Cablegate: Inl a/S Charles Meeting with President Uribe

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

id: 14493
date: 3/2/2004 22:05
refid: 04BOGOTA2806
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04BOGOTA2698
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 002806


E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2014


Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood, Reasons: 1.4 B & D.

1. (C) Summary: In a meeting with President Uribe on March
15, INL A/S Charles and Ambassador Wood welcomed Uribe's
March 22-25 visit to Washington, lauded the decrease in
violence under Uribe, stressed the need for eradication in
national parks, and reiterated the importance we place on
extradition in the context of negotiations with the
paramilitaries. President Uribe reiterated his commitment to
extradition and the need for continuation of Plan Colombia
beyond 2005. End Summary.

2. (U) INL A/S Bobby Charles and Ambassador Wood met with
President Uribe on March 15 in Bogota. The U.S. side
included INL/LP Director Tom Martin, NAS Director Phyllis
Powers, NAS Deputy Roger Carignan, and Poloff Brian Walch
(notetaker). Uribe was accompanied by Foreign Minister
Carolina Barco, Defense Minister Jorge Alberto Uribe, and
Plan Colombia Coordinator Luis Alfonso Hoyos.

3. (C) Uribe reaffirmed his tough line on negotiations with
the paramilitaries, but expressed concern that they were
asking for relief from the possibility of extradition as a
condition for concentrating their forces. Uribe noted that
concentration of paramilitaries was the only way to ensure
that they stopped their violent actions and complied fully
with their promised cessation of hostilities. Ambassador
Wood stressed the importance that the U.S. places on
insulating the question of extradition in the negotiation
process (and in deliberations on the conditional parole
bill). Ambassador Wood also noted that the Uribe
Administration's discussions with the paramilitaries had
already greatly reduced violence against civilians. A/S
Charles and the Ambassador advised Uribe to refrain from any
decision on the peace process until he had completed his
upcoming visit to Washington.

4. (C) Uribe called for continuation of Plan Colombia beyond
2005. He stated that had it not been for the program,
criminal and terrorist elements would have won out in
Colombia. A/S Charles agreed, stressing that it is important
to finish building the "entire house." Ambassador Wood noted
that the original goal of Plan Colombia was 50 percent
eradication by 2005. While that goal has been surpassed,
much work needs to be done to reach 100 percent. Ambassador
Wood lamented that the GOC's seized assets program was facing
difficulties owing to fear on the part of potential
legitimate buyers.

5. (C) A/S Charles stressed the importance of beginning
eradication programs in Colombia's national parks.
Ambassador Wood reminded Uribe that coca cultivation was far
more detrimental to the environment than chemicals used in
eradication. Uribe agreed on the need to address the parks

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

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