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Cablegate: Mapp/Oas Commends Peace Process, Highlights

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DE RUEHBO #4310/01 3371943
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O 021943Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5900
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1382
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC PANAMA 2743
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 7488
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 4701
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 004310

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS CO
SUBJECT: MAPP/OAS COMMENDS PEACE PROCESS, HIGHLIGHTS
ILLEGAL GROUP THREAT

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The MAPP/OAS (OAS Mission in Support of the Peace
Process) twelfth draft report commends GOC progress made
under the peace process, including increased victim
participation, expanded services for ex-combatants, and
advances in investigations of paramilitary crimes. The
report recommends GOC actions to consolidate these successes,
including expanding services to the demobilized and to
victims at the municipal level. MAPP/OAS stresses the
wide-ranging threat posed by emerging criminal groups which
undermine citizen security, limit victims participation in
the Justice and Peace Law (JPL) process, and forcibly recruit
or kill demobilized paramilitaries. MAPP/OAS applauds the
GOC's strategy to negotiate with the National Liberation
Army's regional fronts rather than national commanders. End
Summary

Twelfth MAPP/OAS Report:
Commends Progress, Presents Recommendations
-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The MAPP/OAS twelfth draft report (please protect
until public release) evaluates the implementation of the
JPL, and the achievement of the three pillars of the
paramilitary peace process -- security, reintegration of the
demobilized, and protection of victims' rights. MAPP/OAS
favorably reviews the results to date -- 160,000 victims
participating in the process; 2709 confessions; increasing
acceptance of the process by initial critics; special
attention to new criminal groups' youth recruitment; and the
demobilization of a National Liberation Army (ELN) splinter
group. To consolidate these successes, MAPP/OAS recommends
that the GOC expand services for both ex-combatants and
victims. The report also urges the GOC to increase action
against new illegal armed groups, warning that these groups
threaten the success of the paramilitary peace process.

Illegal Armed Groups:
A Multidimensional Threat to the Peace Process
--------------------------------------------- -

3. (SBU) MAPP/OAS stresses that emerging criminal groups
threaten communities and undermine the peace process. The
report identifies 153 municipalities with significant
emerging group criminal activity. Violence fell in most of
the 153 municipalities after demobilization, but has recently
increased as new groups compete for drug routes. A key area
is the corridor starting in Uraba near the Panamanian border
and extending eastward through southern Cordoba, southern
Bolivar, Santander, southern Cesar, and ending in Norte de
Santander. Over half of Cordoba's municipalities have seen
their murder rates double compared with last year. Fighting
for narco-routes between Daniel Rendon Herrera (alias Don
Mario) and the Medellin-based Envigado Office also placed
Antioquia ahead of the national average for homicides.

4. (SBU) MAPP/OAS highlights successful GOC efforts to
confront emerging criminal group activity in Montes de Maria
and elsewhere, including the capture of numerous mid-level
commanders and seizures of weapons and precursor chemicals.
Still, MAPP/OAS points to GOC data for 2006 through September
2008 that shows the number of new criminal groups falling by
52%, but their territorial presence declining only by 15%.
MAPP/OAS proposes that the GOC shift its strategy from
targeting specific groups to reducing aggregate territorial
influence.

Reintegration:
Success Hinges on Employment, Curtailing Illegal Groups
--------------------------------------------- ----------

5. (SBU) MAPP/OAS recognizes the "enormous efforts"
conducted by GOC institutions to promote reintegration, and
praises the High Commission for Reintegration's (HCR)
expansion of outreach services. MAPP/OAS considers the
inclusion of reintegration services in municipal plans to be
one of its greatest achievements in the past quarter. Still,
the report calls for increased HCR efforts to ensure
effective reinsertion of the demobilized. HCR provides a
high percentage of educational and health services, but
employment assistance remains weak. MAPP/OAS contends the

lack of jobs for demobilized paramilitaries jeopardizes
successful reintegration.

6. (SBU) MAPP/OAS judges illegal armed groups to be the
greatest risk to successful reintegration -- ex-combatants
have been subjected to forced recruitment in Antioquia
(Uraba), Bolivar, Santander, Antioquia, Magdalena, Cordoba,
and Choco. MAPP/OAS reports that approximately 50% of the
demobilized incarcerated for recidivism were active in HCR
services when they were arrested. The report notes that
7,000 demobilized -- out of 31,000 demobilized -- do not
participate in the reinsertion program. In northern
Antioquia (Bajo Cauca), Santander, and Norte de Santander,
some demobilized groups are both active in the program and
engaged in criminal activity.

7. (SBU) Violence targeting the demobilized threatens the
peace process -- 1658 of the demobilized have died, the
majority murdered. Threats against reinsertion are greatest
in southern Cordoba, Bajo Cauca, southern Bolivar and
Santander. In August in Barrancabermeja (Santander), an
emerging criminal group attacked a group of ex-combatants
participating in an HCR activity. Ex-combatants were
displaced from Santander and southern Bolivar after they
refused to join armed groups.

Victims Participation:
Growing Steadily as Assistance Improves
---------------------------------------

8. (SBU) MAPP/OAS links advances in the JPL process to the
steady growth in victim participation. Fully 160,000 victims
are now active in the process. MAPP/OAS points out that
increasing victim engagement in the JPL enhances the
legitimacy of the peace process in the eyes of initial
critics. Still, a large number of victims are not
participating, the majority of whom live in zones under the
influence of criminal groups.

9. (SBU) MAPP/OAS underscores the importance of local
engagement in victims' assistance programs, and applauds the
inclusion of victims' services in many departmental and
municipal plans. The report indicates local action may lead
to further victims' participation in the JPL. The report
highlights the successes of local authorities in Medellin and
Bucaramanga, who have encouraged participation through
expanded services and enhanced security measures.

10. (SBU) MAPP/OAS also congratulates the Human Rights
Ombudsman (Defensoria del Pueblo) for providing greater legal
services to victims, but notes that the current volume --
with each legal advocate covering an average caseload of 300
victims -- requires more staff. Additional progress includes
significant advances in investigations: 2709 confessions;
more than 1328 graves exhumed; 1698 cadavers discovered; 538
preliminary identifications; and 223 remains returned to
their families.

Expanding the Scope:
Services at the Local Level
---------------------------

11. (SBU) MAPP/OAS applauds the expansion of HCR and the
National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation, but
calls for further outreach to ensure successful reintegration
and increased victims' participation. In particular,
MAPP/OAS maintains many victims in violent zones receive
little GOC information on their rights.

ELN Demobilizations:
GOC Implements a New Strategy
-----------------------------

12. (SBU) During the period of the report, MAPP/OAS verified
the disarmament of an ELN faction that had operated in the
municipality of Carmen de Atrato (Choco). The newly
demobilized will benefit from the JPL process. MAPP/OAS
commends the GOC's new strategy to initiate dialogue directly
with ELN regional structures, rather than continuing the
fruitless on-again off-again negotiations with national
commanders.
BROWNFIELD

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