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Viewing cable 06BOGOTA10960, PRESIDENT URIBE'S NOVEMBER 30 MEETING WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BOGOTA10960 2006-12-01 23:11 2011-02-20 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0960/01 3352310
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 012310Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 7294
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE 8486
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC 8399
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA IMMEDIATE 4532
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO IMMEDIATE 0354
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO IMMEDIATE 5190
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE IMMEDIATE 4262
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO IMMEDIATE 2213
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 1412
RUEHBO/USMILGP BOGOTA CO IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 010960 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/01/2016 
TAGS: MARR PGOV PREL PTER CO EC
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT URIBE'S NOVEMBER 30 MEETING WITH 
AMBASSADOR WOOD 
 
BOGOTA 00010960  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: President Uribe told the Ambassador November 
30 that he strongly supported judicial investigations of 
paramilitary-political ties, and was committed to defending 
Colombia,s institutions.  He voiced concern about the 
possible involvement of paramilitary leaders detained in La 
Ceja in on-going criminal activities, and asked the U.S to 
expedite any extradition requests to enhance his leverage on 
them.  He said the GOC was increasing its military efforts 
against new narcotraffickers, as well as the FARC, and 
reiterated his request for precision-guided munitions.  He 
said Colombia would resume spraying illegal coca on the 
Ecuadorian border after consulting with Ecuadorian President 
Palacios, and showed interest in proposing a political reform 
package aimed at introducing greater transparency and 
accountability in the Colombian Congress. End Summary 
 
Paramilitary-Political Scandal 
------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) Uribe said the current paramilitary-political scandal 
was the result of his democratic security policy and the 
paramilitary peace process.  He strongly supported the 
Supreme Court's and the National Prosecutor's (Fiscal) 
investigation of paramilitary-congressional ties.  Uribe said 
he had told Fiscal Mario Iguaran that he should vigorously 
pursue all leads and should prosecute any public official 
involved in paramilitary crimes.  He stressed that the 
investigations reflected the strength of Colombia's public 
institutions. Uribe rejected opposition calls to close the 
Congress (the opposition has since withdrawn the idea). 
 
3. (C) Uribe contrasted his record in prosecuting the 
paramilitaries with that of his predecessors.  He said 
previous Colombian governments had been &too indulgent8 
with terrorist groups, and noted that former President Cesar 
Gaviria and former Defense Minister Rafael Pardo*both of 
whom have sharply criticized Uribe,s handling of the 
paramilitary process*did little to halt the growth of these 
groups while in office.  Uribe added that many current 
legislators had never revealed their roles in crimes 
committed by the leftwing terrorist group M-19 and other 
criminal organizations. 
 
Paramilitaries in La Ceja 
------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Uribe voiced concern that paramilitary leaders 
detained in La Ceja were continuing their criminal 
activities.  Uribe said he had publicly announced earlier in 
the day that if the GOC determined that the La Ceja detainees 
had ordered the murders, he would remove their Justice and 
Peace Law benefits, transfer them to maximum security 
prisons, and approve their extraditions.  Uribe said the La 
Ceja paramilitaries had responded by asking that Peace 
Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo meet with them.  He had 
ordered Restrepo not to do so. 
 
5. (C) Uribe asked the Ambassador to expedite any extradition 
requests the U.S. might have against paramilitary leaders in 
La Ceja.  This would give him another tool to pressure the 
paramilitaries to meet their peace process obligations; it 
would also enable the GOC to move quickly to extradite those 
who did not comply.  Uribe also requested any information 
that the U.S. had regarding the La Ceja paramilitaries, 
involvement in the recent Medellin murders or other criminal 
activities. 
 
FARC and Narcotraffickers 
------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Uribe said he had ordered the military to step up 
efforts to capture Daniel &El Loco8 Barrera, a major buyer 
of coca from the FARC who operates in Meta, as well as other 
key narcotraffickers.  He said the GOC continued its 
counternarcotics efforts, but noted the narcotraffickers and 
 
BOGOTA 00010960  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
the FARC still have substantial economic resources.  Uribe 
asked the Ambassador for his assessment of the economic 
situation of the FARC and other narcotraffickers. 
 
7. (C) The Ambassador said GOC and U.S. counternarcotics 
efforts were paying off.  The U.S. would spray 160,000 
hectares of illegal coca in 2006; Colombia had already 
manually eradicated an additional 40,000 hectares.  The 
200,000 total hectares eradicated in 2006 would be a new 
record.  The Ambassador also praised the Colombia National 
Police and Armed Forces for their excellent work in combating 
poppy cultivation. 
 
Precision Guided Munitions 
-------------------------- 
 
8. (C) Uribe reiterated the GOC,s request for precision 
guided munitions, saying this would be key in fighting the 
FARC.  The Ambassador said we had provided the GOC with a 
limited number of such weapons, but were working to obtain 
more. 
 
Ecuador and Coca Spraying on the Border 
--------------------------------------- 
 
9. (C) Uribe voiced concern about Rafael Correa,s victory in 
the second round of Ecuador,s presidential elections, but 
said he had already invited him to visit Bogota.  He conceded 
the GOC,s decision to suspend spraying of illegal coca along 
the Ecuadorian border had been a mistake*noting it had led 
to massive planting in the protected area while gaining 
Colombia no political points in Ecuador.  He said his Foreign 
Minister would provide him with a report on December 4 on the 
implications of resuming spraying; he would then call 
Ecuadorian President Palacios to inform him that the GOC 
would restart fumigation in the area. 
 
Andean Trade Preferences Act 
---------------------------- 
 
10. (C) Uribe said he had spoken with of Speaker of the House 
Hastert on November 29 and urged him to support ATPA 
extension. He had also tried to contact Senator Grassley. 
The Ambassador reiterated our support for extension, and said 
the Administration was working on this.1. (C) Summary: 
President Uribe told the Ambassador November 30 that he 
strongly supported judicial investigations of 
paramilitary-political ties, and was committed to defending 
Colombia,s institutions.  He voiced concern about the 
possible involvement of paramilitary leaders detained in La 
Ceja in on-going criminal activities, and asked the U.S to 
expedite any extradition requests to enhance his leverage on 
them.  He said the GOC was increasing its military efforts 
against new narcotraffickers, as well as the FARC, and 
reiterated his request for precision-guided munitions.  He 
said Colombia would resume spraying illegal coca on the 
Ecuadorian border after consulting with Ecuadorian President 
Palacios, and showed interest in proposing a political reform 
package aimed at introducing greater transparency and 
accountability in the Colombian Congress. End Summary 
 
WOOD 

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