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Cablegate: Farc Publicly Rejects Disarmament

P 092003Z JUL 87
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8227
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PN

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 09309

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PINS CO
SUBJECT: FARC PUBLICLY REJECTS DISARMAMENT

1. U) SUMMARY: THE FARC GUERRILLA HIGH COMMAND ON JULY
7 PUBLICLY REJECTED "DEMOBILIZATION OR DISARMAMENT" FOR
ITS FORCES, CLAIMING FURTHER THAT IT HAD NEVER PROMISED
SUCH ACTION. END SUMMARY

2. (U) FARC-UP IN ARMS: IN A RADIO PRESS CONFERENCE
JULY 7, TOP LEADERS OF THE COLOMBIAN REVOLUTIONARY ARMED
FORCES (FARC), COLOMBIA'S LARGEST GUERRILLA GROUP,
ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WOULD NOT DEMOBILIZE OR DISARM THEIR
FORCES. FOLLOWING THE JUNE 16 CAQUETA AMBUSH, THE GOC
STATED THAT ANY FURTHER SESSIONS OF THE PEACE PROCESS
WOULD BE LIMITED TO DISCUSSIONS OF THESE TOPICS. FARC
COMMANDERS ADDED THAT THEY HAD NEVER PROMISED
DISARMAMENT: "NEITHER AS A POLICY NOR IN RESPONSE TO THE
AGREEMENTS OF LA URIBE, WAS THAT SPOKEN OF." FARC
COMMANDER MANUEL MARULANDA, "TIROFIJO" (SURE-SHOT),
SPOKE, AS DID HIS DEPUTY AND CHIEF IDEOLOGUE JACOBO
ARENAS, AND ALFONSO CANO. THE BROADCAST REPORTEDLY
ORIGINATED FROM A SOUTH BOGOTA SITE AND WAS TRANSMITTED
ON VARYING FREQUENCIES.

3. (U) UNREPENTANT: THE FARC LEADERS INSISTED THEY
WOULD REMAIN INSIDE THE TRUCE WITH THE GOC, BUT ADDED
THAT MORE INCIDENTS LIKE THE RECENT CAQUETA AMBUSH COULD
WELL OCCUR, BECAUSE OF "MILITARY PERSECUTION." THEY
REVEALED THAT THEY HAD SPOKEN THE SAME DAY TO THE GOC
USING THE "HOT LINE" TELEPHONE FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS
AT LA URIBE AND HAD MADE 19 COMPLAINTS, MAINLY RELATED
TO ALLEGED GOC MILITARY OPERATIONS NOW UNDERWAY AGAINST
"VARIOUS FRONTS" OF THE FARC. THEY CLAIMED THAT THE
CAQUETA INCIDENT WAS THE RESULT OF MILITARY OPERATIONS,
EVEN THOUGH "FOR THE SAKE OF DISCUSSION" THEY WERE
WILLING TO USE THE WORD AMBUSH. THEY POINTED OUT THAT
SIMILAR GOC-GUERRILLA INCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED UNDER THE
PREVIOUS (BETANCUR) GOVERNMENT, BUT HAD BEEN OVERCOME
BECAUSE THE DESIRE TO DO SO EXISTED -- INSTANCING THE
AMBUSH AND DEATH OF 22 FARC GUERRILLAS IN ANTIOQUIA AT
THE HANDS OF GOC MILITARY.

4. (U) STRIKE NOW; TALK LATER: FARC LEADERS ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY WOULD ATTEMPT TO ORGANIZE (PRESUMABLY USING
THE PATRIOTIC UNION, THE COMMUNIST-FRONT POLITICAL
PARTY) A NATIONAL PROTEST STRIKE TO "REESTABLISH THE LA
URIBE ACCORDS." THEY COMPLAINED THAT THOSE ACCORDS HAD
NEVER BEEN PROPERLY CARRIED OUT, SINCE THE "POLITICAL,
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REFORMS CONTEMPLATED THEREIN" HAD
NEVER BEEN CARRIED OUT. THEY INDICATED CONTINUED
INTEREST IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE GOC, BUT SAID THAT THE
GOVERNMENT SHOULD SEND A HIGH-LEVEL COMMISSION TO THEIR
HEADQUARTERS; THAT THE (BETANCUR-ERA) COMMISSIONS OF
DIALOGUE AND VERIFICATION SHOULD BE REESTABLISHED; THAT
DIALOGUE SHOULD NOT BE DEPENDENT ON PRIOR CONDITIONS
(LIKE THE GOC'S INSISTENCE ON TALKING ABOUT
DISARMAMENT); AND THAT THE "ATMOSPHERE" DID NOT
CURRENTLY EXIST FOR TALKING ABOUT DISARMAMENT AND
DEMOBILIZATION.

5. (LOU) WHAT DID THE FARC PROMISE? RAFAEL PARDO,
SECRETARY OF POPULAR INTEGRATION AND ASSISTANT TO
PRESIDENTIAL PEACE ADVISOR CARLOS OSSA ESCOBAR, TOLD US
THAT THE 1984 LA URIBE ACCORDS, AND THE 1986 RENEWAL,
IMPLY DISARMAMENT, AND DIRECTED US TO THE RELEVANT
ARTICLES. IN FACT, THE LANGUAGE OF THE SECTIONS HE
SUGGESTED IS VAGUE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT VARIOUS
INTERPRETATIONS. ARTICLE 6 OF THE 1984 ACCORD SPEAKS OF
A ONE-YEAR PERIOD FOR THE FARC TO "ORGANIZE ITSELF
POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY." "DURING THIS
PERIOD THE GOVERNMENT WILL UNDERTAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS
TO REESTABLISH CIVIC ORDER IN THE ZONES OF VIOLENCE."
ARTICLE 3 OF THE 1986 RENEWAL SAYS THAT THE FARC WILL
PARTICIPATE IN PEACEFUL ELECTIONS "WITHOUT PHYSICAL,
MORAL OR ECONOMIC COERCION." ARTICLE 6 OF THE SAME TEXT
CALLS ON THE FARC TO INTENSIFY ITS INCORPORATION INTO
"POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LIFE AND PRODUCTIVE CIVIC ACTION,
SO THAT WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME ITS ADHERENTS WILL
PARTICIPATE IN FULL INSTITUTIONAL NORMALITY."

COMMENT
-------
6. (LOU) THE GOC FEELS THAT PARTICIPATION IN PEACEFUL
ELECTIONS WITHOUT RESORTING TO ARMED INTIMIDATION -- AND
"INCORPORATION INTO FULL INSTITUTIONAL NORMALITY" -- ARE
MEANINGLESS WITHOUT DISARMAMENT AND DEMOBILIZATION. THE
FARC CLAIMS TO SEE NO CONTRADICTION, AND IS LIKELY TO
INSIST ON A LITERAL READING OF THE ACCORDS, WHICH DO NOT
USE THE WORDS DISARMAMENT OR DEMOBILIZATION.

7. (LOU) ANOTHER STEP IN THE DECLINE OF THE TRUCE AND
PEACE PROCESS. THE FARC'S MAIN CONCERN, AS WE SEE IT,
WAS PROBABLY TO SCORE POINTS IN THE ON-GOING BATTLE TO
FIX BLAME FOR THAT DECLINE.

GILLESPIE

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