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Cablegate: Goc Delivers Blows to Paramilitaries

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

UNCLAS BOGOTA 009661

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

DEPT FOR INL, WHA/AND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM PTER CO AUC
SUBJECT: GOC DELIVERS BLOWS TO PARAMILITARIES

REF: BOGOTA 8022

1. (SBU) Summary: GOC security forces dealt two major blows
to paramilitary forces this month. In early September,
elements of an Antinarcotics Police Airmobile Company
("Junglas") seized a large cocaine HCl laboratory believed
to belong to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
(AUC) in Valle del Cauca Department. On September 18, a
task force composed of Colombian National Police and
Colombian Air Force elements conducted a successful assault
on a major AUC base in Risaralda Department. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On September 6, 2004, a Colombian National Police
(CNP) Antinarcotics Police Airmobile Company ("Junglas")
destroyed a large cocaine HCl laboratory near the
municipality of Bugalagrande, Valle del Cauca Department.
The Junglas captured 450 kilograms of cocaine base, two
metric tons of solid precursors, and 10 MT of liquid
precursors. The laboratory and cocaine base are believed to
have belonged to elements of the AUC which support the
network run by Norte del Valle Cartel trafficker Wilber
Varela.

3. (SBU) On September 18, a 600-man task force of Colombian
Air Force (COLAF) and CNP units attacked and destroyed a
major AUC encampment 25 miles northwest of Pereira, in
Risaralda Department. Intelligence reports and imagery
indicated that as many as 280 AUC members may have been in
the camp. The camp was reported to be a base of operations,
training facility, and narcotics production facility for the
Central Bolivar Bloc (BCB). This was the first operation
planned by the CNP's new Operations-Intelligence Center
established to target "cabecillas" - FARC, AUC, and ELN
leadership targets - and coordinate operations against them.

4. (SBU) An airmobile assault on the base camp was preceded
by COLAF fixed wing and helicopter gunships and CNP
helicopter gunships. Four hundred Rural Mobile Police
("Carabineros") established a perimeter around the base camp
to contain fleeing paramilitaries. Over 50 suspected AUC
members were captured and an undetermined number wounded or
killed. Mopping-up activities were ongoing as of early
September 20, but preliminary reports indicate the presence
of a large cocaine HCl laboratory and several tons of
chemical precursors. GOC security forces suffered no
casualties during the assault.

5. (SBU) The BCB, which reportedly controls the base camp
destroyed in the September 18 operation, is led by Carlos
Mario Jimenez, alias "Javier Montanez", aka "Macaco", a
participant in the AUC's ongoing demobilization negotiations
with the GOC in Santa Fe de Ralito, Cordoba Department
(reftel). While AUC leaders participate in peace talks with
the GOC, their organizations remain fully engaged in
recruitment, training, and narcotics production and
trafficking. The GOC has made clear that it will continue
to prosecute crimes committed by paramilitary leaders or
their associates, even while concentrated in Santa Fe de
Ralito. These two attacks are spectacular evidence of that
determination.

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