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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA4750, ESTIMATES ON REGROUPING OF DEMOBILIZED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA4750 2006-05-30 19:07 2011-03-04 16:04 SECRET Embassy Bogota
Appears in these articles:
http://www.elespectador.com/wikileaks
VZCZCXYZ0011
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #4750/01 1501902
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 301902Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5368
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6838
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 7765
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY LIMA 3820
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 9179
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4463
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3568
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
S E C R E T BOGOTA 004750 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/30/2025 
TAGS: KJUS PGOV PREL PTER CO
SUBJECT: ESTIMATES ON REGROUPING OF DEMOBILIZED 
PARAMILITARIES, GOC STRATEGY 
 
REF: BOGOTA 4645 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood. 
Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (S) Estimates of the collectively demobilized 
paramilitaries (30,902 to date) that have regrouped into 
criminal organizations range from 2 to 4 percent.  According 
to Colombian National Police Intelligence (DIPOL) analysts 
and the Military's Joint Intelligence Center, 21 new criminal 
groups have formed.  Sergio Caramagna, Director of the 
Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS), 
warned that the numbers could increase significantly if 
national and local governments fail to offer adequate 
security, reinsertion programs, and basic services.  In an 
effort to improve security, 5,000 police officers are being 
trained to be sent to 53 of the 120 administrative regions 
the GOC and the MAPP/OAS have identified as critical. 
Caramagna would like the Mission to increase its verification 
efforts and assist high-risk communities with tailored 
reinsertion programs, and requested USG support for these 
efforts.  Caramagna and DIPOL analysts agreed that the 
Constitutional Court's May 18 decision to uphold most of the 
provisions of the controversial Justice and Peace Law were 
positive in the short-term, but not necessarily good for 
future peace processes with the remaining illegal actors. 
End summary. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
RELATIVELY FEW DEMOBILIZED PARAMILITARIES 
REGROUP AS CRIMINAL GANGS 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Caramagna told poloff on May 19 that press reports 
estimating over 4,000 demobilized paramilitaries returning to 
criminal activity were inflated.  In his view, less than 2 
percent of the 30,140 collectively demobilized combatants 
have returned to crime. Caramagna warned, however, this 
number could increase if the national and local governments 
fail to offer adequate security, reinsertion programs, and 
basic services, such as education and health to these 
individuals. (The majority of demobilized combatants are men 
under 30 years of age with limited education.) 
 
3.  (S) DIPOL analysts believe 4 percent have regrouped. 
According to DIPOL analysts and the Military's Joint 
Intelligence Center, 21 new criminal groups have formed.  Of 
these, DIPOL identified 10 structures through intelligence 
means, such as signal intercepts, and the remaining 11 
through other evidence.  On average, each group is composed 
of 50 members and not all the members are demobilized 
paramilitaries.  Each group has a mix of former combatants, 
paramilitaries who never demobilized, narcotraffickers, and 
other criminals. 
 
4.  (C) DIPOL analysts said these new groups cannot be 
categorized as re-emerging paramilitary groups, but rather 
are criminal organizations primarily interested in 
narcotrafficking and other illegal activities.  DIPOL 
analysts disagreed with some aspects of the MAPP/OAS Sixth 
Quarterly Report, such as the sources and methods the OAS 
used to gather its information.  They did not say that the 
information was inaccurate, but rather that it was mainly 
obtained through individual testimonies rather than "hard 
evidence." 
 
5.  (C) In DIPOL's field experience, information obtained 
primarily by individual testimonies can be tainted because it 
 
is associated with "paramilitary phantoms and legends" in the 
regions.  This does not mean that remnants of paramilitary 
structures do not exist or that new groups use their 
"paramilitary masks" to create fear, among the people, but 
all intelligence indicates the main paramilitary groups and 
 
leaders are tired of living in hiding and many have seen the 
peace process as an opportunity to legalize their situation. 
The individuals that DIPOL analysts have found leading these 
new groups are mainly "third-tier" or "third-generation" 
paramilitaries, with the exception of two groups that are led 
by former mid-level paramilitary leaders.  The "third-tier" 
were never interested in the peace process and were fully 
engaged in narcotrafficking, according to DIPOL. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
GOC'S STRATEGY AGAINST THE EMERGING GROUPS, REINSERTION 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
6.  (C) According to DIPOL analysts, the GOC created in March 
an interagency group called "Intelligence for Peace," 
composed of representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the 
Peace Commissioner's Office, Administrative Security 
Department (DAS, FBI equivalent), Army, Navy, and Police 
intelligence, to coordinate GOC efforts on the reemergence of 
new groups and encourage further desertions from illegal 
armed groups.  Since its initiation, three operations have 
taken place against newly identified groups.  The most recent 
operation was held in Narino Department and police detained 
three key individuals. 
 
7.  (C) With the help of MAPP/OAS, the Intelligence for Peace 
Group has identified 120 administrative regions or 
"corregimientos" of high risk that need immediate attention. 
DIPOL analysts explained that these "corregimientos" are 
located in zones "intersected by the conflict" or areas where 
the different illegal armed groups are present and where key 
routes or economic interests are found.  Not surprisingly, 
these "corregimientos" are located primarily in the 
Departments where the majority of demobilized paramilitaries 
are located.  According to a study done by the Organization 
for International Migration Mission in Colombia, 70 percent 
of these former combatants live in five Departments: 
Antioquia (32 percent), Cordoba (14 percent), Cesar (10.5 
percent), Magdalena (8.6 percent), and Santander (4.8 
percent). Other Departments that require attention are Choco, 
Narino, North Santander, Sucre, Valle and North Valle. 
 
8.  (C) Caramagna noted that the National Police has been 
more engaged compared to the military in trying to promote 
security.  For example, 5,000 police officers are being 
trained to be sent to 53 of the 120 "corregimientos" 
identified (DIPOL analysts noted that in 24 of the 53 
"corregimientos" police presence has recently been 
increased).  Moreover, the police plan to offer jobs and 
training to 3,700 demobilized paramilitaries as unarmed 
traffic auxiliaries.  In contrast, Caramagna saw the military 
divided between those who support the efforts to provide 
security and those less willing, as they see the 
demobilization of the paramilitaries as favoring the FARC. 
There is a consensus between MAPP/OAS and the Intelligence 
for Peace Group that in addition to creating new police 
posts, there needs to be an integral effort from various 
government entities to increase their presence and assistance 
to these communities.  Tierradentro, Cordoba Department will 
be used as a model for this new interagency effort. 
 
9.  (C) Though the Medellin Reinsertion Program is always 
cited as an example, Caramagna argued that it is not great, 
but it is "the least the government should do" around the 
country.  He thought that the government should develop a 
clear strategy to conduct a "territorial follow up" on 
demobilized paramilitaries.  Moreover, to increase the 
relevance and importance on reinsertion, the GOC should name 
a High Commissioner for Reinsertion.  Caramagna said the 
government is considering naming a High Commissioner or 
creating a Ministry to deal with this effort.  The name of 
Gustavo Villegas, formerly in charge of the reinsertion 
program in Medellin, is floating around (although Villegas 
told the DCM he plans to accept another job within the 
administration of Sergio Fajardo, Medellin Mayor, and is not 
prepared to work as the High Commissioner for Reinsertion.) 
 
------------------------------------ 
EVALUATING MAPP/OAS MISSION CAPACITY 
------------------------------------ 
 
10.  (C) Caramagna highlighted the increased support to the 
Mission from member states and observer countries, which has 
permitted the hiring of personnel in recent months. 
Twenty-two officers have been designated by members states as 
their contribution, all of whom are international experts 
with experience in reinsertion and conflict resolution.  Even 
though the OAS said in its Sixth Quarterly Report that the 
Mission would achieve its goal of having 10 regional offices 
and more than 100 officers by mid-year, Caramagna has decided 
to increase OAS personnel in the already established offices 
instead, until he is able to hire more people (MAPP/OAS 
currently has a total of 80 people, 56 in the field and a 
total of six regional offices.)  With Spain's recent offer of 
USD 1 million and the USG contribution of USD 1.5 million 
just recently approved, this could enable the OAS to open 
other offices later in the year. 
 
11.  (C) In addition to its verification role in the peace 
process, Caramagna requested USG support for the Mission to 
further assist high risk communities with reinsertion 
programs.  He argued that the Mission,s access to these 
communities and the confidence that the people have in its 
representatives, puts it in a unique position to help. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
READ-OUT ON IMPACT OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT'S DECISION 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
12.  (C) Caramagna and DIPOL analysts agreed that the 
Constitutional Court's May 18 decision to uphold most of the 
provisions of the Justice and Peace Law (septel) was positive 
in the short-term, but not necessarily good for future peace 
processes with the remaining illegal actors.  Problems could 
arise with the remaining three paramilitary groups that are 
scheduled to demobilize after the presidential election on 
May 28--Elmer Cardenas Bloc, Cacique Pipinta, and Martin 
Llanos Bloc--and future peace processes with the ELN and the 
FARC. 
 
13.  (C) Now that the Constitutional Court has upheld the 
Justice and Peace Law, DIPOL analysts plan to continue to 
assist the Prosecutor's Office Justice and Peace Unit.  Since 
the creation of the Intelligence for Peace Group, in the last 
three months, DIPOL analysts knowledgeable about the various 
demobilized paramilitary groups and leaders have been 
training prosecutors and investigators on the history and 
activities of each group. 
 
------------------------------------- 
FOLLOW UP ON CURUMANI, CESAR MASSACRE 
------------------------------------- 
 
14.  (C) Caramagna noted that the Mission continues to follow 
closely a massacre that occurred in Curumani, Cesar 
Department, perpetrated by the AUC's North Bloc in December 
2005.  (This massacre was referenced in the OAS Mission's 
Sixth Quarterly Report.)  One minor who remained missing 
(16-year-old Jesus Emiro Manzano) was found recently and he 
and his family are in the GOC's protection program.  Mission 
staff talked to him; he vividly recalled the paramilitary 
incursion and the killing of his father and cousin, among 
others.  Manzano reported that the AUC first tortured and 
then shot people.  He explained that several town members 
were accused by the paramilitaries of being ELN sympathizers, 
which he said was untrue and was used as an excuse.  The true 
motivation, according to Manzano, was competition between an 
AUC informant and Manzano's cousin for the affection of one 
of the town's girls.  He explained, however, that the ELN has 
always had some type of presence in the area, but in the 
recent years has been weakening.  Caramagna said that the 
Mission has found these collusions/massacres to be generally 
motivated by personal vengeance or disputes over economic 
interests. 
 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
15.  (C) Because of the illegal nature of the activity, the 
actual number of demobilized, who are now entering "new" 
illegal gangs or remobilizing in their old blocs, is 
difficult to ascertain.  The OAS Mission is one of the few 
neutral observers in a position to assess the dimensions of 
the problem, but their estimates may also be optimistic. 
Given the general coincidence of the OAS and DIPOL, however, 
it is probably fair to say the problem so far is less than 
feared.  But it is early in a complex and novel process for 
anyone to say with authority how much "remobilization" will 
take place.  End comment. 
WOOD