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2004-11-02 14:38:00
Embassy Bogota
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 011205 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2014

REF: A) BOGOTA 10728 B) BOGOTA 10687

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: On October 26, Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos
Restrepo presented the government's demobilization plan for
the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) to the
diplomatic corps. Seven AUC groups will demobilize between
November 3 and December 18 and the GOC continues to insist
that the AUC groups operating in the eastern plains follow
suit. Demobilization will last up to 48 days: 15 to 30 days
to prepare the demobilization zone, two to ten days for the
paramilitaries to disarm, and eight days to leave the zone
and report to government reinsertion centers. During this
time, the Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia) will
determine which of the demobilized are guilty of major
crimes. Those guilty will be required to remain in
government-controlled areas until the Law for Justice and
Reparation passes. According to Restrepo, paramilitary
murders have gone down 67 percent and massacres 83 percent
since the cease-fire began. Diplomatic corps reaction was
subdued; no one present was openly critical but most want
more details. End Summary.

2. (C) On October 26, Restrepo presented a detailed
demobilization plan to the diplomatic corps. He prefaced his
power-point presentation by reiterating the pre-condition for
negotiating with the AUC and guerrilla groups: a public
demonstration of will to abandon violence, to which only the
AUC had so far agreed. He emphasized that there was no
distinction in bringing these groups to justice, and that
there would be no mass pardons. He described the process not
as a political negotiation, but as a negotiation that, if
turned out right, would lead to a real political negotiation
that could bring these groups into the democratic mainstream
of the country.

3. (C) Restrepo then described how the demobilization would
proceed on a day-to-day basis and which groups would
demobilize. Between November 3 and December 18 the following
AUC groups will concentrate and demobilize:

- Self Defense Forces of Catatumbo (eastern Norte de
- Lower and Upper Sinu Self Defense Forces (western Cordoba)
- The Bananero Front (northwestern Antioquia)
- The Southeastern Antioquia Front
- The Pacific Front (coastal Cauca and Valle del Cauca)
- The Self Defense Forces of Cundinamarca (northern
- The Calima Bloc (Cauca and Valle del Cauca)

4. (C) Restrepo noted that the government continues to insist
that the AUC groups operating in the eastern plains -- the
Centauros Bloc, the Vanquishers of Arauca, and the Self
Defense Forces of Meta and Vichada -- demobilize before the
end of this year. (He did not mention the independent Self
Defense Forces of Casanare, which have suffered heavy

military blows).

5. (C) Stressing the need for flexibility, Restrepo gave the
following time line:

-- Preparation: 15 to 30 days (GOC provides security for the
demobilization zone and formerly occupied areas, conducts
community outreach, and transports paramilitaries to the
zone. The paramilitaries submit a list of who is

-- Concentration, demobilization, and identification: two to
ten days (disarmament, minors turned over to the Family
Welfare Institute, OAS verifies list, and GOC conducts survey
of paramilitaries and provides basic humanitarian assistance).

-- Exiting demobilization zone: eight days (demobilized
return home and report to local reinsertion centers. These
centers will be in urban areas where the demobilized live).

6. (C) According to Restrepo, the Fiscalia would begin
investigating each demobilizing individual once the list is
submitted. However, because the paramilitaries will remain
in the demobilization zone for only two to ten days, the
Fiscalia will not finish the investigations until after they
leave. Investigations are still underway in Medellin, more
than a year after the demobilization of the Cacique Nutibara
Bloc. Once the Fiscalia determines who is guilty of an
unpardonable crime (serious violations of human rights or
narcotics trafficking), those individuals will be required to
remain in government-controlled areas until they are given an
alternative sentence under the "Law of Justice and
Reparations." Restrepo noted that time spent in these
controlled areas could reduce the alternative sentence.

7. (C) As outlined in ref A, the government is offering
economic incentives, including preferential credit, to
private companies which provide jobs to the demobilized.

8. (C) Restrepo acknowledged that the cease-fire has not been
perfectly observed. He reported, however, that between
February 2001 to November 2002 and December 2002 to September
2004 paramilitaries murders dropped 67 percent (1,172 versus
390 murders). During the same time frames
paramilitary-perpetrated massacres dropped 83 percent (100
versus 17 massacres). According to Restrepo, between June
2000 to July 2002 and August 2002 to September 2004, the
military has captured 300 percent more paramilitaries, killed
229 percent more, and seized 286 percent more paramilitary
weapons. He said that this process should result in the
demobilization of approximately 30 to 35 percent of the AUC
before the end of 2004.

9. (C) The reaction of the diplomatic corps was subdued but
not openly critical. Following the meeting, some Europeans
expressed concern about the lack of specifics in the
concentration and monitoring phase, the short period of time
the paramilitaries would remain in the demobilized zone (two
to ten days), and the slow movement in the Congress of the
"Law of Justice and Reparations." The law will be critical
in dealing with fighters wanted for serious human rights
violations or narcotrafficking and senior leaders remaining
in the special concentration zone at Santa Fe de Ralito.