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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA10462, SCENESETTER FOR NOVEMBER 13-14 VISIT OF PRESIDENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA10462 2006-11-09 20:08 2011-02-20 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0462/01 3132013
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 092013Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0710
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7269
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 8422
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV 8357
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 4474
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 5142
C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 010462 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PHUM SNAR EAID ETRD ECON CO
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR NOVEMBER 13-14 VISIT OF PRESIDENT 
URIBE TO WASHINGTON, D.C. 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood 
Reason: 1.4 (b,d) 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) President Uribe arrives in Washington for November 
13-14 meetings with executive and legislative branch 
officials in the wake of a highly successful visit to 
Colombia by U/S for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns. 
Uribe will emphasize the importance to Colombia of 
ratification of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and 
of ATPDEA extension, pending ratification of the FTA.  Uribe 
is also likely to advocate ATPDEA extension for other Andean 
beneficiaries. 
 
2.  (C) Uribe remains the country's dominant political 
figure, with approval ratings close to 70 percent.  His 
congressional coalition controls both houses of Congress, but 
is increasingly difficult to manage.  Tensions between the 
military and police have heated up.  Progress on paramilitary 
demobilization has slowed; Uribe's success in removing over 
32,000 paramilitaries from the battlefield has not been 
matched by effective reintegration programs for former 
combatants, and some demobilized are returning to crime.  The 
GOC and ELN are conducting peace talks; it is unclear whether 
the ELN is willing to agree to implement a cease-fire.  Uribe 
suspended outreach to the FARC on humanitarian exchange of 
some FARC hostages for jailed FARC terrorists following an 
October 19 car bomb attack in Bogota; there is no sign the 
FARC is serious about the talks.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
Strategic Relationship and Plan Colombia Consolidation 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
3.  (C) U/S Burns and Uribe agreed to strengthen the 
strategic relationship across the board during the Under 
Secretary's October 24-26 visit to Colombia.  Burns 
 
SIPDIS 
encouraged Colombia to seek stronger partnerships with 
Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brazil.  Burns and Uribe discussed 
the importance of Colombia's efforts to help promote regional 
economic integration, intensify security relationships, and 
deepen democratic cooperation.  Burns and Uribe agreed to 
prepare a Plan Colombia Consolidation Plan by January for 
submission to the U.S. Congress.  The Plan would chart 
assistance levels through 2013 and define the GOC's 
increasing assumption of responsibility for Plan Colombia 
costs. 
 
---------------- 
Counternarcotics 
---------------- 
 
4.  (C) Aerial eradication is at a new record of 145,716 
hectares, with 1.5 months left in the year.  Interdictions 
and lab destructions continue at a rapid pace, and seizures 
of money and other assets are increasing.  Nationalizing 
programs is our priority.  This is complicated since missions 
and goals have increased in the last few years, as have the 
number of air assets that require support.  The Colombians 
set up a pilot Colombian government spray package (with a lot 
of USG support).  It has sprayed over 2,600 hectares. 
 
---------------- 
Bilateral Issues 
---------------- 
 
5.  (C) 
 
 -- Economic: Colombia's economy is expanding by nearly 6 
percent annually.  We expect the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade 
Agreement (FTA) to be signed on November 22, although 
necessary review by the Constitutional Court will only occur 
in 2007.  We expect Colombia's Congress to approve it this 
year.  There is no date yet for submission to our Congress. 
Colombia's Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act 
(ATPDEA) preferences are set to expire at the end of this 
year.  Extension of ATPDEA until entry into force of the FTA 
for Colombia is a matter of urgent priority for the GOC, 
whose senior officials have also emphasized the importance of 
ATPDEA extension for Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. 
 
 -- Paramilitary Demobilization/Justice: The GOC has removed 
over 32,000 former paramilitaries from the battlefield, in 
addition to 11,000 individual deserters from all terrorist 
groups, in the last four years.  The GOC's appointment of a 
High Commissioner for Demobilization (Frank Pearl) is 
welcome, and reintegration of ex-paramilitaries is slowly 
getting off the ground.  Reintegration programs have not 
materialized, and ex-paramilitaries are returning to crime. 
Implementation of the Justice and Peace law is also lagging. 
 
 -- Extradition: Uribe has extradited over 380 Colombians to 
the U.S., including FARC terrorists "Simon Trinidad," 
currently on trial in New York for abetting kidnapping of 3 
U.S. citizens, and FARC finance expert "Sonia," whose U.S. 
trial starts in January.  Uribe approved, but suspended, 
extradition of 5 paramilitary leaders, subject to full 
compliance with Justice and Peace Law terms.  U/S Burns and 
INL A/S Patterson emphasized it was vital that extraditions 
continue, and noted the GOC's increased use of suspensions 
will be viewed skeptically in Congress and elsewhere. 
 
 -- Victims, Justice, and Reparations: The National 
Reparations and Reconciliation Commission has opened two of 
its five regional offices to register victims of paramilitary 
violence and assist them with legal issues associated with 
implementation of the Justice and Peace Law.  The Commission 
will design individual and collective reparations.  The 
Commission has been seized with organizational issues, and 
has launched few concrete programs. U/S Burns stressed the 
need for the Commission to start programs that recognize 
victims' suffering and begin the reconciliation process. 
 
 --FARC and ELN Talks: Prior to an October 19 car bomb 
attributed to the FARC at the Nueva Granada military 
university in Bogota, the GOC and FARC had traded public 
statements on a possible exchange of imprisoned FARC 
terrorists for FARC "political" hostages.  Uribe accepted a 
FARC proposal for an "encounter zone" for negotiations but 
insisted it be free of armed FARC.  Uribe has always insisted 
FARC prisoners do not return to criminal activities.  The car 
bomb led Uribe to suspend outreach to the FARC as long as it 
conducted terrorist acts.  To date, the FARC has not shown it 
is serious about the talks.  The ELN is negotiating with the 
GOC but it is unclear whether it is ready to implement a 
cease-fire; the U.S. supports a process that leads to ELN 
cease-fire, disarmament, and demobilization. 
 
 -- Human Rights: Recent GOC actions to strengthen human 
rights protections are promising.  Defense Minister Santos 
appointed the first civilian, a woman, to head the Military 
Penal Justice (MPJ) system and announced the need for 
additional MPJ reforms.  The Prosecutor General's Office is 
implementing an MOU it signed with the MOD that assigns 
civilian investigators to cases of alleged military human 
rights abuses, and permits the Office to make the initial 
decision to send a case to civilian courts.  The Prosecutor 
General's office arrested 14 military officials since late 
August for their alleged involvement in extrajudicial 
killings, and four deputies for alleged involvement in 
paramilitary criminal activities.  In October, the GOC 
published an implementing decree on the Justice and Peace Law 
that largely meets our concerns.  New head of the Office of 
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Juan Pablo 
Corlazzoli, has a positive relationship with the GOC, and 
with us. 
 
 
WOOD 

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