Cablegate: Colombian Ambassador Concerned About Ecuador

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

151631Z Sep 05




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Summary. Colombian Ambassador Carlos Holguin
Molina told the Ambassador on September 13 that his
government is concerned about deteriorating bilateral
relations with the Palacio government. The impending exit of
FM Parra would help, but likely not resolve the festering
dispute over aerial CN fumigation along the Colombia-Ecuador
border, he said. The GOE referral of the dispute to the
IACHR would set an unfortunate precedent which the GOC
regrets. The Ambassador told Holguin we would encourage
dialogue between the two neighbors. Holguin was grateful and
said another opportunity to improve relations could come
later this month, when President Uribe visits Quito. End

Tough Start: Amb. Faces Fumigation Issue

2. (SBU) Holguin, who arrived in Quito shortly before the
Ambassador and presented his credentials on the same day, was
eager to establish rapport. He lamented the recent
deterioration of traditionally friendly bilateral relations
between the two neighbors, blaming FM Parra for politicizing
the fumigation issue. Asked by the Ambassador whether
Parra's impending departure would ease pressure on the issue,
Holguin demurred. Parra and Human Rights Ombudsman Claudio
Mueckay, who recently filed a petition on behalf of alleged
Ecuadorian victims affected by glyphosate spraying, had "put
Palacio in a box" on the issue.

3. (SBU) Holguin appeared surprised to learn that the IACHR
might request the "precautionary measures" requiring the GOC
to halt its spraying within 10 km of the border (RefTel). He
admitted that he had not received a copy of the Mueckay
petition. (Note: We have, but did not share a copy with
Holguin. We have faxed a copy to WHA/AND on September 12).

Ambassador Encourages Dialogue

4. (SBU) The Ambassador agreed that bilateral dialogue is
preferable to international appeals to resolve the fumigation
issue. That is exactly what we are encouraging the GOE to
pursue. For his part, President Palacio has expressed hope
that dialogue would bring mutual understanding, she said,
offering an opening for President Uribe.

5. (SBU) Holguin expressed gratitude for USG support, adding
that President Uribe had accepted Palacio's invitation to
meet in Quito (with President Toledo of Peru) to discuss FTA
strategy. The Ambassador expressed hope that the visit,
focused on mutual interests, could help both countries
overcome current differences. Holguin agreed.


6. (SBU) The bumps in the relationship with Colombia are
more a function of the Palacio government's weakness than GOC
behavior. To prevent further damage which could affect USG
interests, we will coordinate closely with Holguin while
trying to move the GOE towards dialogue and away from
unilateral action. Parra's impending departure will
help--Palacio assured the Ambassador on September 12 of his
interest in "useful dialogue" to get the Ecuador-Colombia
relationship "back on track." We agree that an Uribe visit
focused on mutual interests could also help shift debate here.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: ‘Things Have To Change’ Canada’s Trudeau Declares Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the world must change, as multilateral systems established decades ago are not working as they should, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada told the UN General Assembly on Friday. “The world is in crisis, and ... More>>

Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>

USA: Investors ‘freaking’ Over Possible Contested Outcome Of Election: Poll

A disputed result in November’s U.S. presidential election is now the number one concern for investors – even ahead of a second wave of Covid-19 – according to a new global survey. The poll carried out by deVere Group, one of the world’s largest ... More>>