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Cablegate: September Colombia Strategic Development Intiative Update

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3262/01 2891327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161326Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0367
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0094
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0417
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0438
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0430
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003262

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PTER PHUM EAID SNAR CO
SUBJECT: SEPTEMBER COLOMBIA STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT INTIATIVE UPDATE

REF: BOGOTA 2904

SUMMARY

-------

1. (U) Diego Molano was named the new head of the President's
Agency for Social Action and International Cooperation (Accion
Social). The GOC has officially changed the name of "Fusion
Centers" to "Regional Coordination Centers." Assistant Secretary
of Defense Paul Stockton visited the Plan for the Integral
Consolidation of the Macarena (PCIM) zone in Meta department. The
Colombia Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI) working group is

conducting an integrated planning process for the Central Band
priority zone. Embassy formed a CSDI Steering Committee to improve
decision-making and coordination. CSDI programs in Tumaco, Narino
Department, are increasing Afro-Colombian representation in the
Colombian National Police (CNP) and enhancing capacity. ONDCP
Director Gil Kerlikowske visited CSDI programs in Tumaco. GOC
officials identify disappointing progress along border with
Venezuela. End Summary.

Diego Molano Named Head of Accion Social

----------------------------------------

2. (U) Diego Molano was sworn in as the Director General of Accion
Social on September 17 and filled what had been a political
leadership vacuum on the civilian side of the GOC's National
Consolidation Plan (PNC). His challenge will be to stimulate
lackluster participation from key GOC civilian ministries and the
justice sector while securing a concrete commitment of budget
allocations to be applied to PNC activities. Molano was the Deputy
Chief of Party for USAID's Additional Investment for Sustainable
Alternative Development (MIDAS) program since April 2008 and also
managed USAID's Ethnic Productive Territories (TEP) program.
Before joining USAID, he served as Director of Presidential
Programs at Accion Social from 2005 to 2008 and Coordinator for
Plan Colombia from 2003 to 2005. Molano studied in the United
States, receiving a master's degree in international affairs from
Columbia University. Embassy is encouraging Molano to visit
Washington at the earliest opportunity to reinforce his civilian
leadership role in PNC.

GOC Officially Abandons "Fusion Center" Name

--------------------------------------------

3. (U) CCAI officials met with CSDI officers September 9 and told
us that the GOC had officially changed the name of "Fusion Centers"
to "Regional Coordination Centers" (RCCs) in order to avoid the
former name's military connotation and possible association with
intelligence Qations.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Stockton

Visits Consolidation Efforts in La Macarena

-------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Stockton visited the
PCIM zone in Meta department on September 24 with Vice Minister of
Defense Sergio Jaramillo. ASD Stockton visited a Joint Task Force
(JTF) Omega base in La Macarena, town hall meetings in Pinalito and

Vista Hermosa, and the Vista Hermosa RCC. At the JTF base, the
Omega commander told ASD Stockton that the USG can best support
consolidation by continuing its security assistance in the same
form (citing intelligence, airlift and technical assistance) since
the zone is still in transition. Jaramillo added that the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been unable to
threaten community leaders and consolidation programs in the PCIM
because they have been cut off from their militia in the towns and
are under operational pressure from the JTF.

5. (U) In Pinalito, a hamlet of 1,500 beginning the consolidation
process, community members were developing an accord between the
central government and the community outlining each side's
responsibility in transitioning the community from coca to the
legal economy. Residents acknowledged "we made a big mistake" in
growing coca but insisted they had no alternative because the state
was not present. They described the transition as traumatic and
requested tertiary roads, schools, agricultural equipment and food
assistance. Despite the challenges, citizens expressed gratitude
for a safe community and their desire to reach legitimate
self-sufficiency. They thanked the USG for its assistance and
implored the delegation (both USG and GOC) not to abandon them.

Planning Process for Central Band

Highlights CSDI Coordination

---------------------------------

6. (U) CSDI is developing a plan for coordinated assistance to the
Central Band CSDI priority zone -- La Macarena in Meta west through
southern Tolima and Valle del Cauca to Buenaventura on the Pacific
coast. As a first step, the GOC is identifying key population
centers where targeted assistance would deliver the most
significant strategic gains and consolidation impact. These will
be prioritized by the CSDI working group and interagency teams will
travel to key locations to jointly assess current conditions and
requirements. The results of the design process will be used to
phase and coordinate future assistance from various USG entities.

CSDI Forms Steering Committee

-----------------------------

7. (U) The CSDI working group formed a steering committee to
provide strategic guidance and direction for CSDI activities. The
three primary members are the Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS)
Director, USAID Mission Director and Military Group Commander with
the Political Counselor acting as policy advisor.

Police Scholarship Program Boosts

Afro-Colombian Representation

---------------------------------

8. (U) In September a NAS police scholarship program (see reftel)
produced 56 Afro-Colombian police recruit candidates from Tumaco,
along with another 50 from other Pacific coast towns, providing a
significant boost in Afro-Colombian police recruits from previous
years. (Note: There were less than five police recruits from
Tumaco in 2008. End note.) The program is designed to increase
representation from and police links to underrepresented
populations. The new recruits are scheduled to enter CNP academies
in April 2010.

Enhancing Police Capacity in Tumaco

-----------------------------------

9. (U) The CNP Antinarcotics Police (DIRAN), with the support of
the NAS Jungla program, augmented DIRAN's long-term presence in
Tumaco. During September, DIRAN added 25 Junglas (CNP airmobile
commandos) and 20 intelligence and judicial officials, effectively
doubling DIRAN's presence there. The Junglas destroyed three HCL
cocaine labs and 15 coca base labs in the Tumaco operating area in
September.

10. (U) The NAS Carabineros program delivered six motorcycles and
computer equipment to the Tumaco municipal police in September. In
addition, $10,000 of communication equipment was procured and
scheduled for delivery in October. NAS Maritime supplied Coast
Guard units with eye protection equipment and Global Positioning
Systems to enhance operational capabilities. The Tumaco Coast
Guard station will also receive $6,000 in communications equipment
for interceptors.

ONDCP Director Visits Tumaco Priority Zone

------------------------------------------

11. (U) ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske visited Colombia from
September 27-30. Director Kerlikowske met with President Uribe,
the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Interior and Justice, and
the Director General of the National Police. He emphasized that
the Obama Administration's focus on prevention and treatment will
not decrease USG support to counternarcotics efforts in Colombia.
The Director also traveled to Tumaco in the CSDI Southern priority
zone and observed Embassy-supported alternative development and
police security assistance programs and a housing project for
internally displaced persons (septel).

GOC Consolidation Efforts Along Venezuelan Border Lagging

--------------------------------------------- ------------

12. (SBU) Bogota-based GOC officials responsible for the PNC met
with local civilian coordinators and military and police commanders
at Colombian Army Second Division Headquarters in Cucuta, Norte de
Santander Department, on September 23 to discuss consolidation
progress in the Arauca department and the Catatumbo region of Norte
de Santander department - both areas along the border with
Venezuela. The Bogota officials told local coordinators and
commanders that these two areas are not progressing against the
benchmarks set out for them and that the GOC is considering
elevating the importance of Arauca and Catatumbo -- currently
"complementary" and "secondary" zones respectively -- due to
deteriorating security indicators. Representatives from the
departmental governments pleaded for more social investment to
accompany substantial security advances saying that there is a
great risk of dashing some communities' post-eradication
expectations. Various officials noted that the judicial sector was
critical yet lagging.
NICHOLS

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