Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 05BOGOTA1775, ELN PEACE TALK'S ADVANCES AND RETREATS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #05BOGOTA1775.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BOGOTA1775 2005-02-24 16:04 2011-02-12 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Bogota
Appears in these articles:
http://wikileaks.jornada.com.mx/notas/mexico-fallido-facilitador
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
27613,2/24/2005 16:09,05BOGOTA1775,"Embassy Bogota",CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN,05BOGOTA1081,"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 SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 001775
 
SIPDIS
 
NOFORN
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER CO MX ELN
SUBJECT: ELN PEACE TALK'S ADVANCES AND RETREATS
 
REF: A. BOGOTA 1081
 
     B. BOGOTA 863
 
Classified By: Charge Milton K. Drucker, reasons 1.4
(b) and (d)
 
Summary
-------
 
1. (C):  Mexican facilitator for the peace process with the
National Liberation Army (ELN) Andres Valencia met with the
Ambassador on February 18 to report on progress this year.
Although January saw positive commitments by both the ELN and
GOC on negotiation pre-requisites (ref a), the process
stalled in early February.  Valencia said the negotiations
shifted from a discussion of word choice for a communique in
January to an introspection by the ELN on whether it was
ready to talk at all.  Valencia is taking a ""wait and see""
approach towards the latest setbacks and told the Ambassador
he appreciated the ongoing support from the United States.
End summary.
 
 
You say ""cease-fire""; I say ""military action freeze""
--------------------------------------------- ------
 
2. (C) Valencia reported to the Ambassador on the excellent
progress made in January toward reaching an agreement on a
face-to-face meeting between the ELN's Central Command (COCE)
and Valencia in Mexico.  Valencia read out twenty-three pages
of details he compiled on his efforts to bring the GOC and
ELN towards compromise: the GOC softened its demand for a
temporary cease-fire and accepted the ELN's offer to refrain
from military actions other than acts of self-defense during
talks in Mexico.  The GOC agreed to suspend arrest warrants
and allow the Red Cross and Valencia to provide safe transit
for ELN negotiators.  By January 24, after seven months of
written haggling, it appeared that the two sides were
approaching the face-to-face negotiation stage.
 
Let's call the whole thing off
------------------------------
 
3.  (C) However, the ELN again retreated from talks by
issuing a February 4 ""clarification"" communique to Valencia,
attacking his facilitation efforts and demanding that their
concerns be addressed.  ELN leadership's message (1) claimed
Valencia was acting on behalf of the Mexican Government
rather than serving as a neutral facilitator; (2) complained
that Valencia was hard to contact (since the ELN is
underground); (3) asserted he had made no progress on talks;
and (4) accused him of going public with negotiation details.
 Valencia did not respond.  On February 8, the ELN wrote
another message asking why they had not received a reply and
insisting on an apology from Valencia.
 
4. (C) Later that week, the GOC responded by attacking the
ELN for endangering the prospects for talks.  President
Uribe's speech to the International Symposium of Restorative
Justice in Cali on February 12 accused ELN leader Antonio
Garcia of repeatedly sabotaging negotiations and called on
the ELN to take the necessary steps to begin face-to-face
talks soon.  Uribe reiterated the GOC's willingness to
negotiate in either Colombia or Mexico after the ELN began a
cease-fire.  On February 19, Peace Commissioner Restrepo
added his commentary in an op-ed printed in leading daily ""El
Tiempo.""  He stressed that the GOC remained willing and open
to negotiations with the guerrilla group, but acknowledged
that, in its own way, the ELN process was as complicated as
creating a process with the FARC would be.  Restrepo
reiterated the call on the ELN leadership to end the
never-ending cycle of communiques and agree to talks.
 
5. (C) Valencia told the Ambassador that Uribe's comments,
although accurate, further damaged negotiations and returned
both sides to their original positions.  Valencia added that
he would not end the negotiation process without the ELN
officially ending Mexico's facilitation role.  According to
Valencia, the ELN's vacillating communiques proved that the
group lacked internal consensus on its readiness to
negotiate.  He juxtaposed the words of imprisoned ELN leader
Francisco Galan, who played the ""good cop"" during talks, with
leader Antonio Garcia's hostile ""bad cop"" comments.  Valencia
said such contradictory messages made it difficult to gauge
the ELN's true position.
 
6. (C) Valencia speculated that psychological barriers or
third party actors could be responsible for the latest ELN
retreat.  The ELN has spent decades outside the democratic
system and could see talks in Mexico as marking the end of
their struggle.  He said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC) or the Cuban Government also could have
scuttled the talks, the latter in an attempt to win back the
role facilitator.  In either case, Valencia said the GOC
emerged appearing flexible and willing to negotiate as the
ELN attacked the process.
 
7. (C) The Ambassador commented that the ELN's internal
indecision was not sustainable -- ELN's military weakness
would guarantee that, if talks failed, it would have to align
itself with FARC forces and lose its autonomy and identity.
The Ambassador asked Valencia to solicit the Catholic
Church's good offices to return the ELN to talks.  Valencia
said he planned to meet with several Church leaders before
returning to Mexico on February 23.
 
Comment
-------
 
8. (C) Valencia has maintained a balanced, facilitating role
and kept communication open despite the ELN's personal
attacks.  Mexico, with U.S. support, will keep the door open
to the ELN for awhile, leaving room for COCE to come to terms
with itself.  If the ELN is unable to do so, Valencia may be
inclined to publicize the recent train of events, exposing
the ELN as responsible for the setback.  End comment.
DRUCKER