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Cablegate: Goc Continues Efforts to Reestablish State Presence

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #8068/01 3182211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 142211Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0109
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 9537
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV 9054
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 5627
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 9988
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 0817
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6255
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 3518
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4170
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BOGOTA 008068

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM PTER NL SP CO
SUBJECT: GOC CONTINUES EFFORTS TO REESTABLISH STATE PRESENCE

REF: 06 BOGOTA 10526

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SUMMARY
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1. (U) The GOC created the Centro de Coordinacion de Accion
Integral (CCAI) to integrate military, police civilian
programs into a single, coordinated effort to establish GOC
penetration of key conflict areas. CCAI works to ensure
civilian health, welfare, educational, and economic
development programs quickly follow military efforts, helping
to consolidate GOC control and state presence. CCAI programs
have suffered from interagency and personal rivalries, but
interagency coordination is improving. In November 2007, CCAI
launched an ambitious consolidation plan to establish
civilian services in six municipalities in Meta, a historic
FARC stronghold. The USG provided $13.5 million to support
CCAI activities in FY 2007, and plans to continue funding
CCAI activities in out years. Some human rights groups
criticize CCAI for failing to involve local officials and
civil society in its projects. END SUMMARY.

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CCAI'S MANDATE
--------------

2. (U) In 2004, the GOC created the Centro de Coordinacion de
Accion Integral (CCAI), an interagency committee lead by
Vice-Minister of Defense Sergio Jaramillo and Accion Social
Director Luis Alfonso Hoyos, to promote short-term social and
economic development in priority areas where Colombian
security forces have established a security presence, but
penetration by civilian institutions remains weak or
nonexistent. CCAI's creation reflected the GOC's recognition
that a purely military response to the FARC and paramilitary
threats was insufficient to solve the country's security
problems. Instead, GOC officials understood the GOC needed
to complement the military effort with programs to establish
a permanent police and government presence in newly secured
areas. CCAI focuses on the departments of Meta, Choco,
Cesar, Magdalena, Antioquia, and Norte de Santander-- which
are centers of FARC or other illegal armed group activity.

3. (U) CCAI is located in the office of the presidency and
includes representatives from approximately a dozen GOC
ministries and agencies, including Defense, Interior and
Justice, and Development. CCAI does not have its own budget,
and relies on support, funding and personnel from other
agencies and ministries. Still, CCAI has mobilized almost $85
million in spending by GOC agencies and ministries in 2007.
The GOC hopes to expand that amount to $100 million in 2008.
The USG supports CCAI through USAID (technical assistance and
training) and U.S. Military Group funding, which represents
approximately 7 percent of the CCAI total budget. Spain and
the Netherlands also support CCAI.

---------------------------------
SECURITY CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES
---------------------------------

4. (U) In 2002 approximately 30 percent of mayors in Colombia
were forced to govern outside their mostly rural
municipalities due to a lack of security. By November, 2007,
the GOC's military effort--supported by CCAI programs--has
enabled almost all mayors to return to their municipalities.
In particular, CCAI has reestablished state presence in six
of the most insecure towns in Meta and Caqueta departments
and enhanced GOC credibility and legitimacy. Still, security
remains a serious concern in rural areas of the CCAI
municipalities. The presence of the FARC and other armed
groups and the high risk of attacks on GOC security services
remain CCAI's main obstacle. Other concerns include a lack of
political will in some local governments to work with CCAI,
community sympathy for the FARC in some regions (Meta), and
continued coca cultivation and drug trafficking.

5. (U) CCAI has made significant advances in reducing
interagency infighting and institutionalizing coordination
mechanisms. Initial CCAI efforts suffered from interagency
and personal squabbles over overall strategy, budgets, and
personnel requirements, especially between the Ministry of
Defense and civilian agencies. Moreover, in many areas the
military remains far ahead of civilian agencies, raising
concerns within the GOC, local communities, and human rights
groups. Still, CCAI continues to develop ways to promote
effective coordination and communication.

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CONSOLIDATION PLAN
------------------

6. (SBU) Vice Defense Minister Jarmillo spearheaded
development of an ambitious plan to establish a permanent
police and civilian presence in a former FARC stronghold in
Meta Department. Major General Gilberto Rocha Ayala, military
Chief of Joint Operations, told us the plan, know as the
Consolidation Plan for Macarena, Meta Department (PCIM),
focuses on six municipalities, including Uribe and Mesetas,
which are central to the fight against the FARC. The PCIM
calls for an integrated, interagency effort to regain state
control, foster economic development, and support civil
society. Due to region's importance as a coca cultivation
center, the plan also lays out strategies to eradicate
illegal crops, create legal industries, recover national
parks and reserves, and establish a functioning judicial
system. On November 8, the GOC released a draft presidential
decree outlining the PCIM.

7. (SBU) In the plan, CCAI will for the first time establish
a joint civil-military fusion center, headed by a
three-person team, with military, police and civilian
representatives. The fusion center will be based in Vista
Hermosa to coordinate the military, policing, development,
and judicial aspects of the PCIM. The CCAI's effort in La
Macarena and the establishment of the CCAI fusion cell in
Vista Hermosa are intended to serve as a model for similar
efforts in other regions, such as Narino and Bolivar (Montes
de Maria).

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CCAI'S DEPLOYMENT TO MACARENA
-----------------------------

8. (U) In early October, CCAI coordinated the return of 100
police officers to the small town of La Julia in Uribe
Municipality to re-establish security and begin to provide
long-term public services. On October 8, Minister of Defense
Juan Manuel Santos, Armed Forces Commander Freddy Padilla,
National Police Commander Oscar Naranjo, and Emboffs traveled
to La Julia to meet with local authorities ad show support
for CCAI programs. Santos told the people of La Julia that
the GOC was back, and that the time of FARC control in the
region was over. Santos told us that a goal of the trip was
to change local perceptions of the GOC and to delegitimize
the FARC. The GOC is working to win over a local population
that has had close ties to the FARC for decades. Though the
GOC does not fully control the region, it intends to use
high-level visits and major public events, such as the return
of police to La Julia, to convey the message that the GOC is
committed to the region for the long-term.

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USG FOCUS AND SUPPORT
---------------------

9. (SBU) In support of CCAI programs, the USG is funding
technical assistance, training, infrastructure and small
community based projects in areas such as Meta, Choco and
Antioquia. It also plans to expand its support to ongoing
CCAI efforts in Bolivar (Montes de Maria). The USG provided
USD 13.5 million in FY07 funds to CCAI through USAID's Office
of Transition Initiatives ($8 million), USAID's Regional
Governance Consolidation Program (RGCP) (USD 3.5 million) and
the Milgroup (USD 2 million). USAID funds support small,
high-impact community projects in Meta and plans to expand
into Bolivar (Montes de Maria) in 2008. In mid-October, DoD
approved USD 4 million in Section 1207 funds for USAID
programs to support CCAI. USAID will soon add an alternative
development component to the program in Meta. Through the
RGCP, USAID is also providing assistance to 26 CCAI-targetted
municipalities with USD 3.5 million in FY07 and USD 16.5
million over five years. The U.S Military Group is providing
USD 2 million in FY07 funds to provide community centers,
schools, and health clinics in CCAI areas.

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WAY AHEAD
---------

10. (U) In 2008, the majority of CCAI's effort will focus on
La Macarena. Still, CCAI will also work to increase social
investment to establish GOC credibility in targeted regions;
strengthen CCAI's mandate over ministries and budgets; and to
develop an inter-agency strategy for CCAI expansion. In
response to criticism from local and international human
rights groups, CCAI plans to brief civil society on its
programs, as well as its efforts to incorporate local
officials into CCAI decision making. Some human rights
groups complain CCAI relies too much on the military to
implement programs, strengthens national agencies at the
expense of local officials, and fails to consult with civil
society.

Brownfield

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