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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA10294, U/S BURNS' OCTOBER 25 MEETING WITH COLOMBIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA10294 2006-11-06 17:05 2011-02-20 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
VZCZCXRO0940
OO RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL
RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHBO #0294/01 3101720
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061720Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0528
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 010294 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2016 
TAGS: OVIP PREL PGOV PHUM PTER KJUS CO
SUBJECT: U/S BURNS' OCTOBER 25 MEETING WITH COLOMBIAN 
MINISTER OF INTERIOR AND JUSTICE HOLGUIN 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood - Reasons 1.5 (b,d) 
 
1. (U)  October 25, 2006; 1100AM. 
 
2. (U)  Participants in Holguin Meeting 
 
U.S. 
 
Under Secretary Burns 
Assistant Secretary for WHA Thomas P. Shannon 
Ambassador William B. Wood 
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary Lee Warren 
NSC - Dan Tomlinson 
Attorney Advisor Patricia Pugh, L 
Political Counselor John Creamer 
P Special Assistant Heide Bronke 
Political Officer David M. Zimov (notetaker) 
 
COLOMBIA 
 
Interior and Justice Minister Carlos Holguin Sardi 
Foreign Minister Maria Consuelo Araujo 
Ambassador Carolina Barco 
DCM Jaime Ruiz 
Deputy Foreign Minister Camilo Reyes 
U.S. and Canada Desk Chief Patricia Cortes 
 
======= 
Summary 
======= 
 
3. (C)  Interior and Justice Minister Holguin told U/S Burns 
the Justice and Peace law and demobilization process 
were difficult to understand, even for Colombians.  He 
committed Colombia to effective implementation of the law 
and to ensuring that the justice component of the law was 
fully implemented.  Colombia, he said, was a pioneer in 
trying to bring to justice an armed group that had not been 
defeated on the battlefield.  U/S Burns recognized the 
historic nature of the Justice and Peace process, and told 
Holguin that the USG supported the process.  The U/S 
explained that timely, transparent effective J&P 
implementation would be critical in maintaining Congressional 
support for our Colombia policy.  The U.S. delegation offered 
continued help to strengthen Colombia's judicial and 
prosecutorial units in the J&P process. 
 
================================== 
Holguin: Justice and Peace Process 
================================== 
 
4.  (C)  Interior and Justice Minister Holguin thanked U/S 
Burns for his delegation's visit and briefed them on three 
important issues:  the paramilitary demobilization process, 
the Justice and Peace (J&P) law, and human 
rights--specifically the protection of at-risk human rights 
and other activists.  Holguin gave a detailed powerpoint 
presentation on demobilization and the J&P law, noting that 
42,000 terrorists have demobilized (including 31,600 
demobilized paramilitaries and 10,000 FARC and ELN 
deserters.)  The minister described the demographics of 
demobilized individuals:  overwhelmingly male, young, and 
poorly educated.  He then described the system and state 
resources in place to reintegrate minors in the 
demobilization process, which includes monthly subsides, 
psyco-social treatment, and training and job placement. 
 
5. (C)  Holguin said that of 41,000 demobilized individuals, 
5,234 had committed "grave crimes" and would 
be subject to the specific measures of the J&P law.  The 
demobilization and reinsertion processes were so complex, 
he added, that they had required unique legislation which had 
then been reviewed and revised by the Colombian 
Constitutional Court.  In addition, President Alvaro Uribe 
created a special commission led by High Commissioner 
for Reintegration Frank Pearl to manage the reintegration of 
demobilized AUC members. (See septel for details on 
Burns-Pearl meeting.) 
 
============================= 
J&P Decree and Implementation 
============================= 
 
6. (C)  Holguin emphasized that the J&P implementing decree 
issued by the Uribe Administration's decree met 
international standards, and closely tracked the 
Constitutional Court on "controversial" issues, such as the 
need for complete confessions, and reparation to victims. 
Foreign Minister Araujo added that the GoC had called 
together the diplomatic corps to brief them on the 
implementing decree. She said UN High Commissioner for 
Human Rights Representative in Colombia Juan Pablo Corlazzoli 
 
BOGOTA 00010294  002 OF 002 
 
 
had studied the decree and determined that it 
was consistent with the Constitutional Court's ruling on the 
J&P law.  This, she said, added "credibility" to the 
process. 
 
7. (C)  Holguin told Burns that the J&P process was 
"difficult to understand, even for Colombians."  But he 
said the J&P process represented the first time in history 
that a country was able to bring an armed group to justice 
without defeating it.  The historic norm, he said, was either 
total amnesty or war crimes charges for the 
vanquished.  Colombia, he concluded, was conducting a grand 
experiment that could serve as an example to others. The GoC 
was committed to achieving both justice and peace. 
 
==================================== 
Protection to Human Rights Officials 
==================================== 
8. (C)  Holguin told the delegation that his ministry had 
provided protection to more than 5,000 individuals under 
threat, including 1,200 union members and more than 1,300 
local government officials, journalists, and human rights 
defenders.  He added that, despite continuing problems, the 
threat against these at-risk groups had been reduced, as had 
the number of attacks against these individuals. 
 
============================= 
U.S. Support Requires Justice 
============================= 
9. (C)  Under Secretary Burns thanked Holguin for the meeting 
and for his presentation.  He said the USG 
recognized both the historic nature of the J&P law and its 
complexity.  He said the USG supports the J&P law, but 
stressed the need for effective, transparent implementation. 
U/S Burns mentioned a Human Rights Watch complaint that 
ex-paramilitary leaders were living in comfort and receiving 
lenient treatment given their terrible crimes.  Burns told 
Holguin that recent war crimes tribunals to judge cases in 
Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo made it easy for critics to say 
Colombia was not making a full effort towards justice.  The 
key to continued U.S. support, Burns said, would be 
Colombia's effective implementation of the J&P process, 
including ensuring that justice was done. 
 
10. (C)  Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary Lee Warren 
reiterated that implementation would be crucial.  She 
offered continued U.S. assistance to Colombian magistrates 
and prosecutors working on J&P implementation.  Warren said 
the GoC would need to continuously ask itself what more could 
be done to achieve justice.  She concluded that many 
individuals in the J&P process had been, or would eventually 
be, charged with crimes in the United States. 
DRUCKER 

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