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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BOGOTA5871 2007-08-10 21:11:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

ARRESTS MADE IN NARCO/FARC INFILTRATION OF MILITARY

Tags:   PREL PGOV PTER MARR CO 
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RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ AUG LIMA 5312
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5911
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					  UNCLAS BOGOTA 005871 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER MARR CO
SUBJECT: ARRESTS MADE IN NARCO/FARC INFILTRATION OF MILITARY

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Summary
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1. The Colombian Prosecutor General (Fiscalia) and Colombian
Army counterintelligence worked closely for over a year to
uncover a small network of Army personnel collaborating with
the Norte de Valle drugs cartel. The Fiscalia has arrested
at least nine military members and two civilians, and the
Army suspended more than 20 officers and NCOs. More arrests
are pending. Separately, a FARC fighter killed in combat in
Meta was found with classified Army operational intelligence
and biographical information. Defense Minister Santos
acknowledged the gravity of these security breaches and vowed
to reform military counter-intelligence. End Summary.



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Mafia Infiltrate Military - Arrests Made


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2. Leading Colombian daily El Tiempo reported on July 25
that the Prosecutor General (Fiscalia) had uncovered a
criminal ring recruiting former Colombian Army officers to
serve as private security for Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez,
(alias 'don Diego'), leader of the notorious Norte de Valle
drug cartel and on the FBI'S Most Wanted List. Semana
magazine reported on July 30 that Colombian investigators
also had evidence of ties between the cartel and the Army's
Third Division, including evidence from the May 2006 incident
at Jamundi, Valle, when Third Division soldiers ambushed and
killed 10 Police from a vetted counter-drug unit, allegedly
on orders of 'Don Diego.' Semana reported that attempts to
capture Diego were also disrupted by leaks from active duty
soldiers working in Diego's security forces.



3. On June 27 three persons were arrested in the Norte de
Valle recruitment case: a secretary in a military human
resources office who smuggled out resumes of officers due to
retire; a retired sergeant who acted as headhunter for 'Don
Diego'; and a civilian who sold military supplies and passed
information to the cartel. Seven other military were
subsequently arrested in July, and in August a colonel and
major were captured. The Army also suspended from active
duty at least 20 persons pending further investigation. The
Fiscalia is continuing its investigations, and media reports
indicate 15 additional retired and active-duty military
personnel could be implicated.



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FARC's Intelligence Cache


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4. On July 30, Semana reported that a FARC member killed in
combat in Meta on July 15 was found carrying a range of
classified military, police and civilian intelligence files.
The information included troop locations, names of officers
leading operations, members of informer networks, and plans
for counterguerrilla operations. Meta is a key area in Plan
Patriota's Omega operating area where the military
concentrated resources and elite forces. Armed Forces
Commander General Freddy Padilla acknowledged the leaks to
the FARC were worrying, but emphasized the damage was limited
since the information was dated.



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


MoD Launches Counter-Intelligence Offensive


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





5. On July 30, Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos
conceded "serious counterintelligence failings" had allowed
penetration by illegal groups, and ordered the military to
review, reform, and strengthen military counter-intelligence.
Santos said press coverage of the cases could make
prosecution of suspects more difficult. Army Commander
General Mario Montoya pledged his full support and said the
cases uncovering narco-military ties (leading from Jamundi)
represented a positive example of cooperation between
military counter-intelligence and civilian investigators.

Nichols