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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BOGOTA10846
2005-11-21 15:25:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

DEMOBILIZATION TO RESUME; TIMETABLE UNDER

Tags:   KJUS  PGOV  PREL  PTER  CO 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0846/01 3251525
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211525Z NOV 05
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9829
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6362
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 6756
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV LIMA 2905
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 8520
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 010846 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2015
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: DEMOBILIZATION TO RESUME; TIMETABLE UNDER
NEGOTIATION

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

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) The GOC and AUC negotiators have agreed to extend the
December 31 deadline for the remaining demobilizations of
approximately 10,000 paramilitaries for an additional period,
expected to be no more than 60 days. Peace Commissioner Luis
Carlos Restrepo has reiterated that the new deadline must be
"credible and acceptable" to the country. The groups that
remain to demobilize include 3,000 from the North Bloc and
some 7,000 from blocs "independent" of the AUC, such as the
Central Bolivar Bloc (BCB). End Summary.



--------------------------


DEMOBILIZATIONS TO RESUME


--------------------------





2. (C) On November 16, the GOC and AUC announced that they
had reached agreement to resume demobilizations, suspended
since early October. According to Minister of Interior and
Justice Sabas Pretelt, the GOC expects the December 31
deadline to be extended by a short period. In a radio
interview November 17, Pretelt said demobilizations should
not extend beyond January. (Note: we understand that Uribe
has an informal deadline of the end of February; any delay
beyond that could have negative consequences for security
requirements associated with the March congressional
elections.) Pretelt also said paramilitaries had agreed to
refrain from political activities in the upcoming
congressional and presidential campaigns. He emphasized that
extraditions would continue and that there would be no GOC
deals with paramilitaries on extradition.



--------------------------


MOST RECENT DEMOBILIZATIONS


--------------------------





3. (SBU) Since late August, four paramilitary blocs have
demobilized, bringing the total number of demobilized
paramilitaries to 11,117. In September, three groups
demobilized: the 1,135 members of "Los Leales Front" of the
Centauros Bloc in Casanare Department; 222 members from the
North-West Antioqueno Bloc in Antioquia Department; and 325
members of the Central Bolivar Bloc (BCB) in Vichada
Department. The only commander to demobilize with his group
in September was North-West Antioqueno Bloc leader Luis
Arnulfo Turbequia, AKA "Memin." The other blocs were under
the control of AUC leader and Centauros Bloc commander
Vicente Castano and BCB leader Carlos Mario Jimenez, AKA
"Macaco."



4. (SBU) In October, the dissident Tolima Bloc demobilized
its 207 members in Tolima Department despite the suspension
of demobilization activities announced earlier in the month
by AUC negotiators to protest AUC leader Diego Murillo's, AKA
"Don Berna," transfer to a maximum-security prison.
According to a delegate from the Peace Commissioner's Office,

Tolima Bloc chief Diego Jose Martinez, AKA "Daniel,"
negotiated independently with the GOC for the demobilization
of his bloc and demobilized along with it. (Note: According
to official sources, the Tolima Bloc had financed itself with
extortion of farmers, cattlemen and merchants, and theft of
gasoline from the Puerto Salgar-Gualanday-Neiva pipeline.)



--------------------------


PARAMILITARY GROUPS LEFT TO DEMOBILIZE


--------------------------





5. (C) Approximately 10,000 paramilitaries remain to
demobilize -- 3,000 from the North Bloc and about 7,000 from
the BCB and other blocs that are "independent" of the AUC
structure. In an interview with Cambio magazine on November
7, AUC and BCB political chief Ivan Roberto Duque, AKA
"Ernesto Baez," said the groups that remain are the most
militarily powerful blocs within the organization. (Note: The
BCB, which is independent from the AUC, is estimated to have

over 25 fronts and 6,000 to 9,000 members left. Other
independent groups are the Elmer Cardenas Bloc with 500
members, the Mineros Bloc with 2,000 members, the
Self-Defense Mid-Magdalena Bloc, and the two remaining fronts
from the Centauros Bloc.)



--------------------------


OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME


--------------------------





6. (C) Security and Democracy Foundation (FSD) Director
Alfredo Rangel said paramilitaries have been concerned about
the following issues: refusal to exempt paramilitary leaders
from extradition; the GOC's "failure to fully implement the
Justice and Peace (J&P) law"; inability of the government to
reclaim control of the areas vacated by the paramilitaries;
uncertainty surrounding the issue of the centers where they
will serve their sentences; the inefficiency of the
reinsertion programs; and the absence of opportunities for
the demobilized combatants. Rangel claims the GOC's position
has also been hardening, primarily as a result of accusations
of paramilitary interference in politics; the death of a
neighbor of President Uribe at the hands of reinserted
combatants; pressure from the USG for extradition; and
annoyance at the suspension of demobilizations. On November
9, Baez asserted in a RCN television interview that the only
thing to keep demobilized combatants from returning to "the
backcountry" in the face of the government's failure to make
good on its commitments would be "for example, the setting of
limitations on the extradition issue."



7. (C) According to FSD researcher Juan Carlos Garzon, the
remaining blocs will be the hardest for the GOC to process
because their ties to narcotrafficking give them little
incentive to demobilize. RCN journalist Alfredo Bustillo,
who follows the peace process and has covered the
paramilitary phenomenon for several years, told poloff that
BCB leader Macaco would rather demobilize at a later date,
since he wants to guarantee greater narco-profits for his
subordinates. Cambio magazine on November 7 noted the
paramilitary groups that are showing the greatest reluctance
to demobilize are those that operate in areas with
significant drug production. In contrast, the groups that
laid down their arms worked primarily in areas where there
was little or no drug production. The Cambio article
concluded that the demobilizations so far have been a
political move on the part of paramilitary leaders to
convince the public that they support Uribe's peace process.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





8. (C) According to officials from the Peace Commissioner's
Office, the GOC does not have the resources or the logistical
capacity to accommodate two or three demobilizations
simultaneously over the next months. Nevertheless, Uribe is
determined to ensure the maximum demobilizations possible to
free up logistical and security resources for the March
Congressional campaign, and to run for reelection in May
without this matter hanging over his head. The remaining
paramilitary blocs appear to be united only insofar as they
fear extradition.
DRUCKER