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Cablegate: Goc-Eln Guarantors Will Publish Draft Peace Accord

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #1045/01 3401634
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061634Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1220
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 1204
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7302
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 8494
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC 8409
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 4543
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 9531
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0360
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 5199
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0131

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 011045

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/05/2016
TAGS: PTER PGOV MARR PHUM CO
SUBJECT: GOC-ELN GUARANTORS WILL PUBLISH DRAFT PEACE ACCORD
TO PRESSURE PARTIES


Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer
Reason: 1.4 (b,d)

-------
Summary
-------

1. (C) The GOC-ELN civil society guarantors will publicize a
draft peace agreement on December 11 aimed at spurring
greater progress in the talks. The draft agreement, which
guarantor Moritz Akerman said was aimed primarily at the ELN,
suggests implementing a ceasefire and release of ELN kidnap
victims starting May 1. It also suggests an amnesty for most
ELN members, and their demobilization; Akerman said
demobilized terrorists would have to hand in their arms, but
disarmament is not mentioned in the proposal. Akerman
reported Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo was pleased
with the proposal and hoped it would flush out the ELN's
commitment to peace. End summary.

-----------------------------------------
Guarantors' Concern About Stalled Process
-----------------------------------------

2. (C) Akerman said the guarantors are concerned the GOC and
ELN have failed to establish concrete proposals and
implementation dates during their four rounds of exploratory
talks to date. At the most recent session in Havana, the
guarantors were dissatisfied with what Akerman characterized
as "interminable discussion about the nature of conflict"
instead of elaboration of practical initiatives. In
late-November meetings with the ELN and Restrepo, Akerman
said the guarantors had the impression both sides were
interested in moving forward, but lacked confidence in each
other. The guarantors regarded the ELN as more confident as
a result of the GOC's "para-politician" scandal, and some ELN
Central Command members were suggesting postponing the
December 14 Havana talks to see how much weaker the GOC would
get. Akerman reported the guarantors aimed to force the ELN
to take a position on sensitive issues such as ceasefire and
release of kidnap victims.

--------------------------
Public Proposal on the Way
--------------------------

3. (C) Akerman explained the guarantors planned to hold a
press conference on Monday, December 11 at the Colombian
Congress to publicize a guarantor proposal to the GOC and
ELN, and call for a public response. The guarantors will
publish the proposal in the El Tiempo (Bogota) and El
Colombiano (Medellin) newspapers the following day. The
proposal also calls for ELN military commander and negotiator
Antonio Garcia to come to Bogota and explain the ELN's
response publicly.

4. (C) The proposal provides for three phases of concrete
implementation. The first, from January 1-April 31, is
focused on humanitarian and political processes, including
the formation of a verification commission that would address
ceasefire and release of kidnap victims. It also includes
initiatives related to displaced people, demining, release of
ELN child soldiers, and "alternative development" in areas of
significant narcotics presence. The guarantors' proposal
suggests amnesty for ELN "rebels"; Akerman said this
contemplated amnesty for ELN members associated with
"rebellion." (Note: Under Colombian law, "rebellion"
excludes war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as
torture, forced disappearances, forced displacement, and
genocide; Colombia's adherence to the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court expanded Colombian law's
definition of crimes against humanity to include categories
such as assassinations, and kidnapping, if systematic and on
a "massive" scale. End note.) Akerman said the first phase
would have to reach an understanding on how the ELN would
finance itself during the peace process.

5. (C) The second phase, from May 1-October 31, would
involve a mutual ceasefire, and release of all ELN kidnap
victims. The proposal says the GOC would begin to release
ELN prisoners during this phase; Akerman said there were some
1,500. The demobilized ELN members would return to their
communities, some of which would be named, "Special and

Experimental Zones."Akerman said the idea of the zones was
to concentrate GOC and international assistance in limited
areas to maximize its effectiveness. He added that ELN
members who demobilized would be expected to hand in any
weapons, but the proposal did not address disarmament
explicitly because the subject was still too sensitive when
the ELN faced the FARC in the field. The GOC would convoke a
"national convention" in June, as distinct from a
"constituent assembly." The national convention would
involve civil society and political party participation and
make legal and policy recommendations, not enact
constitutional changes.

6. (C) The third phase, from November 1-December 31, would
evaluate progress to date and extend the ceasefire. The
verification commission would report on ceasefire issues and
matters related to kidnap victims and ELN prisoners.

---------------------------------
Prefatory Language Causing Debate
---------------------------------

7. (C) Akerman reported the guarantor proposal would preface
its terms with three suggestions: on a "peace tax" to fund
investment in rural areas, a call to open the media to more
diverse points of view, and a recognition that Colombia's
conflict will not be solved unless narcotics trafficking is
addressed. He said the guarantors were not in agreement on
how to formulate the suggestions. Some supported a harder
line than others and wanted to urge rejection of a "war tax,"
form an "international commission" to promote a more open
media, and promote drug legalization, while others were
opposed.

---------------------------------------
Restrepo Reportedly Happy with Proposal
---------------------------------------

8. (C) Akerman told us Restrepo was pleased with the
proposal when shown it on December 5. Restrepo took issue
with a few points, including the "harder line" prefatory
suggestions, but Akerman said the peace commissioner hoped
the proposal would flush out the ELN's commitment to peace.
Restrepo has previously criticized the guarantors for failing
to pressure the ELN, concluding they did not have leverage
over the terrorist group. In comments published in El Tiempo
on December 4, Restrepo said the "hour of truth" had arrived
for the ELN: it must decide if it was committed to the
political process or would continue its terrorist activities.
He noted the ELN continued to kidnap at the rate of one
person a week, and was increasingly involved in narcotics
trafficking.
DRUCKER

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