Cablegate: Bogota Mini Dublin Group Meeting

Published: Mon 17 May 2004 11:08 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Bogota Mini Dublin Group Meeting
1. (SBU) Summary: The Bogota Mini Dublin Group held a biannual
meeting on May 11 to discuss the ten recommendations for Colombia
agreed upon in November, 2003. This session acknowledged the USG's
leadership in counter-narcotics cooperation with the GOC. Several
examples of bilateral programs were reviewed by other group
members, including a presentation of United Nations Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC) programs that highlighted several
important points of divergence between that group's objectives and
those of the USG. End summary.
2. (U) The Bogota Mini Dublin Group convened May 11 with the
participation of Embassy's Political and Narcotics Affairs
Sections, the UNODC, and representatives of the embassies of Spain
(current Mini Dublin chair), UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan,
and Canada. On the agenda was discussion of the ten
recommendations from the previous Central Dublin Group meeting at
the end of 2003.
3. (SBU) The ten recommendations discussed were:
-- to continue to maintain incentives for alternative products and
market access through generalized trade preferences and similar
-- to encourage the GOC to continue voluntary crop eradication
programs by increasing the presence of the state via social
programs to facilitate development;
-- to increase control of terrestrial and fluvial trafficking
routes to neighboring countries, particularly towards the
Venezuelan border;
-- to increase passenger and baggage control in airports;
-- to study the creation of an airport control system for cargo
freight similar to the port security program already in place;
-- to facilitate the development of monitored/controlled delivery
and undercover agents;
-- to increase coordination between the GOC interagency community
involved in anti-narcotics programs;
-- to increase the presence of GOC counter-narcotics attaches in
drug consuming countries;
-- to encourage Colombian cooperation with neighboring countries,
especially Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador;
-- to reduce demand and consumption in Colombia as well as the
production and trafficking of illegal narcotics;
4. (SBU) Despite agreement on the importance of the above action
recommendations, participating members had few contributions to
offer in terms of practical programs either underway or planned.
Discussion of ongoing programs and activities was led by Embassy
5. (SBU) By way of underscoring policy disagreement with the
USG's priorities, UNODC explained that it does not agree with the
GOC (and the US Country Team) that manual, voluntary eradication
should be a prerequisite to attaining alternative development
assistance. The UNODC also explained its philosophy that
alternative development, rather than law enforcement, should be
the first response in many areas where illicit crops are grown.
6. (SBU) The UNODC also noted that it was actively inviting GOC
agencies to participate in its Integrated System for the
Monitoring of Illicit Crops (SIMCI), ostensibly to promote
interagency input and analysis. However, GOC participation appears
to be composed entirely of GOC entities that are outspoken
opponents of aerial eradication (Ministry of Environment, National
Parks, etc.). The influence of these groups may help explain
SIMCI's insistence that illicit crop cultivation in national parks
and indigenous reserves declined substantially in 2003, despite
the absence of spraying, significant law enforcement dete
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