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Viewing cable 05BOGOTA5616, ELN'S HEROES OF ANORI BLOC DEMOBILIZES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BOGOTA5616 2005-06-13 15:03 2011-02-12 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL 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.
34552,6/13/2005 15:12,05BOGOTA5616,"Embassy Bogota",CONFIDENTIAL,05BOGOTA3726,"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 005616
 
SIPDIS
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2015
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL MOPS MX CO ELN
SUBJECT: ELN'S HEROES OF ANORI BLOC DEMOBILIZES
 
REF: BOGOTA 3726
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Milton K. Drucker, reasons 1.4 (b) and
 (d)
 
1. (U) Summary: Twenty-nine members of the National
Liberation Army (ELN) in Antioquia surrendered to the
Colombian Army's Fourth Brigade on June 1 and agreed to
demobilize.  The ""Heroes and Martyrs of Anori"" became the
first ELN members to demobilize in a mass ceremony.  Although
the desertions will not have a significant effect on overall
ELN numbers, President Uribe made it a point to laud the move
and encourage other ELN leaders to restart the peace process.
 The ELN's Central Command (COSE) will probably not agree
since GOC cease-fire terms remain the same. End Summary.
 
2. (SBU) On June 8, President Uribe praised the
demobilization of 29 members of the National Liberation Army
(ELN) bloc known as the ""Heroes and Martyrs of Anori.""  The
men surrendered in a surprise move and became the first bloc
of the ELN to participate in a mass demobilization a month
and a half after the ELN ended its stalled peace process
facilitation with Mexico (reftel).  The bloc took its name
from two pivotal events in ELN history.  Colombian military
mission ""Operation Anori"" of 1973 inflicted significant
damage on the ELN and killed or exiled several guerrilla
leaders.  The operation created a schism between the ELN's
political revolutionary theorists and the armed
revolutionaries.  Ten years later, the Heroes and Martyrs of
Anori conference became the first national ELN meeting and
reorganized the disparate guerrilla groups into national war
fronts.
3. (U) According to Medellin's daily El Colombiano, Commander
Ramiro Alberto Ruiz (a.k.a. Eduard), justified his surrender
by asserting, ""In reality, armed struggle in Colombia makes
no sense; here there is no chance of carrying out a
revolution.""  President Alvaro Uribe applauded the decision
and suggested that it serve as an example or incentive for
ELN leaders to consider restarting a peace process and
signing a cease-fire.  Army Commander General Reinaldo
Castellanos noted that Ruiz was one of the most wanted men in
Antioquia when he surrendered -- a guerrilla combatant with
20 years experience.
 
4. (C) While the demobilization eliminates the ELN ""Heroes""
bloc, it will not affect ELN totals significantly since the
guerrillas have been averaging 20 desertions per month
nationally, roughly equal to the percentages leaving the FARC
and AUC.  Antioquia Department, home to the ELN, FARC, and
AUC, had the highest numbers of individual desertions in 2003
and 2004.
 
5. (C) Comment: The ELN's Central Command (COSE) will
probably not restart the peace process since the GOC's
pre-requisite of a cease-fire and a suspension on ELN
kidnapping, which proved unacceptable in April, remains the
same.  However, the monthly attrition, especially of veteran
members like Eduardo, could push the group eventually either
to accept total FARC control or acquiesce to GOC terms.  This
is a further blow to the credibility of the ELN as an
independent fighting force.  We attribute the ELN
demobilization to a combination of tough government action,
division and in-fighting within the ELN over the recent
breakdown of facilitation of peace talks, and uncertainty
within the organization about its own direction and future,
especially a closer alliance with the FARC and entry into
narcotics trafficking.  End Comment.
DRUCKER