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Cablegate: Tfha01: Colombia Coordinating Closely with Usg On Haiti

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OO RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
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FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2086
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 000055

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PREL PGOV MARR KPKO AEMR CO HA
SUBJECT: TFHA01: COLOMBIA COORDINATING CLOSELY WITH USG ON HAITI
RELIEF

1. (SBU) Summary. The ChargC) thanked President Uribe
for Colombian disaster assistance to Haiti on January 19. Uribe
acknowledged the importance of aiding Haiti in the aftermath of the
earthquake and said that Colombia is sending Colombian National
Police (CNP) search and rescue teams, additional police through
MINUSTAH, and a deployable field medical detachment. President
Uribe publicly called for clarification regarding the
responsibilities of each country during the reconstruction effort.
Uribe stressed that the GOC will continue to coordinate fully with
U.S. authorities on assistance efforts. A Colombian Navy ship
departed on January 19, carrying 333 long tons of relief supplies.
An additional 1,200 tons of privately donated assistance via the
Colombian Red Cross will begin to depart for Haiti on January 21.
Colombian aircraft capable of airlifting supplies are on standby.
Colombian assets in Haiti will be under the Joint Task Force (JTF)
HQ for Unified Response tactical control (TACON) at GOC request.
USSOUTHCOM has approved the use of MILGRP support flights to
transport Colombian assistance to Haiti, using what would have been
the empty return leg of travel back to the U.S. with a capacity of
up to 120,000 pounds of cargo. End Summary.

CHARGC0 THANKS PRESIDENT FOR AID EFFORTS

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2. (SBU) The ChargC) thanked Colombian President Alvaro
Uribe for Colombian disaster assistance to Haiti (per ref A) during
a meeting at the presidential palace on January 19. He added that
Colombia's assistance demonstrated its progress from aid recipient
to donor and regional partner. The ChargC) also complimented the
generosity of the Colombian people in providing private donations
to Haiti. Uribe acknowledged the importance of helping Haiti in
the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake. He reported
that Colombia is providing police through MINUSTAH, police search
and rescue teams (with dogs), and a deployable field medical
detachment. Uribe also said the Colombian Navy is sending a ship,
ARC Cartagena de Indias, loaded with approximately 333 tons of
humanitarian assistance supplies. (Note: The search and rescue
teams have yet to depart due to delays in obtaining landing slots
in Port au Prince. End Note.)

3. (SBU) Colombia mobilized military and police
assistance almost immediately after the earthquake occurred,
including five flights carrying 50 tons of humanitarian assistance.
President Uribe indicated that Colombia's military hospital would
stay in Haiti as long as it is needed and remain under the command
and control of the JTF Unified Response. The President added that
Colombian assistance has been and will continue to be coordinated
with the USG. The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior
and Justice are the key contacts for Colombian assistance efforts.


DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON REGISTERING AID WITH UN

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4. (U) We requested that the GOC register all government
and private sector assistance through the Financial Tracking System
of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) per ref B. Ministry of Foreign Affairs North America
Director Adriana Maldonado said she would pass the information
along to the appropriate GOC authorities.

5. (SBU) Maldonado requested clarification regarding
the responsibilities of each country during the reconstruction
efforts. President Uribe publicly called for a coordination
mechanism that assigns specific tasks to each donor. He proposed
replicating the assistance effort used in Colombia's coffee region
after an earthquake in 1999.

COLOMBIAN MILITARY SENDS LOGISTICS SHIP WITH SUPPLIES

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--------

BOGOTA 00000055 002 OF 002


6. (U) The Colombian Navy ship, ARC Cartagena de Indias,
departed on January 19 for Haiti loaded with relief supplies (food,
medicine, cleaning supplies, blankets, mattresses, and coffins).
The Ministry of Interior and the Red Cross of Colombia coordinated
on the supplies aboard the vessel, which is carrying 333 long tons
of cargo, including 58,000 gallons of potable water, and 110,000
gallons of diesel. The ship -- which has a working water plant and
a helicopter deck -- is transporting 13 Colombian Red Cross
volunteers, including four doctors and four nurses. The ship is
expected to arrive in Haiti in just over two days.

COLOMBIAN RED CROSS MOBILIZING SUPPLIES AND CASH DONATIONS

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

7. (U) Officials from the Colombian Red Cross report
that 1,200 tons of humanitarian assistance, mostly food, is
destined for Haiti, departing approximately January 21.
Additionally, the Red Cross has received approximately $600,000 in
cash donations from Colombian donors. Private Colombian donations
in kind and cash continue to flow into the Colombian Red Cross.

MILGROUP COORDINATING LOGISTICS WITH MOD

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

8. (SBU) MILGROUP is facilitating Colombian aid efforts
in several ways. It is coordinating Colombian humanitarian
assistance efforts with USSOUTHCOM and the Joint Task Force (JTF)
HQ for Unified Response. This includes the deployment of a
Colombian Military field medical detachment, the embarkation of the
Colombian logistics ship, and assistance in coordinating the entry
of Colombian aircraft at the airport in Port au Prince. The
MILGROUP has also facilitated the authorization of U.S. Air Force
cargo planes, which regularly fly into Colombia, to carry Colombian
personnel and cargo to Haiti. These planes can carry up to 120,000
pounds of cargo.
NICHOLS

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