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Cablegate: Colombia: 2005 Country Report On Terrorism

VZCZCXYZ0011
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0952/01 3272036
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 232036Z NOV 05
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9925
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6373
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 6787
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV LIMA 2926
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 8541
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 3477
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 010952

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

S/CT - RHONDA SHORE, S/CT - ED SALAZAR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV KJUS MARR CASC ASEC CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA: 2005 COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM

REF: SECSTATE 193439

1. (U) The following is Embassy Bogota's submission to the
2005 Country Reports on Terrorism. Responses are keyed to
questions in reftel's paragraphs 7-10. Embassy POC is Poloff
Liliana Gabriel, unclass email gabriell@state.gov

2. (SBU) GENERAL ASSESSMENT:

SUPPORT FOR THE GLOBAL COALITION AGAINST TERRORISM: The
Government of Colombia, faced with its own direct terrorist
threat, continued to support the Global War Against Terrorism
through bilateral, multilateral, military, and economic
activities against three Foreign Terrorist Organizations --
the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the
National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense
Forces of Colombia (AUC). In 2005, Colombia continued to
work with neighboring countries to combat terrorist
expansion, investigate terrorist activities inside and
outside Colombia, and bring terrorists to justice. The
Government of Colombia continued its hard stance against
terrorists throughout 2005. Uribe's Administration,
inaugurated in 2002, entered office on a "get tough with
terrorists" platform and has maintained its focus to
demobilize or defeat Colombia's terrorist groups.

The Uribe Administration maintained ) in both theory and
practice - its position against terrorism, and continually
condemned all terrorist actions. A few members of Congress,
however, showed sympathies for either the paramilitaries, the
ELN, or the FARC. Nevertheless, these members of Congress
usually limited any signs of support to unofficial actions.
In October 2005, Department of Administrative Security
(roughly an FBI counterpart) director and two high-ranking
officials resigned in October 2005 after a flurry of
accusations regarding collaboration with paramilitaries.
President Uribe named an interim director and requested a
full investigation. (On November 22, Uribe named interim
director Andres Penate as director, effective immediately.)

DIPLOMATIC: Colombia has signed and ratified nine of the 12
international conventions and protocols relating to
terrorism. In April 2005, the Colombian Government ratified
the Hostages International Convention. The remaining three
conventions are in different stages of the Congressional
ratification process. Colombia neither recognizes nor offers
diplomatic privileges to terrorist organizations. In late
2005 Colombia became the Chairman of the Organization of
American States' Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism
(CICTE) for a one year term.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: The U.S.-Colombia extradition relationship
continued to be the most successful in the world; Colombia
extradited over 130 criminals, the vast majority of whom are
Colombian nationals, to the United States in 2005. The
Colombian Government remained fully cooperative in cases and
investigations involving Americans; it sought an exchange of
hostages held by the FARC to release the three U.S. citizens
kidnapped in February 2003. In February, Colombia extradited
FARC financier Omaira Rojas Cabrera "Sonia." In November,
Colombian officials arrested Farouck Shaikh Reyes in
connection with distributing over 600 tons of cocaine to
Europe and the United States with profits going to multiple
Colombian illegal armed groups. Leaders of the FARC, ELN and
AUC have raised their concern over the threat of extradition.

INTELLIGENCE: In 2005, all adult terrorist group deserters
were debriefed by the military for detailed information on
their terrorist cell before they entered the demobilization
and reinsertion program. In addition, the Justice and Peace
law, intended to offer special judicial benefits and reduced
custodial sentences for qualifying demobilizing terrorists,
requires all participants to confess fully the nature of
their crimes as members of their terrorist group. Justice
and Peace beneficiaries must also return all illicit profits.

FINANCIAL ASSETS: The Colombian Government fully cooperated
in blocking terrorist assets. Throughout 2005, Colombian
financial institutions closed many narco-trafficking and
terrorism related accounts following the actions of U.S. and
Colombian law enforcement agencies.

MILITARY: President Uribe continued his strategy of military
pressure on illegal armed groups in 2005, facilitating the
military's nation-wide campaign to retake national territory.
Although FARC-dominated southern Colombia was the primary
target for the inter-service military action, the military
also carried out actions against the ELN and the AUC
throughout the year.

SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT: The Colombian Government made no effort
to provide sanctuary, political, financial, or weapons
support to any terrorist group, domestic or international.

3. (U) SANCTUARY (SAFE HAVEN) ASSESSMENT: The Colombian
Government has a massive offensive to retake national
territory from the FARC, and a peace process to dismantle the
AUC. Whenever the Government has specific, credible
information about a terrorist camp location, it attacks that
area with military and police forces, to deny terrorists safe
havens and strongholds.

COOPERATION WITH THE UNITED STATES: The Colombian Government
cooperates fully with the United States in capturing,
extraditing, and impoverishing terrorist groups. There are
no known weapons of mass destruction in Colombia.

4.(SBU) INFORMATION ON TERRORIST GROUPS: Terrorist groups
were once again active throughout the country in 2005. Car
bombs, kidnapping, political murders, the indiscriminate use
of landmines, and economic sabotage occurred. None of the
groups enjoy any financial support, training, recognition, or
sanctuary from the Colombian Government.

FARC: The FARC increased tactical-level terrorist and
narcotrafficking activities despite the ongoing military
campaign against them. In 2005, the FARC's attacks targeted
rural outposts, infrastructure, former control zones retaken
by the Colombian Government, and several political
adversaries. The FARC kidnapped 11 people over the Holy Week
holiday season in 2005 in Antioquia and Valle del Cauca
Departments. On May 24, the FARC attacked a town hall during
a city council meeting in Puerto Rico, Caqueta Department,
killing six municipal councilors and an official, wounding
many others. The FARC were suspected of bombing nine
electrical towers in the Atlantic Coast region over Memorial
Day weekend, and caused widespread power outages, which took
several days to repair. On June 25, the FARC carried out its
deadliest one-day attack since President Uribe took office.
Twelve simultaneous strikes killed 21 and wounded 11 soldiers
in southeastern Putumayo Department. On the evening of
October 10, a remote-controlled 50-kilogram explosive device
hidden in a parked car was detonated in northern Bogota as
Senator German Vargas Lleras's motorcade drove past. Vargas
escaped unharmed, but nine Colombians were injured. More than
four hundred other Colombians sustained property damage. The
investigation continues and although the FARC deny
responsibility, the Colombian Government has not ruled out
the FARC as the perpetrator. On October 11, there was an
unsuccessful mortar attack against the Presidential Palace,
"Casa de Nario" using tactics regularly used by the FARC.
Both the FARC and ELN continued attacks against the country's
infrastructure and oil pipelines in 2003, albeit at reduced
levels.

ELN: In September, the ELN showed renewed interest in

establishing a dialogue moving towards peace talks with the
GOC. In April, the ELN abandoned talks with a Mexican
facilitator. The group continues fighting but has limited
resources and dwindling membership. The ELN had its first
mass desertion on June 8, when the 29-person bloc known as
the "Heroes and Martyrs of Anori" surrendered to officials.
The ELN publicized their project to remove landmines from one
rural area in Sucre Department, but was unwilling to allow
the Colombian Government to verify the removal by allowing
military deminers to review the area.

AUC and Other Paramilitaries: The Colombian Government and
AUC signed the Santa Fe de Ralito Agreement in July 2003,
establishing a cease-fire and setting the stage for peace
negotiations and demobilization. Approximately 11,000 of the
estimated 20,000 paramilitaries have demobilized over the
past two years. As of November, the Government's goal was to
demobilize all AUC members by February 28, 2006 and ensure
their reincorporation into civil society by the end of 2007.
Most paramilitary cease-fire violations targeted civilians
including massacres, kidnappings, selective killings,
displacements, robberies, and the recruitment of children.
Despite paramilitary cease-fire violations, the overall level
of paramilitary violence continued to decrease, but
paramilitary- authored murders stayed roughly at 2004 levels.


IRA: Three suspected Irish Revolutionary Army (IRA) members
were arrested in 2001 for illegal immigration documents and
for training the FARC on IRA bomb tactics. The three men
fled Colombia while on parole awaiting final sentencing and
resurfaced in Ireland in August 2005. Colombia has requested
extradition of the three men who were convicted of aiding a
terrorist group. Ireland's response to the extradition is
pending.

5 (SBU) INFORMATION ON FOREIGN GOVERNMENT COOPERATION: There
were no GOC actions taken against Al-Qaida in 2005 but the
military conducted ongoing actions against the FARC, ELN, and
AUC. Military and police units around the country seized
weapons caches, impounded narcotics stocks, infiltrated
abandoned FARC camps, and rescued kidnap victims. The
Colombian Government cooperates fully with U.S. efforts to
stop terrorist acts against the United States and U.S.
citizens.
DRUCKER

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