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Cablegate: Update On Farc "Execution" Graveyard

P 291438Z MAY 91
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5609
INFO DEPTJUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC
DEA WASHDC
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PM
USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA
CDR4THPSYOPG FT BRAGG NC//AORC-POG-F//

id: 455
date: 5/29/1991 14:38
refid: 91BOGOTA8074
origin: Embassy Bogota
classification: SECRET
destination: 91BOGOTA5253
header:
P 291438Z MAY 91
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5609
INFO DEPTJUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC
DEA WASHDC
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PM
USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA
CDR4THPSYOPG FT BRAGG NC//AORC-POG-F//


----------------- header ends ----------------

S E C R E T BOGOTA 08074


JUSTICE ALSO FOR ICITAP
DEA FOR AX, AD, AO, DO, OF, OC, OIOA
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
CINCLANT ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: PHUM PTER PINS CO
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON FARC "EXECUTION" GRAVEYARD

REF: BOGOTA 5253

1. CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT.

2. DURING A MAY 20 CONVERSATION WITH CHARGE AND POLOFF,
PRESIDENTIAL HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISOR JORGE ORLANDO MELO
DISCUSSED THE FARC GRAVEYARD UNCOVERED BY THE ARMY IN LA
URIBE, META DEPARTMENT EARLIER THIS YEAR (REFTEL). MELO
SAID HIS INFORMATION WAS NOT FIRST-HAND AND THAT HE DOES
NOT HAVE ACCESS TO INVESTIGATIVE FILES ON THE CASE
WHICH, UNDER COLOMBIAN LAW, ARE SECRET. HE HAS,
HOWEVER, HEARD THAT A TOTAL OF ABOUT SIXTY BODIES WERE
FOUND IN THE AREA, WHICH IS IN THE VICINITY OF THE
FARC'S FORMER "CASA VERDE" HEADQUARTERS. SOME OF THOSE
BURIED MAY HAVE DIED NATURAL DEATHS OR FROM COMBAT
WOUNDS, WHILE SOME 25 WERE SAID TO HAVE DIED OF AN
EXECUTION STYLE BULLET TO THE HEAD.

3. INITIAL PRESS REPORTS HAD SUGGESTED THERE MIGHT BE
UP TO THREE HUNDRED BODIES AND IMPLIED THE MAJORITY HAD
BEEN EXECUTED. MELO SAID DEFENSE MINSTER BOTERO HAD
PRIVATELY TOLD HIM THAT THE PRESS EXAGGERATED THE
STORY. MELO, HOWEVER, SEEMS TO THINK THE MILITARY WAS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIAL INFLATED ACCOUNTS.

4. COMMENT: SINCE THE INITIAL SPURT OF PUBLICITY THE
FARC GRAVEYARD STORY HAS DISAPPEARED FROM THE PRESS.
PROCURADURIA AND PRIVATE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP SOURCES HAVE
BEEN UNABLE TO PROVIDE US WITH ANY INFORMATION ON THE
CASE. THE REPORT OF SOME 25 EXECUTIONS, IF ACCURATE,
WOULD BE DAMNING EVIDENCE OF THE FARC'S ATROCIOUS HUMAN
RIGHTS RECORD. THE PROPAGANDA VALUE OF THIS FIND,
HOWEVER, HAS BEEN GREATLY REDUCED BY THE ARMY'S
APPARENTLY EXAGGERATED INITIAL CLAIMS.

HOBBS

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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