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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BOGOTA3473 2008-09-16 22:18:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
Cable title:  

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CONCERNED ABOUT ALLEGED MILITARY INTELLIGENCE REPORTS LINKING IT TO THE FARC AND ELN

Tags:   CO KJUS PHUM PREL PTER 
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1. (C) Human rights group MINGA (Association for Alternative
Social Promotion) voiced concerns about a recent television
report alleging MINGA had helped FARC and ELN members obtain
refugee status in Canada. MINGA head Gloria Florez also gave
us a document purportedly from Colombian military
intelligence which claims the FARC political front--the
Colombian Clandestine Communist Party--heavily influenced an
October 2007 report on extrajudicial killings by a coalition
of international human rights groups. Vice Defense Minister
Jaramillo told us the document could be from military
intelligence, and said he would investigate. Defense
Minister Juan Manuel Santos said publicly on September 9 that
human rights are the "cornerstone" of the military's mission,
challenged the accuracy of the human rights groups' report,
and alleged that some groups are involved in a "deliberate
policy" to discredit the Colombian military. END SUMMARY.



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PRESS REPORTS LINK MINGA WITH FARC AND ELN


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2. (C) MINGA director Gloria Florez told us on September 10,
that she is worried about a recent cable television report
alleging that MINGA helped FARC and ELN members obtain
refugee status in Canada. The channel attributed its report
to military intelligence. MINGA also provided us with a
document purportedly from Colombian military intelligence
which claims the FARC political front "PC3" (the Colombian
Clandestine Communist Party) heavily influenced a July 9
report on extrajudicial killings by international human
rights groups. The alleged military intelligence report
identifies "la gringa Lisa" as a FARC sympathizer. (Comment:
"La gringa Lisa" is likely Lisa Hauggard who helped present
the report in Bogota last October.) The human rights groups'
accused the military of "ongoing and systematic" use of
extrajudicial killings in military operations, and asserted
that the number of such killings had risen sharply in the
last two years.

3. (C) We raised the alleged military intelligence documents
with Vice Minister Sergio Jaramillo and Presidential Human
Rights Program director Carlos Franco. Jaramillo said the
purported military intelligence document is "somewhat oddly
worded," but conceded it could be from military intelligence.
He committed to looking into the issue, adding that he would
also ask the Colombian National Police to investigate.
Franco told us he had already contacted the Inspector
General's Office (Procuraduria) to investigate the source of
the document. Local UN High Commission on Human Rights
(UNHCHR) Representative Javier Hernandez told us the
Colombian military have made major progress on human rights,
but cautioned that some officers continue to view human
rights groups as the "enemy."



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MOD: HUMAN RIGHTS IS CORNERSTONE


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4. (U) Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santo's speech on
Colombia's National Human Rights Day (September 9)
highlighted the Colombian military's commitment to human
rights, calling it the "cornerstone" of its mission. He
criticized the October 2007 human rights report for
categorizing extrajudicial killings as "systematic",
responding that the MOD is addressing the issue and punishing
those responsible. He noted that the organizers of the study
never sought information from the MOD, and challenged the
accuracy of their data. Santos also charged that some human
rights groups are involved in a "deliberate policy" to
discredit the Colombian military. UNHCHR Hernandez told us
Santos offered to meet with human rights groups to discuss
extrajudicial killings, but the groups said they were
unavailable. The human rights groups have refused to work

with the GOC on the National Human Rights Action Plan in
solidarity with MINGA.

BROWNFIELD