Cablegate: Amb Wood Meeting with Dutch Human Rights Amb Piet

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



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) On May 13, the Ambassador discussed drug eradication
efforts, demobilization and human rights with Dutch
Ambassador At Large For Human Rights Piet de Klerk. AMB de
Klerk acknowledged the need for international assistance to
battle drugs, but asked if USG policies were making
sufficient impact. He shared international community concern
about a weakened draft Law for Justice and Peace currently
before the Colombian Congress. He inquired why Colombian
President Uribe appeared reluctant to criticize the military
in public. On human rights, de Klerk expressed support for
the tough chair statement on the situation of human rights in
Colombia, recently adopted by the Commissioner on Human
Rights, noting that the U.S. had joined consensus on it as
well. End Summary.


2. (U) On May 13, the Ambassador met with Dutch Ambassador
At Large For Human Rights Piet de Klerk to discuss drug
eradication efforts, demobilization, and human rights
concerns in Colombia. Also present at the meeting were Dutch
AMB to Colombia Frans van Haren, Dutch Ministry of Foreign
Affairs South American Director Gertie Mulder, and Dutch and
U.S. Embassy staff. AMB Wood briefed de Klerk on the facts
on the ground in Colombia and on U.S. policy.


3. (U) de Klerk recognized the importance of the war on
drugs and how it affects the future political stability of
Colombia, as well as the need for international assistance.
He expressed an interest in details about USG assistance to
Colombia and its perceptions on the handling of the drug war.
de Klerk also asked how the conflict with the illegal armed
groups would be different if they were not involved in the
drug trade. de Klerk expressed concern that the draft Law
for Peace and Justice before the congress had become too
watered down and was being criticized by the international


4. (U) AMB de Klerk indicated his concern that Article 64 of
the Law for Justice and Peace regarding sedition might
complicate extradition proceedings for the future. AMB
explained that, although it was rejected on April 12, the GOC
was going to try to re-insert it. AMB and de Klerk discussed
briefly the visit to Colombia of UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Louise Arbour currently underway (septel). The
Ambassador stressed the importance of the OHCHR establishing
better relations with the GOC.

5. (U) de Klerk noted that the High Commissioner's comments
were compatible with the tough chair statement on Colombia
recently adopted by the UN Commission for Human Rights, on
which the Netherlands, the U.S. and Colombia had joined
consensus. AMB noted that, given all the other issues being
addressed at the CHR, adequate time was not allotted to the
issue of Colombia in Geneva. Most EU Ambassadors resident in
Colombia disagreed with the approach taken by their
counterparts in Geneva. There was no perfect solution to the
human rights problems in Colombia, but incremental pressure,
rather than ultimatums, remained the best solution to affect


6. (U) de Klerk asked for the Ambassador's opinion on
Uribe's relationship with the Colombian military, and why the
president was reluctant to criticize COLMIL in public. AMB
said that, although Uribe was working hard privately to clean
up the COLMIL, it was difficult for Uribe to "trash" them
publicly since they play a critical role in the four front
war against the FARC, ELN, paramilitaries and
narco-traffickers and in ultimately securing the peace. That
said, while the military continues to make progress, it
needed to do more to strengthen military justice, break ties
to paramilitary groups, and investigate and prosecute human
rights crimes in which it may have been directly or
indirectly involved.

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