US embassy cable - 91BOGOTA8074 (original version)

UPDATE ON FARC "EXECUTION" GRAVEYARD (original version)

Identifier: 91BOGOTA8074
Wikileaks: View 91BOGOTA8074 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Bogota
Created: 1991-05-29 14:38:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PHUM PTER PINS CO
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
P 291438Z MAY 91
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5609
INFO DEPTJUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC
DEA WASHDC
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS PM
USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA
CDR4THPSYOPG FT BRAGG NC//AORC-POG-F//
S E C R E T BOGOTA 08074 
 
 
JUSTICE ALSO FOR ICITAP 
DEA FOR AX, AD, AO, DO, OF, OC, OIOA 
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD 
CINCLANT ALSO FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PHUM, PTER, PINS, CO 
SUBJECT:  UPDATE ON FARC "EXECUTION" GRAVEYARD 
 
REF:  BOGOTA 5253 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  DURING A MAY 20 CONVERSATION WITH CHARGE AND POLOFF, 
PRESIDENTIAL HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISOR JORGE ORLANDO MELO 
DISCUSSED THE FARC GRAVEYARD UNCOVERED BY THE ARMY IN LA 
URIBE, META DEPARTMENT EARLIER THIS YEAR (REFTEL).  MELO 
SAID HIS INFORMATION WAS NOT FIRST-HAND AND THAT HE DOES 
NOT HAVE ACCESS TO INVESTIGATIVE FILES ON THE CASE 
WHICH, UNDER COLOMBIAN LAW, ARE SECRET.  HE HAS, 
HOWEVER, HEARD THAT A TOTAL OF ABOUT SIXTY BODIES WERE 
FOUND IN THE AREA, WHICH IS IN THE VICINITY OF THE 
FARC'S FORMER "CASA VERDE" HEADQUARTERS.  SOME OF THOSE 
BURIED MAY HAVE DIED NATURAL DEATHS OR FROM COMBAT 
WOUNDS, WHILE SOME 25 WERE SAID TO HAVE DIED OF AN 
EXECUTION STYLE BULLET TO THE HEAD. 
 
3.  INITIAL PRESS REPORTS HAD SUGGESTED THERE MIGHT BE 
UP TO THREE HUNDRED BODIES AND IMPLIED THE MAJORITY HAD 
BEEN EXECUTED.  MELO SAID DEFENSE MINSTER BOTERO HAD 
PRIVATELY TOLD HIM THAT THE PRESS EXAGGERATED THE 
STORY.  MELO, HOWEVER, SEEMS TO THINK THE MILITARY WAS 
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIAL INFLATED ACCOUNTS. 
 
4.  COMMENT:  SINCE THE INITIAL SPURT OF PUBLICITY THE 
FARC GRAVEYARD STORY HAS DISAPPEARED FROM THE PRESS. 
PROCURADURIA AND PRIVATE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP SOURCES HAVE 
BEEN UNABLE TO PROVIDE US WITH ANY INFORMATION ON THE 
CASE.  THE REPORT OF SOME 25 EXECUTIONS, IF ACCURATE, 
WOULD BE DAMNING EVIDENCE OF THE FARC'S ATROCIOUS HUMAN 
RIGHTS RECORD.  THE PROPAGANDA VALUE OF THIS FIND, 
HOWEVER, HAS BEEN GREATLY REDUCED BY THE ARMY'S 
APPARENTLY EXAGGERATED INITIAL CLAIMS. 
 
HOBBS 

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