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Cablegate: Farc Rejects French Humanitarian Mission to Aid

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1311 1002112
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 092112Z APR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2301
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 1441
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8132
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0210
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 6081
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0191
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 1479
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1275
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6740
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 001311

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2018
TAGS: PTER PREL PREF MOPS CASC FR CO
SUBJECT: FARC REJECTS FRENCH HUMANITARIAN MISSION TO AID
HOSTAGES

Classified By: Political Counselor John Creamer
Reason 1.4 (b and d)

FARC REJECTS FRENCH MISSION
---------------------------

1. (U) The FARC issued a communique, dated April 4, rejecting
a French mission to provide urgent medical care to FARC-held
hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt. The FARC communique
accused President Uribe and the French Government of "bad
faith," saying the group would not be blackmailed. The FARC
reiterated its demand for a demilitarized zone in the Valle
De Cauca Department municipalities of Florida and Pradera,
and praised the "humanitarian efforts" of Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and Senator Piedad Cordoba.

2. (C) Meanwhile, former hostage and ex-Senator Luis Eladio
Perez continued to push his idea that Chavez' and Cordoba's
renewed involvement is key to reaching an humanitarian accord
with the FARC. Perez also outlined his proposal which would
involve the GOC's release of FARC prisoners to France while
the FARC freed Betancourt and the other civilian hostages.
In a second phase, the GOC and FARC would exchange military
personnel. It is unclear if the U.S. hostages would be
released in the first or second package under Perez'
proposal. Perez said France would also commit to seek the
FARC's removal from the EU terrorist list, once it freed all
hostages and renounced further kidnapping.

FRENCH--UNDER PRESSURE--CONSIDERING NEXT STEPS
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (C) French DCM in Bogota Alain Fort confirmed media
reports that French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner plans
to visit Colombia and Venezuela, and possibly other countries
in the region, in the near future to continue to press for a
humanitarian exchange. Fort said French President Nicolas
Sarkozy faces enormous domestic political pressure to obtain
Betancourt's freedom. The French remain in contact with
Perez on his proposal, but expect little since the former
hostage has no access to the FARC. Fort added that the GOF
is analyzing the FARC communique to determine whether or not
references to Chavez and Cordoba indicated a future role in
exchange talks. Fort thought the FARC's communique language
on Chavez and Cordoba leaned towards the past tense.

BROWNFIELD

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

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