Search

 

Cablegate: Controversy Over Farc Connections in Chile

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0856/01 2661805
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221805Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3731
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3539
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 2101
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0430
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1051
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1783
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0338
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP LIMA 5688
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1237
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4047
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0124
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0325
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1914
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0887
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 0279
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0153
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000856

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/BSC, WHA/AND, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL SNAR PHUM CO CI
SUBJECT: CONTROVERSY OVER FARC CONNECTIONS IN CHILE

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Bachelet administration has come under fire
from the opposition for not taking action on information provided by
the Colombian government in May that identified contacts between
Chilean sympathizers and Colombia FARC rebels. The evidence
surfaced from emails found on the computers of deceased FARC leader
Raul Reyes. One official at La Moneda resigned (emails describe him
as a collaborator), but the GOC claims there are no operational FARC
ties within Chile. Annoyed over the leaked information, the
Interior Minister accused opposition Senators Pinera and Espina of
being duped by Colombian intelligence. President Bachelet said
President Uribe promised to investigate who passed the information
to the opposition leaders. END SUMMARY.

The "Leaked" Report
-------------------

2. (SBU) A series of public revelations about contacts between
Chilean sympathizers and the FARC has become the source of the
latest spat between the Bachelet administration and the Alianza
opposition. The Head of Chile's National Intelligence Agency (ANI)
Gustavo Villalobos traveled to Colombia in mid-May to receive a
Colombian intelligence report detailing Chilean-FARC contacts
derived from the captured hard drives of deceased FARC leader Raul
Reyes. By early September the media began to report on the content
of the emails.

3. (U) In July, Presidential candidate Sebastian Pinera and
Renovacion Nacional Senators Andres Allamand and Alberto Espina
traveled to Colombia to meet President Uribe, and during that visit
press reports suggest they obtained a copy of the Colombian report.
In turn, Espina on August 5 passed the information to Chile's
Attorney General to investigate whether a crime had been committed.
President Bachelet said on September 19 that President Uribe assured
her that he did not know about or authorize the release of the
intelligence data to the opposition leaders.

Where's the Beef?
-----------------

4. (U) According to the 35-page Colombian intel report, the emails
on Reyes' hard drives identified a FARC support structure in Chile.
Most of the sympathizers are members of Chile's Communist Party,
including its President Guillermo Teillier and Secretary General
Lautaro Carmona. The report also refers to members of the Manuel
Rodriguez Patriotic Movement (MPMR) and the Revolutionary Leftist
Movement (MIR). The support group reportedly maintains the internet
web page of the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator (CCB).

5. (U) The most interesting email is about La Moneda's
Communications Secretariat employee, Hugo Guzman. A Mexican FARC
support cell in April 2005 informed Reyes of a Chilean journalist
(Guzman) who "helped us a lot" and returned to Chile after having
worked several years in Mexico. To keep in touch, a contact in
Mexico notes that Guzman was taught how to send and receive
encrypted messages, but he is a "poor student" and did not learn the
technique. "Companero" Guzman, Reyes is informed, provided the
group in Mexico a computer and printer.

6. (U) In March 2006, a Chilean contact emailed Reyes asking about
the possibility of providing "training" to Mapuche groups who want
to liberate a zone in southern Chile. Another message told Reyes
that the MPMR was in the final stages of preparation for the
six-month training Reyes had proposed. An email in 2001 mentioned a
MIR contact who offered up to 8 tons of M-16s, but noted the FARC
would need to transport the weapons from their hiding place in
northern Chile.

Opposition: GOC Not Concerned About FARC Ties
---------------------------------------------

7. (U) The opposition has criticized the Bachelet administration for
demonstrating poor judgment and potentially endangering national
security. The opposition leaders have highlighted the GOC's failure
to fully investigate Chilean links to a terrorist organization.
They are critical of the GOC for maintaining a potential FARC
collaborator employed at La Moneda since May. The Alianza also
points to a lack of GOC concern over presumed FARC ties with Chile's
Communist Party.

8. (U) The opposition has called for the removal of the national
intelligence chief Villalobos for incompetence and for his delay in
passing the information to the judiciary (which will determine if
the FARC sympathizers have broken the law). Neither Pinera nor
Espina have revealed who provided them with the controversial
FARC-Chile information.

Interior Minister Comes Out Swinging
------------------------------------

9. (U) The Bachelet Administration is emphatic that there are no
operational ties between the FARC and Chilean groups. During a
Congressional hearing on September 15, Interior Minister Edmundo
Perez Yoma claimed Colombia's intelligence organizations manipulated
RN presidential candidate Pinera and RN Senator Espina into
revealing details of the Colombian report. Perez Yoma said both
Pinera and Espina were "victims" of an intelligence operation.

10. (SBU) The GOC has been inconsistent in its statements about
Colombia's role. Perez Yoma said the Colombian government wants to
internationalize the FARC problem, and make it appear that the FARC
issue not only affects Colombia, but also the whole of South
America. Perez Yoma noted on September 17 that the Colombians
performed a similar operation in Brazil. Foreign Minister Foxley
considers the issue closed; he spoke with his Colombian counterpart
who assured him that the Colombian government did not pass the
report to opposition leaders. However, some in the Concertacion
want a formal protest lodged against Colombia. President Bachelet's
remarks suggest the GOC is leaving the onus on Uribe to uncover the
source of the leaked information.

11. (U) When the emails about Hugo Guzman hit the press on September
9, he resigned immediately. The administration lamented his
departure, noting the mere appearance of ones' name in an email
proves nothing and that Guzman's name had been smeared unjustly. In
Mexico for nine years, Guzman had worked as the international news
chief for TV Mexicana (Channel 11) and later for "La Jornada" daily.
He denied being a FARC sympathizer, but admitted he had interviewed
Raul Reyes and other rebels as part of his journalistic duties
reporting on the Colombian and Central American peace processes.


Political Melodrama
-------------------

12. (SBU) Comment: The FARC-related saga is the latest in a series
of high-profile disagreements, replacing Transantiago as the lead
acrimonious issue between the GOC and the opposition. As on
previous occasions, the opposition leaders are intent on
embarrassing the Bachelet administration on security-related issues.
The GOC is focusing on how the opposition obtained the report and
not the substance of the FARC emails. The publication in March of
photographs (from Reyes' computers) of two Chilean Communist Party
youths at Reyes' camp days before his death help bolster the
opposition's case -- that these emails were more than mere
solidarity exchanges.

SIMONS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC