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Cablegate: 2000 Terrorism Report (Colombia)

O 051442Z DEC 00
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8580

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 010666

S/CT FOR REAP

E.O. 12958: DECL:N/A
TAGS: PTER CO
SUBJECT: 2000 TERRORISM REPORT (COLOMBIA)

REF: STATE 21748

1. THE FOLLOWING IS EMBASSY BOGOTA'S SUBMISSION FOR THE
2000 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT, KEYED TO THE QUESTIONS
POSED IN REFTEL:

A. RESPONSE OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO TERRORISM: COLOMBIA'S
PROSECUTOR GENERAL (A BRANCH OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
INDEPENDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE) CONTINUES TO GIVE HIGH
PRIORITY TO THE PROSECUTION OF TERRORISTS. IN 2000, THE
PROSECUTOR GENERAL SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTED A LARGE
NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS -- BOTH
NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY (ELN) AND REVOLUTIONARY ARMED
FORCES OF COLOMBIA (FARC), AND MEMBERS OF PARAMILITARY
ORGANIZATIONS -- ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM CHARGES. THE
PROSECUTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE HAS COOPERATED CLOSELY WITH
U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE PROSECUTION OF
MEMBERS OF ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING
AMCITS.

B. TERRORIST EXTRADITIONS BY HOST GOVERNMENT: THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FOREIGN
GOVERNMENT REQUESTS, INCLUDING USG REQUESTS, TO
EXTRADITE SUSPECTED TERRORISTS IN 2000.

C. IMPEDIMENTS TO PROSECUTION OR EXTRADITION:
COLOMBIA'S INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT, THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS
OF ITS NARCOTICS TRADE, AND THE PERVASIVE EFFECT OF
CORRUPTION ON ITS POLITICAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
CONTINUE TO WORK AGAINST THE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE
PROSECUTION AND CONVICTION OF DOMESTIC CRIMINALS,
INCLUDING TERRORISTS. THE COLOMBIAN CONSTITUTION OF
1991 AUTHORIZES THE EXTRADITION OF COLOMBIAN NATIONALS
SOUGHT FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AFTER DECEMBER 1997, IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE. THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT APPLIED THIS LAW FORCEFULLY IN 2000
TO COMPLY WITH SEVERAL U.S. EXTRADITION REQUESTS OF
COLOMBIAN CRIMINALS, INCLUDING NARCO-TRAFFICKERS.

D. RESPONSES OTHER THAN PROSECUTION: THE COLOMBIAN
GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF U.S. AND
INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT TERRORISM. THE
PRESIDENCY AND THE FOREIGN MINISTRY HAVE CONSISTENTLY
RELEASED PUBLIC STATEMENTS CONDEMNING ACTS OF
INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC TERRORISM. THE EXECUTIVE AND
JUDICIAL BRANCHES HAVE MADE SERIOUS EFFORTS TO
INVESTIGATE DOMESTIC TERRORIST INCIDENTS AND TO
COOPERATE WITH INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS.
COLOMBIA BELONGS TO INTERPOL AND SHARES CRIMINAL
INFORMATION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. THE U.S. MAINTAINS AN
ACTIVE LEGAL ATTACHE OFFICE IN BOGOTA, WORKING CLOSELY
WITH COLOMBIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT TO ARREST AND PROSECUTE
COLOMBIAN TERRORISTS RESPONSIBLE FOR KIDNAPPING OF
AMERICAN CITIZENS, AND OTHER CRIMES. THE U.S. BUREAU OF
ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND FIREARMS (ATF) ALSO MAINTAINS AN
OFFICE IN BOGOTA. ATF IS THE POINT OF CONTACT FOR ALL
GOC ENTITIES CHARGED WITH INVESTIGATING TERRORIST
BOMBINGS. THE ATF HAS A CLOSE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH
ITS COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT COUNTERPART AGENCIES.

E. MAJOR 2000 COUNTER-TERRORISM STEPS: THE COLOMBIAN
ARMY AND POLICE TOOK SIGNIFICANT STEPS IN 2000 TO COMBAT
KIDNAPPINGS AND OTHER TERRORIST ACTS BY THE NATION'S
MAIN INSURGENT/TERRORIST GROUPS, THE ELN AND FARC, AND
PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATIONS. THE ARMY TRAINED, EQUIPPED
AND FIELDED ITS SECOND COUNTER-NARCOTICS BATTALION,
DESIGNED TO SUPPORT NATIONAL POLICE EFFORTS TO THWART
FARC AND ELN LINKS TO NARCOTICS PRODUCTION AND
TRAFFICKING. THE ARMY AND POLICE ANTI-KIDNAPPING UNITS
UNDERTOOK SEVERAL SUCCESSFUL OPERATIONS TO BREAK-UP FARC
AND ELN KIDNAPPING RINGS AND GAIN THE RELEASE OF SEVERAL
KIDNAPPING VICTIMS. A SUCCESSFUL ARMY MILITARY
OPERATION AGAINST THE ELN LED TO THE RELEASE OF SOME 31
COLOMBIAN NATIONALS KIDNAPPED ON SEPTEMBER 18 IN THE
CITY OF CALI. TWO AMERICANS KIDNAPPED IN THAT INCIDENT
WERE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 21. A SUCCESSFUL ARMY
MILITARY OPERATION IN THE SUMAPAZ REGION SOUTH OF BOGOTA
LED TO THE RELEASE OF SEVERAL LONG-HELD KIDNAP VICTIMS
AND THE BREAK-UP OF A FARC KIDNAPPING RING OPERATING IN
BOGOTA. IN OCTOBER, THE POLICE ARRESTED THE HEAD OF AN
ELN KIDNAPPING/EXTORTION RING OPERATING IN THE CITY OF
CALI. COLOMBIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTINUED TO COOPERATE
WITH U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT IN GAINING THE RELEASE OF
SEVERAL KIDNAPPED AMCITS. IN OCTOBER, THE COLOMBIAN
POLICE RESCUED A MINOR AMCIT HELD FOR SIX MONTHS BY
INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE FARC.

F. SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM: THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUED TO OPPOSE INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM, BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY.

G. STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF TERRORIST-SUPPORTING
COUNTRIES ON TERRORISM ISSUES: NONE.

H. SIGNIFICANT CHANGE ON ATTITUDE TOWARD TERRORISM: THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS TERRORISM
REMAINS CONSISTENTLY AND STRONGLY NEGATIVE.

I. U.S. EFFORTS AND INITIATIVES WITH HOST GOVERNMENT:
THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO COOPERATE FULLY
WITH USG INVESTIGATIONS INTO ANTI-U.S. ACTS OF
TERRORISM. ALL 16 AMCITS KIDNAPPED IN COLOMBIA IN 1999
HAVE BEEN RELEASED. ONE AMCIT WAS KIDNAPPED IN SANTA
MARTA IN OCTOBER, BUT IT IS BELIEVED THAT HE WAS
KIDNAPPED BY COMMON CRIMINALS AND NOT A TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION. USG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CONTINUE TO
PROVIDE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES, INCLUDING ANTI-TERRORISM
TRAINING, TO COLOMBIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT.

J. COOPERATION IN LAST FIVE YEARS:

(1) BOTH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY AGENCIES OF THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE IN
SEEKING TO APPREHEND, CONVICT AND PUNISH
INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OF INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM AGAINST U.S. CITIZENS AND INTERESTS.

(2) BOTH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY AGENCIES OF THE
COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT ARE COOPERATING IN SEEKING TO
PREVENT FURTHER ACTS OF TERRORISM AGAINST AMCITS IN
COLOMBIAN TERRITORY.

K. COOPERATION TO PREVENT ANTI-U.S. ACTS OF TERRORISM:
BOTH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY AGENCIES OF THE COLOMBIAN
GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY COOPERATIVE IN THE LAST
FIVE YEARS IN SEEKING TO PREVENT FURTHER ACTS OF
TERRORISM AGAINST AMCITS IN COLOMBIAN TERRITORY.

PATTERSON

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