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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA4988, PEACE COMMISSIONER TELLS AMBASSADOR ABOUT PENDING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA4988 2006-06-05 16:04 2011-02-28 13:01 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
Appears in these articles:
http://www.elespectador.com/wikileaks
VZCZCXYZ0014
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #4988/01 1561613
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051613Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5636
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6861
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 7791
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUN LIMA 3853
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 9207
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4491
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3588
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 004988 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/30/2015 
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: PEACE COMMISSIONER TELLS AMBASSADOR ABOUT PENDING 
PROBLEMS WITH DEMOBILIZED PARAMILITARIES 

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

------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 

1.  (C) Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said in a May 
26 meeting with Ambassador Wood that he expects dissident 
factions of the paramilitary groups to demobilize soon.  The 
GOC expects to confront the few remaining paramilitary groups 
who refused to lay down their arms.  Restrepo said the GOC is 
concerned about the emergence of a new generation of criminal 
organizations, and called on the Prosecutor General's Office 
(Fiscalia) to begin Justice and Peace legal processing as 
soon possible.  End summary. 

--------------------------------- 
LAST TWO DEMOBILIZATIONS EXPECTED 
--------------------------------- 

2.  (C) Restrepo noted that the last two groups to demobilize 
are the final faction of the Elmer Cardenas Bloc and the 
Cacique Pipinta.  The Constitutional Court's press release on 
the Justice and Peace (J&P) Law on May 18, however, had 
persuaded them to postpone their demobilization until after 
the presidential election.  This 800-strong faction of the 
Elmer Cardenas Bloc, which was a dissident AUC bloc in Choco 
and Antioquia departments, is led by one of the founders of 
the AUC and a loyal friend of former AUC leader Carlos 
Castano, AKA "El Aleman."Restrepo explained that the reason 
behind the delay in demobilizing is that the GOC has not been 
able to supply the necessary security in this crucial 
corridor that leads to Panama.  The fear by the locals is 
that the FARC, which is currently located in the south of 
Choco Department, would take over once the bloc demobilizes. 

3.  (C) The CaciquiPipinta Bloc, which is a dissident 
faction of the Central Bolivar Bloc, is made up of some 300 
men that operate in the north of Caldas Department.  Even 
though this group is linked with AUC political leader Ernesto 
Baez, Restrepo explained that it really does not belong to 
anyone, and the group members do not accept orders from Baez. 
 The faction's leaders have told Restrepo they have not 
wanted to associate themselves with Baez and other more 
recognized AUC leaders like "Macaco" because they did not 
want to link themselves with narcotrafficking.  Restrepo
noted that this group is mainly known to be involved in 
extortion. 

--------------------------------------------- -------- 
REMAINING AND RE-EMERGING GROUPS, A MAJOR GOC CONCERN 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 

4.  (C) Restrepo warned that the GOC was not going to accept 
the demobilizations of any additional groups besides Elmer 
Cardenas and Cacique Pipinta.Restrepo had already 
instructed the Operational Community for Laying Down Arms 
(CODA), which certifies the demobilization of the individual 
deserters, not to accept anymore AUC members.  He thought it 
was important that the GOC demonstrate its willingness to 
confront these groups. 

5.  (C) One group that has chosen not to demobilize, the 
Martin Llanos Bloc, located in Casanare Department, has been 
in inconclusive talks with the GOC for sometime now. 
Restrepo described his talks with this group among the most 
difficult and complicated.  Restrepo said he gets the 
"chills" every time he talks to them.  Their philosophy is 
very similar to the FARC; they want the GOC to offer them 
territory to control.  According to Colombian intelligence 
reports, some factions of this bloc are being regrouped into 
new criminal organizations led by Hector Buitrago, who is the 
father of Martin Llanos. 

6.  (C) Restrepo explained that the GOC is calling this 
phenomenon the "new emerging anti-communist criminal groups," 

of which there are between 10 to 30 (reftel).  One of the 
most prominent is the New Generation Group (ONG) located in 
the Pacific Coast of Narino Department and led by former 
paramilitary leader "Varela," who has been associated with 
the North Valle drug cartel.  Other groups that are becoming 
well-known around the country are the "Aguilas" (Eagles) and 
"Halcones" (Falcons). 

7.  (C) In a conversation Restrepo had with former AUC 
founder Carlos Castano in 2003, Castano warned he was fearful 
of the possibility of new groups forming whose membership 
included former members of the mafia, AUC, and FARC.  This 
combination would be very dangerous and hard to detect since 
they would have the know-how and experience of the three 
groups and they would operate in small groups of 8 to 10 men. 


8.  (C) The Ambassador related his most recent trip to Tumaco
on the Pacific Coast and how concerned he was with the 
vulnerability of this region where problems of 
overpopulation, poverty, drugs, lack of infrastructure, and 
ELN and FARC pressure converged.  In conversations with 
locals, he heard of the growing presence of the ELN and their 
gradual involvement in the drug trade.  ELN fronts in Narino
appear to be independent from the ELN's Central Command 
(COCE).

--------------------------------------------- ---- 
JUSTICE AND PEACE LISTS ON HOLD: FISCALIA FEARFUL 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

9.  (C) Restrepo warned the Fiscalia must start processing 
those on the Justice and Peace list soon to avoid the risk of 
"a return to the mountains".  Restrepo expressed frustration 
with the Ministry of Interior and Justice (MoIJ) and the 
Fiscalia for sitting on the lists that he turned in over a 
month ago.  He said it took him three months to convince over 
2,284 paramilitaries to sign up for J&P and now this effort 
might be in vain.  Of the 2,284, only 200 to 250 had open 
cases, which meant that over 2,000 were willing to testify to 
things the State was not aware of or did not have sufficient 
information about.  Moreover, there were 2,400 individuals in 
prisons who have included their names on the lists.  This was 
a historic opportunity that could go to waste if the Fiscalia
did not act quickly.  According to Restrepo, the Fiscalia
should at least focus on the 200 paramilitary leaders who 
have open cases. 

10.  (C) Restrepo understood that the Fiscalia has been 
unable to process all these cases at once, but should try to 
focus its resources on this endeavor.  Instead, between the 
MoIJ and the Fiscalia, they have been sending messages back 
and forth to his office, in his view, to obstruct movement on 
the lists.  Restrepo noted that his relationship with 
Minister of Interior and Justice SabasPretelt was worsening. 
Pretelt was constantly meeting with paramilitary leaders and 
"speaking badly about him behind his back."  Restrepo said 
Pretelt and Prosecutor General Mario Iguaran are fearful of 
what is to come: Pretelt, because he will have a hard time 
fulfilling the behind-the-scenes promises he made to these 
individuals, and Iguaran, because he is primarily responsible 
for the success of this process.  Restrepo criticized Pretelt
for having a poor understanding of the reality of the former 
combatants.  For example, in a Cabinet meeting, Pretelt
reported that over 70 percent of demobilized paramilitaries 
are currently employed and the true figure is close to 7 
percent.  (In a May 29 meeting with the Ambassador, Pretelt
said 11,675 former paramilitaries are employed in one form or 
another, or about 35 percent of the total.) 

-------------------------------------- 
ARMS BEING TURNED OVER TO THE FISCALIA 
-------------------------------------- 

11.  (C) Restrepo told the Ambassador the GOC was in the 
process of handing over to the Prosecutor General's Office 
(Fiscalia) 128 tons of arms turned in by the demobilized 

paramilitaries.  The GOC would like to consolidate these arms 
in one location as soon as possible since they are located in 
23 different cites around the country.  The GOC's 
Antiterrorist Analysis Interinstitutional Group 
(GIAT)--responsible for registering the trafficking of 
weapons--has already recorded and identified the origin of 
the arms (septel).  The Fiscalia is supposed to use GIAT 
records in its investigations and help determine which are to 
be deposited or destroyed.  Restrepo said, for security 
reasons, all explosive material that was turned over by the 
demobilized blocs had already been destroyed.  Anecdotally, 
Restrepo commented that in just one of the demobilizations, 
1,500 grenades were handed over in a truck as if they had 
been potatoes. 

------------------------------ 
AMBASSADOR WILL VOICE CONCERNS 
------------------------------ 

12.  (C) The Ambassador said the GOC needs to do a better job 
at monitoring the demobilized paramilitaries and cracking 
down on these newly formed criminal groups (septel).  This 
process cannot be voluntary; the State needs to go after 
those unwilling to cooperate.  If there are insufficient 
resources, the GOC needs to refocus its efforts.  The USG has 
authorized aid to the GOC, but the monies cannot be delivered 
if the GOC does not show strong commitment to the process. 
WOOD 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================