: such recruits have typically resisted serving East of the Andes. In response, NAS opened pre-Academies to bolster the skills of local applicants. ----------------------------ACADEMY AND PRE-ACADEMY GOALS ----------------------------¶6.(U) The goals for both the Academies and preAcademies include: augmenting counter-drug police East of the Andes, improving community-police relations, creating ethical police with a sense of community service, supporting development of the local economy, improving the overall level of education east of the Andes, integrating women and indigenous groups into national structures, and paving the way for significantly increased state

presence east of the Andes. Stated narrowly, the goal of Mazamari's Academy is to graduate 350 welltrained police each year. The goal of the preAcademy is to prepare local candidates to pass the entrance exam so that 100 percent of the Academy students in Mazamari are from East of the Andes. ¶7.(SBU) The pre-Academy in Mazamari opened in March 2006. Administering NGO CEPTIS works closely with local governing officials, providers of social services, and police at the base/Academy (e.g. the Base Commander teaches the civics course at the pre-Academy, students practice swimming at the base pool, and police instructors provide specialized physical fitness training). CEPTIS has instituted screening to weed out potential narco "plants". In the most recent round of recruiting, 250 people applied for 160 spots in Mazamari's preAcademy (in Ayacucho, over 600 people competed for the 280 places in that pre-Academy). Once accepted, students attend academic classes on weeknights and do physical fitness training Saturday mornings. Heavy emphasis is placed on reading comprehension since levels are low throughout Peru. All students have to run the same sprint and endurance distances and practice formation drills before each evening's Academic classes. ¶8.(U) Teachers are carefully selected. In Mazamari, 6 of the 8 academic teachers teach in the local private school that donates classroom space to the pre-Academy in the evenings. CEPTIS monitors instructor performance, use of appropriate teaching techniques and the syllabus. Teachers commented on the differences between teaching students in

regular schools and the pre-Academy. In regular school, the students do not believe academic success will improve their lives and so do not work hard. In the pre-Academy, the students had to compete to be there: they have a chance to prepare for a professional career. Teachers emphasized how motivated students are to learn -- this was apparent during class observation. ------IMPACT ------¶9.(SBU) The Pre-Academy/PNP Academy in Mazamari appear to be achieving three broad kinds of change. First, local businesses are benefiting, with an increase in the number of restaurants and services. Second, the Academies are improving communitypolice relations. Locals used to stone police patrols, but with local recruits, this has stopped. The assessors observed that the students are a source of pride, touching a wide family circle. Impoverished children asked what they wanted to be when they grew up enthusiastically shouted "Police!" A parent of a pre-Academy student said he hoped his child would be able help rebuild the security terrorists had destroyed. A leader in the indigenous communities, with 2 sons in the PNP, considers her community to be safer now that their own people are joining the police. Third, policy decisions advocated at the NAS-funded Academies are having nation-wide implications. All 19 police Academies in Peru are now moving from a 3-year degree program to a condensed 1-year program. This shift is important for the goal of

expanding the PNP by 20,000 in 5 years. recruitment of women and indigenous has pushed national policy in a more inclusive direction.


¶10. (U) The easiest measurement of the impact of the Mazamari pre-Academy is how many of its students passed the police entrance exam. Out of the 151 students, 62 passed the exam 41 percent). CEPTIS has set an internal goal for the coming session of a 70 percent acceptance rate. Regardless of whether they passed the entrance exam, anecdotal evidence suggests additional results from the preAcademy. Educational levels are being raised. Students are responsible for cleaning their classrooms and townsfolk observed that students were also cleaning the area around the school. The underlying hope is that all students leaving the pre-Academy, whether they pass of fail, will have a better education, a greater respect for the police and more commitment to community service. ¶11. (U) Comment: This substantial police training program has run into the usual bumps in the road as it is being developed. However, the pre-Academies/Academies are providing a window of opportunity and educational advancement in the Upper Huallaga and VRAE -- areas where illegal activities are rife for lack of alternatives. The pre-Academies are still a work-in-progress, but students involved in town clean-up auger well for a future commitment to community service. Problems remain with coordinating pre-Academy and PNP entrance exam schedules. There needs to be careful calibration of recruitment practices to represent the population and meet police needs. Nonetheless,

an indication of the success of the NAS preacademies is that several private academies have also sprung up to prepare students for entrance to the NAS/PNP Academies. NEALON

(Edited and reading.)