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Cablegate: Academia Takes a Closer Look at Human Rights

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

id: 14420
date: 3/1/2004 21:07
refid: 04BOGOTA2115
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
destination: 03BOGOTA9589
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS BOGOTA 002115

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PTER PROP ELAB CO
SUBJECT: ACADEMIA TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT HUMAN RIGHTS
STATISTICS

REF: 03 BOGOTA 9589

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect.

2. (SBU) Three researchers in the Department of Economics at
the University of London, working in conjunction with an
Economics Professor at Augusta State University in Georgia
with whom post had already been in contact, recently provided
us with a summary report of research conducted on violence
statistics related to the Colombian conflict during the
period 1988 to 2002. The research supports the conclusions
presented in reftel on the shortcomings of statistics
produced by some Colombian human rights NGOs. The report
posits the year 2000 as a turning point for the GOC in terms
of operational successes and improvements in the government's
human rights record and attributes this turnaround primarily
to Plan Colombia.

3. (SBU) The researchers used data from the Jesuit-founded
Center for Popular Research and Education (CINEP). Their
research corrects for skewed data that results from CINEP's
reliance on strict legal definitions of "human rights
violations" and "violations of international humanitarian
law." Instead, the researchers focused on presenting an
analysis of "bellicose actions" undertaken by all armed
actors in Colombia's internal conflict. Their research also
addressed the problem of overcounting by using what the
researchers describe as a "more objective" methodology than
that used by most Colombian human rights NGOs. With these
corrections in place, the data indicated that the FARC, ELN
and AUC disproportionately target civilians, and that the
number of civilian casualties attributed to GOC security
forces dropped dramatically beginning in 2000, primarily
because of a renewed GOC focus on human rights training and
improved human rights performance.

4. (U) The report is available online at
http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/pkte/126/Documents /Docs
/Database%20civil%20war.pdf. Post is happy to provide
electronic copies of this report to recipients having
difficulty accessing the report online. Please contact
poloff Craig Conway via email (conwaycm@state.gov) to request
a copy.

WOOD

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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