Ambassador to Jamaica: Who Is Luis Moreno?

Monday, January 06, 2014

A career Foreign Service Officer who has spent the bulk of his career fighting the so-called “war on drugs” is set to be the next ambassador to the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, home to more than 29,000 Rastafarians, who regard the smoking of marijuana a holy sacrament. Nominated September 10, Luis G. Moreno would succeed Pamela Bridgewater, who started her tour in Kingston in October 2010. Since June 2011, Moreno has been deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain


Born circa 1955, Luis Moreno graduated from Staten Island Academy in 1973, going on to earn a BA in History at Fordham University in 1977 and an MA in Education at Kean College in 1981.


After joining the Foreign Service in 1983, Moreno served in the consular section and the Narcotics Assistance Unit at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, from spring 1984 to 1986, when he served as American citizens service chief at the embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. From 1987 to 1988, Moreno served as a staff assistant in the Latin American Affairs Bureau of the State Department.


Moreno spent the next five years as a drug warrior. From 1988 to 1990, Moreno served as deputy director of the Narcotics Affairs Section at the embassy in Lima, Peru, where he managed a coca eradication project. From 1990 to 1993, Moreno served as the Colombia desk officer for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Washington.


From 1993 to 1995, Moreno took a break from counter-narcotics to serve as refugee coordinator at the embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while thousands of “boat people” returned to the island, and as political-military officer after the United Nations intervention in 1994.


Intending to get back to drugs, in 1995 Moreno took an assignment at the embassy in Panama as narcotics director and law enforcement coordinator, but was detailed to serve as Kurdish refugee coordinator instead, supervising government efforts to resettle Kurdish refugees in the U.S.


From 1997 to 2001, Moreno served as narcotics affairs director at the embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, where he was one of the primary planners of “Plan Colombia,” an anti-drug effort that spent several billion dollars of U.S. aid to stop the flow of cocaine.


Back in Haiti, Moreno served as deputy chief of mission at the embassy, where he was the primary point of contact with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, from August 2001 to August 2004. On February 29, 2004, it was Moreno who accompanied Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the airport when he was forced out of office in a military coup.


Moreno served his first tour in Mexico, as consul general and principal officer at the consulate in Monterrey, from August 2004 to June 2007, and his first tour in the Middle East, as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, from August 2007 to May 2010. From May 2010 to June 2011, he served at the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, as political-military affairs minister counselor and as force strategic engagement cell director. 


Moreno speaks Spanish, French and some Haitian Creole.

-Matt Bewig


Official Biography


malcolm kyle 5 years ago
"CIA are drug smugglers."—Federal Judge Bonner, while head of the DEA In 1989, The Kerry Committee found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers. Concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while the traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies. A VERY BRIEF HISTORY: * Shortly after World War II, the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) formed a strategic alliance with the Sicilian and Corsican mafia. * During the 1950s, In order to provide covert funds to forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek (they were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong), the CIA helped the Kuomintang (KMT) smuggle opium to Thailand from China and Burma. They even provided planes owned by one of their front businesses—Air America. * During the long years of the cold war, the CIA mounted major covert guerilla operations along the Soviet-Chinese border. In 1950, for their operation against communist China in northeastern Burma, and from 1965 to 1975 [during the Vietnam war] for their operation in northern Laos, the CIA recruited, as allies, people we now refer to as drug lords. * Throughout the 1980s, in Afghanistan, the CIA supported the Mujahedin rebels (in their efforts against the pro-Soviet government) by facilitating their opium smuggling operations. A small local trade in opium was turned into a major source of supply for the world's markets, including the United States. Thus Afghanistan become the largest supplier of illicit opium on the planet—a status only briefly interrupted when it was under Taliban control. * Again during the 1980s, the Reagan administration, using cocaine smuggling operations, funded a guerrilla force known as the Nicaraguan Contras—even after such funding was outlawed by Congress. An August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News by Pulitzer Prize­-winner Gary Webb clearly linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA and the Contras. Follow this link to an electronic briefing book compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive. It includes the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-Contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and also collaboration with, and protection of, known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included. * In November 1996, a Miami grand jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief, and longtime-CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila. He had been smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a CIA owned Venezuelan warehouse. During his trial, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA. * The Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS), a Mexican intelligence agency (spawned in 1947) was practically a creation of the CIA. DFS badges were handed out to top-level Mexican drug traffickers—thus giving them a virtual 'License to Traffic'. The Guadalajara Cartel (Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s) prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, also a CIA asset. For far more detailed information kindly google any of the following: * The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic by former DEA agent Michael Levine * Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Gary Webb * Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair * The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred W. McCoy * The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace by James Mills * Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA by Terry Reed, (a former Air Force Intelligence operative) and John Cummings (a former prize-winning investigative reporter at N.Y Newsday)

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