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Cablegate: Budget Increase for Prosecutor General's Office

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P 202300Z AUG 07
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8233
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7702
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 006106

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PINR PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: BUDGET INCREASE FOR PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE
RENEWS COMMITTMENT TO JUSTICE AND PEACE LAW

1. Minister of Interior and Justice Carlos Holguin said in
an August 13 interview in Semana magazine the GOC would
provide an additional 80 billion pesos (40 million USD) to
the Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia) in the 2008
budget. This would enable the Fiscalia to add 497 new
personnel to the Justice and Peace Unit, including 199
investigators, 85 prosecutors and 223 staff. Presidential
Legal Adviser Mauricio Gonzalez told us the budget increase
complements the National Development Plan which gives the
President extraordinary power for six months to restructure
the Fiscalia. He added that the GOC is conducting study of
the Fiscalia's need which will be completed by November.

2. The budget increase reflects the GOC's recognition that
the Fiscalia lacks the resources to implement fully the
Justice and Peace Law, investigate past human rights
violations--including priority labor cases, and to prosecute
former legislators linked to the parapolitical scandal.
MAPP/OAS chief Sergio Caramagna said July 25 greater
political support and additional resources were neede to
strengthen the Fiscalia's capacity to manage the Justice and
Peace law. An August 14 editorial in the Colombian daily El
Tiempo echoed these concerns and urged the GOC to inject
renewed investment into the Fiscalia. President Uribe
reiterated his commitment to helping the Fiscalia at an
August 8 meeting with the Charge.
Nichols

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