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Cablegate: National Police Rural Security Strategy to Monitor

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P 121442Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6888
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6975
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 7952
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUL LIMA 4026
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 9345
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4673
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3611
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 006262

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PINR PREL PTER SNAR CO
SUBJECT: NATIONAL POLICE RURAL SECURITY STRATEGY TO MONITOR
DEMOBILIZED


SUMMARY
-------
1. (U) At a recent conference, Colombian National Police
(CNP) Director General Jorge Castro outlined the CNP's
strategy to monitor demobilized paramilitaries in rural
areas, protect the civilian population and dismantle new
criminal groups. Castro plans to open 400 police substations
in the most vulnerable areas of the country by 2010. On July
7, the CNP released its first report on these efforts, which
highlighted progress but also noted problems in criminal
behavior by former combatants. End summary.

NATIONAL POLICE STRATEGY FOR RURAL SECURITY
-------------------------------------------
2. (U) General Castro discussed police strategy to dismantle
emerging criminal groups formed by demobilized paramilitaries
during a mid-June seminar sponsored by Semana Magazine and
Ideas for Peace Foundation. Castro said rural insecurity is
primarily concentrated in the Departments of Norte de
Santander, Bolivar, and Narino, areas that have historically
lacked an effective state presence. He added that these
regions suffer from drug cultivation and trafficking, transit
corridors for illegal armed groups, forced displacement,
infrastructure attacks, and extortion.

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3. (U) Castro said the CNP has already established
forty-eight substations in zones of former paramilitary
influence to prevent the demobilized from forming criminal
groups. Castro hopes to add 50 more substations by the end
of 2006, and another 308 by 2010. This would amount to
40,000 rural police. Castro said the CNP was also creating a
database of the demobilized paramilitaries to track their
activities.

4. (U) The rural police, or &carabineros,8 will protect
local communities, conduct criminal investigations, secure
roads and waterways, collect intelligence, provide security
for economic development projects, and assist in eradicating
illicit crops. Their work is designed to foster confidence
in government institutions in these remote areas. In
addition to the "carabineros," the CNP installed 165 new
police stations around the country. The CNP created 54
Mobile Squadrons - charged with blocking FARC transit
corridors - and 68 rapid reaction units to support the
highway patrol. Castro also plans to fortify and increase
the number of officers in police stations with less than 20
men.

MONITORING THE PROGRESS OF REINSERTION
--------------------------------------
5. (U) The CNP report stated that many demobilized
paramilitaries are cooperating with authorities -- providing
information that has led to preventing terrorist activities
and the discovery of common graves of paramilitary victims.
The latter is especially important to reparations and
accounting for the disappeared. The report also outlined the
challenges Colombia faces in reincorporating the demobilized
into society. Ex-combatants have been arrested on charges
ranging from assault and extortion to illegal possession of
arms and murder (536 for weapons charges, assault, and
extortion; 70 for murder). The CNP reported that 236 have
been killed, 141 have not had any contact with the GOC's
Reinsertion Program since they demobilized, and only 16
percent were working. The police estimated that 2,400
demobilized have joined criminal groups. Of the 41,000
demobilized, 5,692 have received job training from the CNP
and 4,402 of those are working full time.
WOOD

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