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Cablegate: Indumil's Safeguards Sufficient for Arms And

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

UNCLAS BOGOTA 007332

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR PM/DTC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MARR MOPS CO
SUBJECT: INDUMIL'S SAFEGUARDS SUFFICIENT FOR ARMS AND
MUNITIONS

REF: BOGOTA 004569

1. (U) Several U.S. companies have attempted to seek licenses
from PM to sell defense articles to the Colombian Military
(COLMIL) and Police this year and have been denied, possibly
due to concerns about Colombia's end user controls. Military
Industries (INDUMIL) is the Colombian government's only
entity charged with the production, importation, and sale of
arms and ammunition in Colombia, both for military and
private use. Emboffs toured the INDUMIL manufacturing plant
and met with Colonel Fidel Ricardo Velandia, Chief of the
Arms Control Department to learn more about INDUMIL's
controls. In addition, Post's Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms,
and Explosives (ATF) office maintains close contact with
INDUMIL and noted that the following controls are in place to
control military supply inventories:

- Munitions: Each piece of ammunition produced by INDUMIL is
stamped with a lot number and recorded so that authorities
may track or trace it later. INDUMIL imports and produces
munitions for COLMIL and civilian use, but civilians must
pass a rigorous security and background check before
obtaining a weapon. Munitions sales are strictly limited and
by law, Colombians can buy no more than 100 rounds of
ammunition every six months and to do so must produce the
appropriate firearms license.

- Small Ordnance: Each weapons component is stamped with a
code and logged at every step of the assembly process so all
arms originating at INDUMIL can be traced. INDUMIL's control
branch maintains copious documents on all weapons imported
and leased to private civilians. The Department of Arms
Control oversees a background check of each individual
interested in purchasing arms to ensure he or she does not
have a criminal history. If the individual is deemed free of
wrongdoing, the Department of Arms Control can issue a
license to have a weapon or carry a weapon (two different
licenses). Licenses to maintain a weapon at home must be
renewed every 10 years, licenses to carry a weapon must be
renewed every three years, and restricted-use weapons such as
machine guns and those with more than nine rounds must be
renewed every year. Colombian law states that only the
government can produce or import arms; and all weapons, even
those held and carried by private citizens, are legally
property of the government and may be recalled at any time.

2. (U) Given these safeguards, Embassy believes the Colombian
controls on munitions and small ordnance sales are adequate
to warrant permit approvals for U.S. suppliers.
DRUCKER

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