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Cablegate: Goc Urges Secretary Rice to Lift Travel Advisory

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

UNCLAS BOGOTA 004204

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PINS ASEC CO
SUBJECT: GOC URGES SECRETARY RICE TO LIFT TRAVEL ADVISORY

1. (U) On April 27, Commerce Minister Jorge Humberto Botero
gave Secretary Rice a document explaining why the USG should
lift the travel advisory for parts of Colombia (faxed to
WHA/AND). The paper asserted that the travel advisory does
not take into account decreases in murder and kidnapping and
other significant security improvements since Uribe took
office, especially in Cartagena, San Andres Island, Bogota,
and Medellin.

2. Begin text:
VISIT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZA RICE

ASSESMENT OF THE TRAVEL WARNING FOR COLOMBIA

1. At present the travel warning for Colombia, issued by the
United States' Department of State, warns that
narco-terrorism and violence affect all urban and rural areas
of the country. For this reason the travel warning advises US
citizens to avoid travel to Colombia.

2. However, this travel warning does not accurately reflect
the advances made by National Government's commitment to
ensure adequate security through its Democratic Security
Policy. The following figures from the last twelve months
demonstrate a substantial improvement on this field.

-- 19% reduction of the attacks on the military.
-- 16% reduction in homicides.
-- 49% reduction in collective homicides.
-- 49% reduction in kidnappings.
-- 57% reduction in the attacks on the electrical power
infrastructure.
-- 50% reduction in the attacks on cities/towns. Between 2002
y 2004, this type of attacks fell by 83%.
-- 12% rise in the numbers of demobilized irregular
self-defense groups.
-- Homicides have fallen by 6% between 2002 y 2004.

3. Likewise, certain cities and regions demonstrate higher
security levels than the national average:

-- Bogot, Medelln, Cartagena y San Andrs have not been
targeted by terrorist attacks.
-- In Bogot, between the years 2002 and 2004, homicides fell
by 20.8%.
-- In Medelln, between the years 2002 and 2004, homicides
fell by 65.3%.
-- Cartagena: homicides fell 6% between 2002 and 2004.
-- San Andrs: In the year 2005, only one homicide took
place.

4. In light of the above, Colombia therefore seeks:

That the travel warning recognize Colombia's improved
security situation. Therefore, the travel warning should be
lifted for travel to cities like Bogot, Medelln, Cartagena
and San Andres.

End text


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