Cablegate: Auc Demobilization On a Shoestring

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2004 10:49 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
1. (U) The GOC has begun demobilization of the 3,000-4,000
United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) by the end of
2004. According to OAS mission chief Sergio Caramagna and
staff, they are being forced to improvise and go without key
supplies, including tables, phones, and bathrooms. End
Scrambling to Keep Up the Pace
2. (U) On December 1, OAS mission chief Caramagna and his
deputy described the demobilization of the Bananero Bloc in
Turbo on November 25 (reftel).
3. (U) The reinsertion center did not have tables, enough
computers, or even a working bathroom on the morning of the
29th when 40 former paramilitaries reported at 8:00 a.m. as
scheduled. OAS and GOC personnel were forced to borrow
plastic tables from the neighborhood and make do with the few
computers they had available. They managed to open the
center on time, and as of December 1, had successfully
processed 220 former paramilitaries. Each has been
interviewed by the Prosecutor General's Office ("Fiscalia")
and Department of Administrative Security (DAS, rough FBI
equivalent), issued a special identification card from the
Registrar's Office, had dental identification records taken,
enrolled in reinsertion programs, and met with the OAS. In
order to issue provisional reinsertion identification cards
to all 452 Bananero Bloc paramilitaries, one official from
the Peace Commissioner's Office slept only two hours a night
for three days until the cards were complete. He had no
assistance and was forced to borrow a closet in the back of a
local pharmacy in Turbo for his office space and use slow,
antiquated printers. Caramanga expressed doubt if the GOC
could manage to issue 1,500 when the Catatumbo Bloc
demobilizes later this month.
Insufficient Funding
4. (U) Through USAID, the U.S. has given the OAS mission
approximately USD 850,000. This funding will run out in
January. Other donors are:
- Sweden: technical assistance, including an in-country
adviser and several vehicles.
- Bahamas: USD 5,000
- Holland: has agreed to donate 800,000 Euros which should be
available soon.
5. (U) These limited resources do not cover the mission's
needs. For example, the mission has only four satellite
phones (cellular phones do not work in most of the areas
where the demobilizations occur). The GOC has four
reinsertion centers and plans to open eight more by the end
of the year. All of these centers will have to be staffed
with at least two OAS officials each, in addition to the six
offices the OAS already has nationwide. Caramagna has been
reaching out to the diplomatic corps in Bogota, and will
travel to Washington on December 8 to plead for more
resources from OAS member countries.
6. (U) The Peace Commissioner's Office has similarly tight
resources. Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo has told
us that his budget will cover the demobilization of 3,000
paramilitaries in 2004 but funding for 2005 is unclear. The
GOC estimates it faces a deficit of about USD 130 million to
demobilize the entire AUC, not including OAS verification and
some parts of the government reinsertion program.
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