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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA9277, GOC AND FARC CONTINUE MEDIA EXCHANGE ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA9277 2006-10-06 21:09 2011-03-02 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
Appears in these articles:
http://www.elespectador.com/wikileaks
VZCZCXYZ0020
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #9277/01 2792156
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 062156Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9677
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN IMMEDIATE 1164
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 7183
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE 8308
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ OCT 8280
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA IMMEDIATE 4337
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 9416
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE 9619
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0949
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO IMMEDIATE 5008
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBO/USMILGP BOGOTA CO IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 1386
C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 009277 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/06/2016 
TAGS: MARR PGOV PREL PTER CO FR SP SZ
SUBJECT: GOC AND FARC CONTINUE MEDIA EXCHANGE ON 
HUMANITARIAN ACCORD 

REF: BOGOTA 8946 

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood.
Reason: 1.4(b,d) 

1.  (C)  Summary:  The GOC and FARC have exchanged media 
statements in recent days on the possibility of creating an 
"encounter zone" to discuss a humanitarian exchange of 
FARC-held hostages for FARC terrorists imprisoned by the GOC.
President Uribe insists any such talks be a prelude to 
substantive peace discussions with the FARC, a prospect the 
terrorist group heavily conditioned but did not discount. 
The public exchanges have generated intense media speculation 
on prospects for a humanitarian accord, but both sides appear 
to remain far apart on the conditions for launching 
substantive talks.  End summary. 

2.  (C)  Uribe announced September 27 that he was willing to 
discuss with the FARC a proposal on a humanitarian accord. 
Reading from a prepared text, Uribe said the GOC would 
consider an exchange of hostages, including a FARC proposal 
that the GOC withdraw armed forces from two municipalities in 
the state of Valle del Cauca to create an "encounter zone" 
for discussions.  Casa Narino Communications Director Jorge 
Mario Eastman told us Uribe's response was prompted by a 
September 26 FARC statement criticizing the GOC's 
intransigence.  Eastman explained that Uribe wanted to "open 
the door" to a humanitarian deal and to highlight GOC 
flexibility.  He reiterated that Uribe is eager to start 
direct talks with the FARC, but not at any price.  Uribe 
wants to avoid any similarities to former President 
Pastrana'sdespeje and to also link any humanitarian accord 
to the start of broader peace talks. 

3.  (U)  The FARC tossed the ball back to the GOC in an open 
letter from the FARC Secretariat on October 1.  The letter 
listed FARC requirements for humanitarian exchange talks and 
included a laundry list of additional issues the FARC insists 
are prerequisites to negotiations on a "political solution to 
the social and armed conflict."  The GOC responded with a 
communique on October 2.  The communique reiterated the GOC's 
commitment to discuss talks on a humanitarian accord, linked 
the creation of an "encounter zone" to a cease-fire, 
establishment of deadlines and the FARC's acceptance of 
specific security conditions, and noted the GOC's willingness 
to convoke a "constituent assembly" as part of a broader 
peace process. 

4.  (U)  Uribe elaborated on the GOC position in an October 3 
radio interview.  He made it clear that the GOC is willing to 
meet with the FARC, but emphasized that any humanitarian 
accord needs to be part of a broader peace process.  Uribe 
said a peace agreement with the FARC might require 
constitutional amendments to provide amnesty for more serious 
crimes.  In that case, it should be expected that the 
paramilitaries would ask for similar consideration rather 
than treatment under the Justice and Peace Law. 

5. (C)  Longtime political operative and former presidential 
candidate Alvaro Leyva told us October 2 that he has met 
three times with President Uribe since August 7 to discuss 
ways to start GOC-FARC negotiations. He said the FARC's 
October 1 letter should be read positively, since it is the 
first time that the FARC has accepted the notion of broader 
peace talks with the Uribe government.  He suggested that a 
demilitarized "encounter zone" could be created by the end of 
October, but stressed that the GOC and FARC would need to 
overcome their mutual distrust and agree to defer 
consideration of difficult issues (such as the repatriation 
of "Simon Trinidad" and "Sonia" and the freeing of the US 
hostages).  He is working to generate confidence between the 
two parties, and suggested that the international community 
could help in this regard.  In this context, he has spoken 
with representatives of the Swiss Government, the Vatican, 
and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Polcouns
noted we remain skeptical about the FARC's intentions and 
stressed President Uribe's commitment that the U.S. hostages 
would be included in any humanitarian exchange. 

6.    (C)  Eastman confirmed Leyva's role as GOC interlocutor 
with the FARC, but said it is difficult to work with him. 
The GOC never knows if Leyva is transmitting a message from 
the FARC or is operating on his own account.  Eastman said 
the GOC's lack of reliable, discreet interlocutors with the 
FARC forces the GOC to use the media to talk to the group. 
He added that the need for public negotiations greatly 
complicates communications and reduces prospects for success. 
WOOD