INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Tfha01: Colombia Coordinating Closely with Usg On Haiti

Published: Wed 20 Jan 2010 05:21 PM
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INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 000053
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON KPKO PREL PGOV CO HA
SUBJECT: TFHA01: COLOMBIA COORDINATING CLOSELY WITH USG ON HAITI
RELIEF
REF: STATE 4854; STATE 4909; BOGOTA 136
1. (SBU) Summary. The ChargC) thanked President Uribe for
Colombian disaster assistance to Haiti on January 19. Uribe
acknowledged the importance of aiding Haiti in the aftermath of the
earthquake and said that Colombia is sending Colombian National
Police (CNP) search and rescue teams, additional police through
MINUSTAH, and a deployable field medical detachment. President
Uribe publicly called for clarification regarding the
responsibilities of each country during the reconstruction effort.
Uribe stressed that the GOC will continue to coordinate fully with
U.S. authorities on assistance efforts. A Colombian Navy ship
departed on January 19, carrying 333 long tons of relief supplies.
An additional 1,200 tons of privately donated assistance via the
Colombian Red Cross will begin to depart for Haiti on January 21.
Colombian aircraft capable of airlifting supplies are on standby.
Colombian assets in Haiti will be under the Joint Task Force (JTF)
HQ for Unified Response tactical control (TACON) at GOC request.
USSOUTHCOM has approved the use of MILGRP support flights to
transport Colombian assistance to Haiti, using what would have been
the empty return leg of travel back to the U.S. with a capacity of
up to 120,000 pounds of cargo. End Summary.
CHARGC0 THANKS PRESIDENT FOR AID EFFORTS
----------------------------------------
2. (SBU) The ChargC) thanked Colombian President Alvaro Uribe
for Colombian disaster assistance to Haiti (per ref A) during a
meeting at the presidential palace on January 19. He added that
Colombia's assistance demonstrated its progress from aid recipient
to donor and regional partner. The ChargC) also complimented the
generosity of the Colombian people in providing private donations
to Haiti. Uribe acknowledged the importance of helping Haiti in
the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake. He reported
that Colombia is providing police through MINUSTAH, police search
and rescue teams (with dogs), and a deployable field medical
detachment. Uribe also said the Colombian Navy is sending a ship,
ARC Cartagena de Indias, loaded with approximately 333 tons of
humanitarian assistance supplies. (Note: The search and rescue
teams have yet to depart due to delays in obtaining landing slots
in Port au Prince. End Note.)
3. (SBU) Colombia mobilized military and police assistance
almost immediately after the earthquake occurred, including five
flights carrying 50 tons of humanitarian assistance. President
Uribe indicated that Colombia's military hospital would stay in
Haiti as long as it is needed and remain under the command and
control of the JTF Unified Response. The President added that
Colombian assistance has been and will continue to be coordinated
with the USG. The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior
and Justice are the key contacts for Colombian assistance efforts.
DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON REGISTERING AID WITH UN
---------------------------------------------
4. (U) We requested that the GOC register all government and
private sector assistance through the Financial Tracking System of
the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
per ref B. Ministry of Foreign Affairs North America Director
Adriana Maldonado said she would pass the information along to the
appropriate GOC authorities.
5. (SBU) Maldonado requested clarification regarding the
responsibilities of each country during the reconstruction efforts.
President Uribe publicly called for a coordination mechanism that
assigns specific tasks to each donor. He proposed replicating the
assistance effort used in Colombia's coffee region after an
earthquake in 1999.
BOGOTA 00000053 002 OF 002
COLOMBIAN MILITARY SENDS LOGISTICS SHIP WITH SUPPLIES
--------------------------------------------- --------
6. (U) The Colombian Navy ship, ARC Cartagena de Indias,
departed on January 19 for Haiti loaded with relief supplies (food,
medicine, cleaning supplies, blankets, mattresses, and coffins).
The Ministry of Interior and the Red Cross of Colombia coordinated
on the supplies aboard the vessel, which is carrying 333 long tons
of cargo, including 58,000 gallons of potable water, and 110,000
gallons of diesel. The ship -- which has a working water plant and
a helicopter deck -- is transporting 13 Colombian Red Cross
volunteers, including four doctors and four nurses. The ship is
expected to arrive in Haiti in just over two days.
COLOMBIAN RED CROSS MOBILIZING SUPPLIES AND CASH DONATIONS
--------------------------------------------- -------------
7. (U) Officials from the Colombian Red Cross report that
1,200 tons of humanitarian assistance, mostly food, is destined for
Haiti, departing approximately January 21. Additionally, the Red
Cross has received approximately $600,000 in cash donations from
Colombian donors. Private Colombian donations in kind and cash
continue to flow into the Colombian Red Cross.
MILGROUP COORDINATING LOGISTICS WITH MOD
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(SBU) MILGROUP is facilitating Colombian aid efforts in several
ways. It is coordinating Colombian humanitarian assistance efforts
with USSOUTHCOM and the Joint Task Force (JTF) HQ for Unified
Response. This includes the deployment of a Colombian Military
field medical detachment, the embarkation of the Colombian
logistics ship, and assistance in coordinating the entry of
Colombian aircraft at the airport in Port au Prince. The MILGROUP
has also facilitated the authorization of U.S. Air Force cargo
planes, which regularly fly into Colombia, to carry Colombian
personnel and cargo to Haiti. These planes can carry up to 120,000
pounds of cargo.
NICHOLS
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