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Cablegate: Colombia's Contribution to Un Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

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DE RUEHBO #0225 0422152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 112152Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2750
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0046
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 000225

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MCAP MARR SNAR ASEC EFIN KJUS KPKO HA CO
SUBJECT: COLOMBIA'S CONTRIBUTION TO UN PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN HAITI
(MINUSTAH)

REF: STATE 12558

1. (SBU) Per reftel, Emboffs spoke on February 11 with officials at
the Colombian Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA). These Government of Colombia (GOC) officials
confirmed that there are currently 26 Colombian police officers in
Haiti as part of MINUSTAH. The Colombian police contingent, led by
Lt. Colonel Santiago Camelo, is specialized in anti-kidnapping and
anti-narcotics.

2. (SBU) Immediately prior to the January 12 Haiti earthquake, the
GOC intended to send an additional eight police officers
specialized in border patrol and protection, but the deployment was
put on hold following the earthquake. MOD officials told us that
the U.N. had previously approved travel for these eight police
officers, and they are currently expected to deploy within the next
three to four weeks. Since arrivals into Port-au-Prince are
complicated, the GOC plans to send the eight officers on a
commercial flight through Santo Domingo. The Colombian Ambassador
to the Dominican Republic is retired General Mario Montoya, who is
dually-accredited to Haiti. Colombia does not have an Embassy in
Haiti.

3. (SBU) MOD officials noted that all Colombian police officers
participating in MINUSTAH arrive with the necessary training and
equipment for their deployment, and are proficient in English (only
one of the officers speaks French and none speaks Creole). The
Colombian officers are expected to deploy initially for 12 months,
but MOD officials indicated that the GOC may be willing to extend
their tours to a total of two years if possible. The GOC expects
to send additional officers to replace those whose tours expire.
MOD officials also indicated that the GOC is interested in
participating in longer-term efforts to rehabilitate the Haitian
police force, based on a GOC report dated November 2009.

4. (SBU) GOC officials told us that Ambassador Claudia Blum Capurro
de Barberi, the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United
Nations, has been coordinating the GOC's MINUSTAH participation
with UNDPKO.

5. (U) Minimize considered.
BROWNFIELD

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