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Cablegate: Codel Meeks Meets with Prosecutor General Iguaran

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DE RUEHBO #4653/01 1772054
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 262054Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6624
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7607
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 9112
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUN LIMA 5187
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0407
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5786
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3998
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
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 004653

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PINR PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: CODEL MEEKS MEETS WITH PROSECUTOR GENERAL IGUARAN

1. (U) June 4, 2007; 200PM, U.S. Embassy

2. (U) Participants:

U.S.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
CDA Milton Drucker
Pol officer (notetaker)

COLOMBIA

Prosecutor General Mario Iguaran
Human Rights Unit Director Leonardo Cabana
Justice and Peace Unit Director Luis Gonzalez
International Affairs Director Francisco Echeverri

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

3. (SBU) A Congressional delegation led by Representative
Gregory Meeks met on June 4 with Prosecutor General's Office
(Fiscalia) head Mario Iguaran and senior Fiscalia officials
to determine the resources needed to improve the Fiscalia's
capacity to pursue high-profile human rights cases and to
protect witnesses. Iguaran acknowledged the generous help
already provided by the U.S. and welcomed any additional
resources that would allow the Fiscalia to do more. Iguaran
told the Codel he was lobbying the Colombian Congress to pass
the National Development Plan which includes a provision that
would increase the Fiscalia's resources and personnel. End
Summary

---------------------
Iguaran's Report Card
---------------------

4. (SBU) Prosecutor General Iguaran said the Fiscalia was
committed to report openly on Colombia's justice system. He
understood the international community's interest in seeing
progress on human rights and labor-related cases, especially
given the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Act pending in the U.S.
Congress. Iguaran said the Fiscalia has created a special
unit to investigate labor-related violence and seek
convictions in cases of violence against union members.
Iguaran noted that in the past two years, the Colombian
justice system has made significant advances in the
implementation of the new accusatory system. He said the
Fiscalia has also taken a more aggressive approach in
prosecuting human rights cases, citing Jamundi and the
ongoing investigation of civilian disappearances attributed
to the military following the M-19 terrorist group's seizure
of the Supreme Court in 1985.

------------------------
Greater Resources Needed
------------------------

5. (SBU) Representative Meeks acknowledged Iguaran's
excellent reputation in Colombia and the United States, and
offered to help the Fiscalia with additional resources to
pursue sensitive cases and improve its Witness Protection
Program. Iguaran thanked the Codel for the USG's generous
assistance, and welcomed new resources to strengthen the
Human Rights Unit, Justice and Peace Law Unit, Witness

Protection Program, and the search for mass graves. He said
the high cost of implementing the accusatorial system and
applying the Justice and Peace Law have boosted both the
workload and profile of the Fiscalia. Iguaran said he was
lobbying the Colombian Congress to approve a provision in the
National Development Plan that would increase the Fiscalia's
resources and personnel.
----------------------------
Labor Cases of Great Concern
----------------------------

6. (SBU) Representative Sanchez said she was concerned about
weak labor rights, and asked Iguaran what was being done to
improve the environment for unions. Iguaran said the
Ministry of Social Protection was primarily responsible for
monitoring labor rights. He added that the Fiscalia had
created a labor sub-unit with 13 prosecutors and 78
investigators to investigate violence against unionists.
Working with labor organizations, the new Unit identified 200
priority cases to investigate and prosecute. Iguaran said
more needs to be done, but cited the new labor Unit as a
large step forward.

7. (U) House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Staff cleared
this cable.
Drucker

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