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Cablegate: U/S Grossman's 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: 16527
date: 4/30/2004 20:36
refid: 04BOGOTA4448
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04BOGOTA4278
header:
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 004448

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2014
TAGS: PINR PTER PREL PHUM SNAR PINS CO
SUBJECT: U/S GROSSMAN'S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT URIBE

REF: BOGOTA 4278

Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood, reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

------
Summary
-------

1. (C) On April 29, U/S Grossman and SOUTHCOM Commander met
President Uribe, Minister of Defense Uribe, and the acting
Foreign Minister. Ambassador also attended. U/S Grossman
underscored continuing U.S. support for consolidation of Plan
Colombia and for Plan Patriota. He expressed support for
Uribe's April 27 declaration on peace talks with the
paramilitaries. He said that the GOC human rights record
would remain under scrutiny and needs to improve. Grossman
emphasized the importance of cooperation between the army and
police and a zero tolerance policy for collusion between
paramilitary groups and the armed forces. Uribe asserted
that U.S. support was crucial for his democratic security
policy. He noted that his April 27 communique expressed his
position on peace talks (reftel) and pledged that any members
of the security forces guilty of collusion with
paramilitaries would immediately be dismissed. End summary.

2. (C) U/S Grossman made three main points:

-- The USG is committed to supporting Uribe's security
policies, particularly Plan Patriota, and consolidating Plan
Colombia. Grossman said we were consulting with the U.S.
Congress on raising the cap on U.S. Plan Colombia personnel.
He said that inter-service cooperation, especially between
the police and military, is key to Plan Patriota's success.

-- Grossman praised the President's April 27 statement
denouncing paramilitary threats against him, stating that
extradition is non-negotiable, and warning that any illegal
armed group interested in negotiating must obey the GOC's
conditions, including a cease-fire, or else be pursued
militarily (reftel). He inquired how Uribe viewed the impact
of paramilitary commander Carlos Castano's disappearance.

-- Grossman noted that the GOC's human rights record was
improving and that kidnapping, violence, and internal
displacements were decreasing. But much more needed to be
done. He cautioned Uribe that the GOC and the USG would have
to respond to reports of collusion between the armed forces
and paramilitary groups (which must be ended forever) and of
corruption within the Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia).
The GOC must be committed to discovering, investigating,
prosecuting, and punishing the guilty parties.

3. (C) Uribe responded:

-- Plan Patriota's objectives are to capture top commanders
of the illegal armed groups, cut off supply and trafficking
routes, and regain territory. Ultimately, the GOC is seeking
to end all drug trafficking and terrorism. Uribe noted that
U.S. support was crucial.

-- Regarding the peace process, Uribe said that he had
clearly stated his position on negotiations with illegal
armed groups. He said that while negotiations were
important, he was not willing to give up his country's
dignity to pursue them. Uribe thanked Grossman for his
support for the statement.

-- Uribe and MOD Uribe agreed that they will "fire" any
members of the security forces guilty of colluding with the
paramilitaries. They noted, however, that some false
accusations of collusion were politically motivated. The
security forces continually confront the paramilitaries.
According to the GOC, since President Uribe took office,
5,047 paramilitaries have been captured and 613 killed.
Between 2002 and 2003, there has been a 33 percent increase
in paramilitary captu

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

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