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Cablegate: Colombia: 2001 Annual Terrorism Report

R 162203Z DEC 02
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3056

UNCLAS BOGOTA 011477

S/CT FOR REAP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 201772

SUMMARY
--------

1. THIS IS POST'S RESPONSE TO REFTEL REQUEST FOR INPUT ON THE
2001 TERRORISM REPORT FOR COLOMBIA. AFTER MORE THAN 50 YEARS
OF FIGHTING AMONG GOVERNMENT TROOPS, GUERRILLAS AND
PARAMILITARIES, COLOMBIANS ARE INTIMATELY FAMILIAR WITH THE
SCOURGE OF TERRORISM. TWO COLOMBIAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS
(THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES OF COLOMBIA OR FARC, AND THE
NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY OR ELN) HAVE BEEN ON THE FOREIGN
TERRORIST LIST SINCE 1997. IN 2001, THE USG ADDED A THIRD,
THE UNITED SELF-DEFENSE FORCES OF COLOMBIA OR AUC. THE GOC
IS A WILLING AND COOPERATIVE PARTNER IN THE GLOBAL FIGHT
AGAINST TERRORISM. IN ADDITION, THE GOC IS RESPONSIVE TO
INDIVIDUAL USG REQUESTS FOR EXTRADITION AND STATEMENTS OF
SUPPORT. END SUMMARY.

2. THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES REFTEL'S SPECIFIC QUESTIONS:

A. THE GOC HAS BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE IN BLOCKING TERRORIST
ASSETS. IN 2001, THE GOC CREATED THE FINANCIAL INFORMATION
AND ANALYSIS UNIT (UIAF), SIMILAR IN FUNCTION TO THE U.S.
FINANCIAL CRIMES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (FINCEN). UIAF HEAD
RODOLFO URIBE COLLABORATES CLOSELY WITH EMBASSY'S OFAC OFFICE.

B. NO INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST ACTS TOOK PLACE ON COLOMBIAN
SOIL DURING 2002. COLOMBIA'S JUDICIAL SYSTEM RESPONDED
ADEQUATELY TO SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM,
CONSIDERING LACK OF FUNDING AND PERSONNEL, AND GIVEN SPECIFIC
FARC THREATS AGAINST PROSECUTORS.

C. THE GOC IS VERY RESPONSIVE TO U.S. REQUESTS FOR
EXTRADITION. AS OF DECEMBER 6, THE GOC HAS EXTRADITED 29
COLOMBIAN CITIZENS TO THE U.S. DURING 2002, WITH 26
ADDITIONAL CASES PENDING.

D. THE GOC IS HAMPERED IN ITS EFFORTS TO PROSECUTE AND/OR
EXTRADITE TERRORISTS (MAINLY NARCOTRAFFICKERS) BY BUDGETARY
CONSTRAINTS AND SPECIFIC FARC THREATS AGAINST PROSECUTORS.
GOC EFFORTS IN THE FACE OF THESE OBSTACLES ARE IMPRESSIVE.

E. COLOMBIAN ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OFFICIAL NEWS AGENCIES
CONTINUOUSLY AND PUBLICLY MAKE STATEMENTS DEPLORING TERRORIST
INCIDENTS WITHIN COLOMBIA.

F. THE GOC FOCUSES ITS COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS INTERNALLY.

G. THE GOC DOES NOT SUPPORT TERRORISTS POLITICALLY OR
FINANCIALLY.

H. THE GOC HAS NOT MADE ANY STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF A
TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY.

I. THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT ALVARO URIBE ON AUGUST 7,
2002 SET THE TONE FOR AN INCREASED GOC WAR ON DOMESTIC
TERRORISM. URIBE HAS PROPOSED PENSION AND LABOR REFORMS AND
HAS IMPOSED A GOVERNMENT AUSTERITY PROGRAM AS WELL AS A
ONE-TIME "WEALTH TAX" TO BETTER FUND THE WAR. THE GOC'S GOAL
IS TO INCREASE GOVERNMENT DEFENSE SPENDING FROM 3.2 PERCENT
OF GDP TO MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT.

J. THE USG AND GOC ARE WORKING COOPERATIVELY TO ATTACK
FUNDING FOR NARCOTRAFFICKING AND ASSOCIATED TERRORISM THROUGH
PLAN COLOMBIA. SPECIFICALLY, EMBASSY'S OFAC OFFICE
COORDINATES WITH THE GOC FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS
UNIT (UIAF) TO TARGET TERRORIST FINANCING.

K. IN 1999, FARC INSURGENTS CAPTURED AND THEN KILLED THREE
U.S. CITIZEN PEACE ACTIVISTS. OF THE SIX FARC ACTORS
INDICTED, ONE HAS BEEN CAPTURED. THREE OTHER FARC MEMBERS
NOT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL INDICTMENT WERE ARRESTED IN
NOVEMBER 2002 IN CONNECTION WITH THE MURDERS. THE USG
CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR RESOLUTION OF THESE CRIMES; HOWEVER,
THE GOC HAS GENERALLY BEEN COOPERATIVE.

L. THE GOC HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN RESPONSIVE TO USG REQUESTS
TO RAMP UP SECURITY AT THE EMBASSY COMPOUND AND OTHER USG
INTERESTS FOLLOWING FARC THREATS.

COMMENT
-------
3. IN GENERAL, THE GOC IS SUPPORTIVE OF USG EFFORTS TO COMBAT
TERRORIST ACTS AND TARGET TERRORIST FINANCES. THE URIBE
ADMINISTRATION HAS GIVEN EVERY SIGN THAT OUR COOPERATION WILL
ONLY INCREASE OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

BACA

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