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Cablegate: Goc Begins Investigations On Individuals with Farc

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1954/01 1481927
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271927Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2994
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8208
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0483
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY 9462
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 6228
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 1781
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6886
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4441
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 001954

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/AND

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2018
TAGS: PTER PGOV CO
SUBJECT: GOC BEGINS INVESTIGATIONS ON INDIVIDUALS WITH FARC
TIES

REF: BOGOTA 1567

Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer
Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)

SUMMARY
-------

1. (C) The Prosecutor General (Fiscalia) announced it is
investigating nine individuals, including a U.S. citizen and
three other foreigners, for alleged ties to the FARC, and has
also asked the Supreme Court to investigate three Colombian
legislators. The investigations result from the Fiscalia's
preliminary analysis of material found in the Raul Reyes
computers. The opposition Polo party issued a statement
supporting three Polo members under investigation; some human
rights groups claimed the investigations aim to distract
attention from the ongoing parapolitical scandal. Still, Polo
Senator Gustavo Petro told us he does not discount the
possibility that some Polo members maintained inappropriate
ties with the FARC, proof of which he believes could split
the Polo apart. End Summary

FARC-POLITICA INVESTIGATIONS
----------------------------

2. (U) Prosecutor General Mario Iguaran announced May 22 the
launch of official investigations against twelve individuals
presumed to have relations with the FARC. The initial
evidence for the investigations comes from correspondence
from the computer files of FARC Secretariat member Raul
Reyes, killed by Colombian military forces on March 1. In
what is dubbed by local media as the first chapter of the
"Farcpolitica," some individuals are being investigated for
allegedly providing political advice or arms to the FARC
while others allegedly knew the locations of kidnapped
victims but never shared the information with authorities.


3. (U) Prominent officials under investigation include
Liberal Party Senator Piedad Cordoba, Polo Democratico (and
Communist Party) legislators Wilson Borja and Gloria Ines
Ramirez, former presidential candidate Alvaro Leyva, and
Communist newspaper editor (and Polo member) Carlos Lozano.
The GOC had, at various times, authorized Lozano, Leyva,
Cordoba, and Borja to reach out to the FARC to promote a
humanitarian accord. Several human rights groups and
commentators charged the GOC with trying to block all efforts
to promote a humanitarian exchange. Others argued that in
initiating the investigation the GOC is trying to divert
attention from the ongoing parapolitica scandal which has
implicated over 50 members of the governing coalition.

4. (C) Four foreigners - including American citizen James
Jones - are under investigation as well. Jones allegedly
maintained ongoing correspondence with Reyes and worked on
the FARC's behalf. In March, Semana magazine published
excerpts of one of Jones' letters to Reyes, in which he
offered to serve as a communications "bridge" between the
FARC and a U.S. Congressman. Presidential advisor Jose
ObdulioGaviria told us in February that the GOC was
considering pursuing criminal charges against Jones, as well
as U.S. citizen James Petras.

5. (U) Investigators presented over 900 emails between
Cordoba (using an alias "Teodora de Bolivar") and different
FARC contacts. The Fiscalia reports that the tone and
content of the Cordoba emails indicate she "exceeded" her
political role and provided advice and guidance to the FARC.
Venezuelan Congressman Amilkar Figueroa is believed to have
facilitated the delivery of arms to the terrorist group.
Figueroa called the investigation a "witch hunt" and accused
the GOC of trying to distract attention from its "internal
political crisis." Ecuadorian Congresswoman Maria Augusta
Calle allegedly loaned her Quito bank account to the FARC and
may have received financial support from the terrorist group.


POLO REACTION

-------------

6. (C) In an official communique, the Polo party reiterated
its support for the proper pursuit of justice while
expressing confidence in the innocence of its three members
(the two representatives and Lozano). Cordoba and Borja
called the investigation a "smokescreen" while Ramirez
accused the GOC of trying to jeopardize humanitarian exchange
efforts. Polo Senator Gustavo Petro, who opposes Borja and
Ramirez in the Polo's internal elections, does not discount
the possibility that the two maintained inappropriate ties
with the FARC. The FARC and the Communist Party maintained
formal relations from 1974-1993. If the two were implicated
in ongoing relations with the FARC, Petro said, it would
split the Polo apart.
BROWNFIELD

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