wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BOGOTA1159
2005-02-04 15:04:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

AUC'S LA MOJANA BLOC DEMOBILIZES AND MANCUSO STEPS

Tags:   PTER  PHUM  KJUS  CO  OAS  AUC 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 001159 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2015
TAGS: PTER PHUM KJUS CO OAS AUC
SUBJECT: AUC'S LA MOJANA BLOC DEMOBILIZES AND MANCUSO STEPS
DOWN


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



1. (U) Summary: 110 members of the La Mojana Bloc of the
United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) demobilized on
February 2. They received Reincorporation Program IDs, took
a demographic survey, and renounced AUC membership. Six
members faced active arrest warrants. The bloc was active in
the swampy lowlands of Sucre, Bolivar, and Cordoba
Departments and had been relatively isolated from the AUC
central command. Since 2003, 4,809 paramilitaries have
demobilized in the peace process. During the ceremony, it
was announced that AUC commander Salvatore Mancuso stepped
down as the AUC's military chief. He will continue
participating in negotiations, but his demobilized civilian
status prevents him from being an armed military commander.
End Summary.



2. (U) On February 2, the La Mojana Bloc of the United
Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) demobilized in southern
Sucre Department. There were 110 members, who turned in
their weapons, received a Reincorporation Program ID, took a
demographic survey, and signed an individual renunciation of
AUC membership. The National Registrar's Office began
verifying, replacing, or newly issuing national
identification cards ("cedulas") following the ceremony.
Only six paramilitaries claimed to not have any
identification documents. Another six members had active
arrest warrants; the GOC is verifying if these warrants are
for pardonable crimes. If not pardonable, the individuals
will be required to go to the concentration zone in Santa Fe
de Ralito, Cordoba Department. The demobilization took place
in a specially designated zone in a public recreation area in
the rural district of Nueva Esperanza in the municipality of
Guaranda. The zone will be in existence until February 4,
after which time the paramilitaries will be required to
report to a reinsertion center within eight days.



3. (C) The bloc was active in the La Mojana lowlands where
Sucre, Bolivar, and Cordoba Departments meet. The area's
swampy terrain made the bloc generally autonomous from the
AUC central command. The more populated northern part of
Sucre has a heavy FARC presence in the mountainous region of
Montes de Maria, while the capital city and the coast is
dominated by a paramilitary strongman called "Ricardo
Cadena." Cadena is loosely affiliated with the AUC but has
not participated in the peace process.



4. (U) The La Mojana Bloc's demobilization brings the total
paramilitaries demobilized collectively since 2003 to 4,809.



5. (C) During the ceremony, Peace Commissioner Restrepo spoke
on behalf of the GOC, and several other government, church,
and OAS officials attended. Senior paramilitary commander
Ernesto Baez and bloc commander Ramon Mojana represented the
AUC. Unlike past demobilizations, AUC commander Salvatore
Mancuso did not attend. Mancuso, who formally demobilized
and disarmed late last year and demobilized all the blocs
that were under his direct control, has stepped down as the
AUC's military chief. He will remain in the concentration
zone in Ralito and continue participating in negotiations.
Julian Bolivar, the political commander of the Central
Bolivar Bloc (BCB), agreed to replace Mancuso for one month.
The BCB is the second largest paramilitary group represented
at the negotiating table in Ralito. It is required to
demobilize by the end of 2005.
WOOD