US embassy cable - 86BOGOTA5231

CONTINUED FARC EXTORTION

Identifier: 86BOGOTA5231
Wikileaks: View 86BOGOTA5231 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Bogota
Created: 1986-04-11 23:07:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PINS PTER CO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 112307Z APR 86
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7488
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
AMEMBASSY QUITO
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PN
C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 05231 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PINS, PTER, CO 
SUBJECT: CONTINUED FARC EXTORTION 
 
REF: BOGOTA 5157 
 
1. (U) THE COLOMBIAN REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES (FARC) 
CONTINUE TO EMPLOY EXTORTION AS A SOURCE OF INCOME. 
ACCORDING TO AN APRIL 11 STORY IN BOGOTA DAILY "EL 
SIGLO," GUILLERMO OCAMPO OSPINA, FORMER CONSERVATIVE 
GOVERNOR OF CALDAS DEPARTMENT, DECLARED THAT HE WAS A 
RENEWED VICTIM OF THE FARC BEFORE THE MARCH 9 
CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION.  HIS FIRST ENCOUNTER OCCURRED A 
YEAR AGO WHEN HE HAD TO RANSOM HIS KIDNAPPED BROTHER 
FROM THE FARC. 
 
2. (U) THE FARC, WHO ACCOSTED OCAMPO IN EASTERN CALDAS, 
REPORTEDLY DEMANDED FROM HIM MONTHLY PAYMENTS OF 500,000 
PESOS (2,732 DOLLARS).  OCAMPO QUESTIONED WHY THE 
GUERRILLAS WERE EMPLOYING EXTORTION WHEN THEY WERE 
PARTIES TO THE PEACE PROCESS THROUGH THE UNION 
PATRIOTICA (UP).  THE FARC MEMBERS RESPONDED THE UP WAS 
A POLITICAL FRONT THAT HAD NO INFLUENCE ON GUERRILLA 
CONDUCT.  OCAMPO SUBSEQUENTLY SPOKE WITH ALBERTO ROJAS 
PUYO, COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBER OF THE PEACE COMMISSION, 
WITH NO APPARENT RESULT, AND ATTEMPTED WITHOUT SUCCESS 
TO CONTACT BRAULIO HERRERA, THE FARC MEMBER OF THE PEACE 
COMMISSION. 
 
3. (C) COMMENT: THIS INCIDENT ILLUSTRATES THE 
AMBIGUITIES OF THE COLOMBIAN PEACE PROCESS WHICH FAVOR 
SUCH ACTIONS BY THE FARC.  THE FARC CAN EITHER ATTRIBUTE 
THE EXTORTION TO ANOTHER GUERRILLA GROUP OR ALLEGEDLY 
DISCIPLINE ITS DISOBEDIENT UNIT.  IN EITHER 
CIRCUMSTANCE, THE FARC CAN BOLSTER ITS IMAGE, AND THAT 
OF THE UP, AS FAITHFUL ADHERENTS TO THE PEACE PROCESS. 
AS IN ITS UPCOMING DEALINGS WITH THE PEACE COMMISSION 
(SEE REFTEL), THE FARC CAN CULTIVATE SUCH A POSITIVE 
IMAGE WHILE PROCEEDING WITH BUSINESS AS USUAL. 
 
GILLESPIE## 

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