US embassy cable - 87BOGOTA9309

FARC PUBLICLY REJECTS DISARMAMENT

Identifier: 87BOGOTA9309
Wikileaks: View 87BOGOTA9309 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Bogota
Created: 1987-07-09 20:03:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PINS CO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 092003Z JUL 87
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8227
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PN
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BOGOTA 09309 
 
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 
 
E.O. 12356: N/A 
TAGS: PINS, CO 
SUBJECT: FARC PUBLICLY REJECTS DISARMAMENT 
 
1. U) SUMMARY:  THE FARC GUERRILLA HIGH COMMAND ON JULY 
7 PUBLICLY REJECTED "DEMOBILIZATION OR DISARMAMENT" FOR 
ITS FORCES, CLAIMING FURTHER THAT IT HAD NEVER PROMISED 
SUCH ACTION.  END SUMMARY 
 
2. (U) FARC-UP IN ARMS:  IN A RADIO PRESS CONFERENCE 
JULY 7, TOP LEADERS OF THE COLOMBIAN REVOLUTIONARY ARMED 
FORCES (FARC), COLOMBIA'S LARGEST GUERRILLA GROUP, 
ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WOULD NOT DEMOBILIZE OR DISARM THEIR 
FORCES.  FOLLOWING THE JUNE 16 CAQUETA AMBUSH, THE GOC 
STATED THAT ANY FURTHER SESSIONS OF THE PEACE PROCESS 
WOULD BE LIMITED TO DISCUSSIONS OF THESE TOPICS.  FARC 
COMMANDERS ADDED THAT THEY HAD NEVER PROMISED 
DISARMAMENT: "NEITHER AS A POLICY NOR IN RESPONSE TO THE 
AGREEMENTS OF LA URIBE, WAS THAT SPOKEN OF."  FARC 
COMMANDER MANUEL MARULANDA, "TIROFIJO" (SURE-SHOT), 
SPOKE, AS DID HIS DEPUTY AND CHIEF IDEOLOGUE JACOBO 
ARENAS, AND ALFONSO CANO.  THE BROADCAST REPORTEDLY 
ORIGINATED FROM A SOUTH BOGOTA SITE AND WAS TRANSMITTED 
ON VARYING FREQUENCIES. 
 
3. (U) UNREPENTANT:  THE FARC LEADERS INSISTED THEY 
WOULD REMAIN INSIDE THE TRUCE WITH THE GOC, BUT ADDED 
THAT MORE INCIDENTS LIKE THE RECENT CAQUETA AMBUSH COULD 
WELL OCCUR, BECAUSE OF "MILITARY PERSECUTION."  THEY 
REVEALED THAT THEY HAD SPOKEN THE SAME DAY TO THE GOC 
USING THE "HOT LINE" TELEPHONE FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS 
AT LA URIBE AND HAD MADE 19 COMPLAINTS, MAINLY RELATED 
TO ALLEGED GOC MILITARY OPERATIONS NOW UNDERWAY AGAINST 
"VARIOUS FRONTS" OF THE FARC.  THEY CLAIMED THAT THE 
CAQUETA INCIDENT WAS THE RESULT OF MILITARY OPERATIONS, 
EVEN THOUGH "FOR THE SAKE OF DISCUSSION" THEY WERE 
WILLING TO USE THE WORD AMBUSH.  THEY POINTED OUT THAT 
SIMILAR GOC-GUERRILLA INCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED UNDER THE 
PREVIOUS (BETANCUR) GOVERNMENT, BUT HAD BEEN OVERCOME 
BECAUSE THE DESIRE TO DO SO EXISTED -- INSTANCING THE 
AMBUSH AND DEATH OF 22 FARC GUERRILLAS IN ANTIOQUIA AT 
THE HANDS OF GOC MILITARY. 
 
4. (U) STRIKE NOW; TALK LATER:  FARC LEADERS ANNOUNCED 
THAT THEY WOULD ATTEMPT TO ORGANIZE (PRESUMABLY USING 
THE PATRIOTIC UNION, THE COMMUNIST-FRONT POLITICAL 
PARTY) A NATIONAL PROTEST STRIKE TO "REESTABLISH THE LA 
URIBE ACCORDS."  THEY COMPLAINED THAT THOSE ACCORDS HAD 
NEVER BEEN PROPERLY CARRIED OUT, SINCE THE "POLITICAL, 
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REFORMS CONTEMPLATED THEREIN" HAD 
NEVER BEEN CARRIED OUT.  THEY INDICATED CONTINUED 
INTEREST IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE GOC, BUT SAID THAT THE 
GOVERNMENT SHOULD SEND A HIGH-LEVEL COMMISSION TO THEIR 
HEADQUARTERS; THAT THE (BETANCUR-ERA) COMMISSIONS OF 
DIALOGUE AND VERIFICATION SHOULD BE REESTABLISHED; THAT 
DIALOGUE SHOULD NOT BE DEPENDENT ON PRIOR CONDITIONS 
(LIKE THE GOC'S INSISTENCE ON TALKING ABOUT 
DISARMAMENT); AND THAT THE "ATMOSPHERE" DID NOT 
CURRENTLY EXIST FOR TALKING ABOUT DISARMAMENT AND 
DEMOBILIZATION. 
 
5. (LOU)  WHAT DID THE FARC PROMISE?  RAFAEL PARDO, 
SECRETARY OF POPULAR INTEGRATION AND ASSISTANT TO 
PRESIDENTIAL PEACE ADVISOR CARLOS OSSA ESCOBAR, TOLD US 
THAT THE 1984 LA URIBE ACCORDS, AND THE 1986 RENEWAL, 
IMPLY DISARMAMENT, AND DIRECTED US TO THE RELEVANT 
ARTICLES.  IN FACT, THE LANGUAGE OF THE SECTIONS HE 
SUGGESTED IS VAGUE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT VARIOUS 
INTERPRETATIONS.  ARTICLE 6 OF THE 1984 ACCORD SPEAKS OF 
A ONE-YEAR PERIOD FOR THE FARC TO "ORGANIZE ITSELF 
POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY."  "DURING THIS 
PERIOD THE GOVERNMENT WILL UNDERTAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS 
TO REESTABLISH CIVIC ORDER IN THE ZONES OF VIOLENCE." 
ARTICLE 3 OF THE 1986 RENEWAL SAYS THAT THE FARC WILL 
PARTICIPATE IN PEACEFUL ELECTIONS "WITHOUT PHYSICAL, 
MORAL OR ECONOMIC COERCION."  ARTICLE 6 OF THE SAME TEXT 
CALLS ON THE FARC TO INTENSIFY ITS INCORPORATION INTO 
"POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LIFE AND PRODUCTIVE CIVIC ACTION, 
SO THAT WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME ITS ADHERENTS WILL 
PARTICIPATE IN FULL INSTITUTIONAL NORMALITY." 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
6.  (LOU) THE GOC FEELS THAT PARTICIPATION IN PEACEFUL 
ELECTIONS WITHOUT RESORTING TO ARMED INTIMIDATION -- AND 
"INCORPORATION INTO FULL INSTITUTIONAL NORMALITY" -- ARE 
MEANINGLESS WITHOUT DISARMAMENT AND DEMOBILIZATION.  THE 
FARC CLAIMS TO SEE NO CONTRADICTION, AND IS LIKELY TO 
INSIST ON A LITERAL READING OF THE ACCORDS, WHICH DO NOT 
USE THE WORDS DISARMAMENT OR DEMOBILIZATION. 
 
7.  (LOU)  ANOTHER STEP IN THE DECLINE OF THE TRUCE AND 
PEACE PROCESS.  THE FARC'S MAIN CONCERN, AS WE SEE IT, 
WAS PROBABLY TO SCORE POINTS IN THE ON-GOING BATTLE TO 
FIX BLAME FOR THAT DECLINE. 
 
GILLESPIE 

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