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Cablegate: Prosecutor General Data Sketchy but Shows Most

VZCZCXYZ0011
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #8434 3441756
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101756Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0436
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7931
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 9641
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC 9105
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 5694
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 0958
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6386
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4204
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BOGOTA 008434

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KJUS PGOV PHUM PTER CO
SUBJECT: PROSECUTOR GENERAL DATA SKETCHY BUT SHOWS MOST
LABOR MURDERS NOT DUE TO UNION TIES

REF: BOGOTA 6862

1. The Colombian Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia)
reports that since 2001, it has resolved 59 cases of violence
against labor union members, resulting in the sentencing of
126 individuals. Eleven of the cases, leading to 20
convictions, were prosecuted by the special subunit set up by
the Fiscalia last October to investigate and prosecute labor
crimes.

2. The Fiscalia told us that in most of the 59 cases, the
motives for the crimes were not due to the victims' union
affiliation. Fiscalia analysts reviewed case notes from
regional prosecutors and compiled the motives identified by
the judges in the cases. In the eleven cases in which the
judges did not specify a cause, the analysts determined the
motive based on their evaluation of the case notes. The
analysts found that sixteen stemmed from domestic or personal
disputes, thirteen were robberies, and nine involved
individuals killed by the FARC, ELN or paramilitaries due to
their suspected cooperation with a rival group. Three cases
involved kidnappings for ransom, two resulted from
indiscriminate FARC attacks, two were attacks on prosecutors,
and one was killed by a rival political candidate. One was
caught in a crossfire between combatant groups, one was a
victim of a hate crime against drug users, and two were
extrajudicial killings by Colombian security forces. The
courts found the victim's union membership was the motive in
only nine, or 15 percent, of the cases.
Brownfield

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