[Senate Prints 109-43]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


109th Congress                                                  S. Prt.
                            COMMITTEE PRINT                     
 1st Session                                                     109-43
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


 
                           ``PLAN COLOMBIA'':
                          ELEMENTS FOR SUCCESS

                               __________

                           STAFF TRIP REPORT

                                 TO THE

                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       One Hundred Ninth Congress

                             First Session

                             December 2005

                                     



                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
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                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

                  RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana, Chairman

CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska                JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island         PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia               CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota              JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin
LAMAR ALEXANDER, Tennessee           BARBARA BOXER, California
JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire        BILL NELSON, Florida
LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska               BARACK OBAMA, Illinois
MEL MARTINEZ, Florida
                 Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Staff Director
              Antony J. Blinken, Democratic Staff Director

                                  (ii)




                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
Letter of Transmittal............................................     v

Past and Present of ``Plan Colombia''............................     1

Overview.........................................................     2

Additional Analysis..............................................     6

Appendix I.......................................................    14

                                 (iii)




                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                                 December 29, 2005.
Dear Colleagues:

    The committee recently sent Mr. Carl Meacham of the 
professional staff to Bogota, Colombia to assess specific 
aspects of ``Plan Colombia.'' This six-year U.S. aid package, 
which was intended to eliminate Colombia's production of 
illicit crops and domestic terrorism, recently expired.
    On September 23, 2005, the Government of Colombia (GOC) 
provided a draft proposal to the U.S. Department of State for 
an extension of Plan Colombia. The consultation process between 
the Department of State and the GOC is ongoing. With this in 
mind, I am pleased to share with you his trip report. I believe 
it provides significant insight and a number of important 
recommendations on drug eradication and interdiction, the 
demobilization of rightist paramilitary fighters, and progress 
regarding assistance to the GOC in advancing the defense and 
expansion of government presence in Revolutionary Armed Forces 
of Colombia (FARC) and United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia 
(AUC paramilitaries) controlled areas.
    I hope you find this helpful as the Committee on Foreign 
Relations considers its continued support for Plan Colombia. We 
look forward to continuing to work with you on these issues and 
welcome any comments you may have on this report.
            Sincerely,

                                          Richard G. Lugar,
                                                          Chairman.


                                  (v)



                           ``PLAN COLOMBIA'':
                          ELEMENTS FOR SUCCESS

                              ----------                              

    From December 11-14, 2005, a member of the professional 
staff from the United States Senate Committee on Foreign 
Relations (SFRC) traveled to Bogota, Colombia. During this 
trip, staff visited with Colombia's President, Alvaro Uribe, 
and members of his Cabinet. Staff also met with representatives 
of relevant multilateral organizations, foreign diplomats, an 
influential Colombian Senator, Rafael Pardo, Ideas Para La Paz 
President Sergio Jaramillo, and the Chief Editor of Semana 
magazine, Rodrigo Pardo. (See Appendix I for complete list).
    At the request of the Chairman, the purpose of the trip was 
to examine three issues:

   Drug Eradication and Interdiction;

   Demobilization of rightist paramilitary fighters; 
        and

   Progress regarding assistance to the Government of 
        Colombia (GOC) in advancing the defense and expansion 
        of ITS presence in Revolutionary Armed Forces of 
        Colombia (FARC) and United Self-Defense Forces of 
        Colombia (AUC paramilitaries) controlled areas.

                 Past and Present of ``Plan Colombia''

    Plan Colombia (Public Law 106-246), which began in 2000, 
was developed by former Colombian President Pastrana (1998-
2002) to end the GOC's long-standing armed conflict, eliminate 
drug trafficking, and promote economic and social development. 
The Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) is the primary U.S. 
program that supports Plan Colombia. In addition, Colombia 
receives assistance from the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) 
program and the Department of Defense's central 
counternarcotics account. ACI funding for Plan Colombia from FY 
2000 through FY 2005 totals approximately $2.8 billion. When 
FMF and DOD assistance is included, the total level of U.S. 
support to GOC is $4.5 billion.\1\ The U.S. Congress will 
continue support for Plan Colombia beyond FY 2005 through ACI 
$469 million and FMF $90 million funding for FY 2006. Plan 
Colombia is also receiving $1.7 million for International 
Military Education and Training (IMET) and $4.1 million for 
Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining (NADR).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ ``Plan Colombia: A Progress Report,'' CRS Report for Congress, 
Connie Viellette, May 9, 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From Plan Colombia's inception, the objectives of the GOC 
and the USG have differed in some aspects, although there is a 
significant overlap of goals. The primary U.S. objective is to 
prevent the flow of illegal drugs into the United States, as 
well as to help the GOC promote peace as it contributes to the 
regional security of South America. The three topics examined 
in this report are important to meeting USG objectives.
    The GOC has not formally announced its plans for a follow-
up program. However, on September 23, 2005, the GOC provided 
the U.S. Department of State with a draft document describing 
its proposed Plan Colombia Consolidation Phase (PCCP), which 
seeks continued U.S. assistance for 2006-2010.\2\ The PCCP 
envisages four programmatic pillars that roughly correspond to 
the areas the USG supported through Plan Colombia (Pillars I-
III), with the addition of the peace process (including 
demobilization and reintegration) as pillar IV. These pillars 
are:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ United States Embassy--Bogota, Colombia, Country Team Briefing, 
December 12, 2005

   Fight Against Terrorism, Narcotics Trafficking, and 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        International Organized Crime

   Strengthening Governmental Institutions and the 
        Justice System

   Economics and Social Revitalization

   Process for Peace and Re-Integration

    The USG has informed the GOC that it supports the broad 
priorities contained in the draft plan. The USG has not 
submitted a formal draft for consultation to relevant 
committees in the U.S. Congress.
Primary Recommendations:
          1. In order to remain flexible, staff strongly 
        recommends that USG support for Plan Colombia be 
        extended on a year to year basis, working in the 
        context of continued cooperation with the GOC to ensure 
        rigorous implementation of relevant priorities, 
        especially related to drug eradication and interdiction 
        and the effective demobilization of the AUC, FARC, and 
        ELN. Policies toward the GOC must be continually 
        evaluated, given very fluid circumstances inside 
        Colombia and its neighboring countries.

          2. Staff strongly encourages the U.S Department of 
        State to brief in a time sensitive manner and seek 
        input from the relevant committees in the U.S. Senate 
        and House on their consultations with the GOC regarding 
        the PCCP. Failure to address Congress' concerns could 
        weaken support for future extensions of Plan Colombia 
        in the U.S. Congress.

                                Overview

    Since President Alvaro Uribe's election in 2002, he has 
striven to build a close relationship with the USG. With the 
expiration of Plan Colombia this relationship has been subject 
to review in the following areas:


                   drug eradication and interdiction


    The lack of reliable evidence of well-documented progress 
in the war against drugs and neutralizing paramilitaries is 
disappointing considering the billions of dollars the U.S. 
Congress has appropriated to finance drug interdiction and 
eradication since 2000.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ More than $6 billion spent on Colombia and other countries 
(during FY 2000-2005) in the region for counter narcotics, alternative 
development, and judicial reform efforts. According to the report 
entitled ``DRUG CONTROL, Agencies need to plan form likely declines in 
drug interdiction assets, and develop better performance measures for 
transit zone operations.'' Report to Congressional Committees by the 
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), November 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2005 coca eradication broke the 136,000 hectare record 
and destroyed the equivalent of 160 metric tons of cocaine; and 
though cocaine seized in 2004 almost tripled to 325 metric tons 
of cocaine, and is expected to be larger for 2005, \4\ Colombia 
continues to provide about 90 percent of the cocaine available 
in the U.S., in spite of the appropriated funds being earmarked 
for Department of State programs in Colombia to fight drug 
trafficking and terrorism through Plan Colombia.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ United States Embassy--Bogota, Colombia, Country Team Briefing, 
December 12, 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The GOC claims to have made considerable progress 
eradicating drugs and interdicting drug shipments, as well as 
substantial progress in eliminating the internal terrorist 
threat. Both the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime 
and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy 
(ONDCP) lend credence to these claims in the form of glowing 
statistics indicative of Colombia's good work.
    The General Accounting Office (GAO), on the other hand, has 
criticized all of these rosy reports. It says that ONDCP's 
assessments of the amount of cocaine entering the United States 
in 2004 are too broad in range to be ``useful for assessing 
interdiction efforts.'' \5\ Even some Colombian officials have 
cautioned that while the statistics presented by the UN and 
White House are encouraging, more time is needed to determine 
if current efforts will yield real progress. They refer, for 
instance, to the impact of possible drug warehousing in 
Venezuela and Mexico on price and supply. However, given the 
absence of a consensus from respected organizations on the 
success of Plan Colombia in stemming the flow of cocaine to the 
United States, this does not bode well for efforts to push for 
its extension, at least at its current funding levels, without 
policy changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ ``DRUG CONTROL, Agencies need to plan form likely declines in 
drug interdiction assets, and develop better performance measures for 
transit zone operations.'' Report to Congressional Committees by the 
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), November 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The administration has incorporated existing programs in 
supplementing Plan Colombia's drug interdiction efforts. These 
efforts can be improved. Of particular importance to staff in 
this regard is the opinion of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) 
officials about the lack of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and 
rapid intercept capability for interdiction (at this time, the 
Colombians have no radar detection MPA or substantive 
helicopter intercept capability.) Without adequate MPA 
resources, it is impossible to detect and pinpoint drug-
smuggling vessels in the open waters of Colombia's coasts. 
Although P-3 aircraft have been successfully utilized in the 
Caribbean, along with MPA provided by the U.K. Government, 
their use is being reduced and replacements are not available. 
As a result the DEA and North Coast Colombian police and/or 
military are unable to respond to intelligence on drug 
trafficking because of the lack of maritime patrol aircraft.
    Therefore, our ability to respond to real-time information 
about smugglers and traffickers is seriously limited. This is a 
major concern since Plan Colombia's main purpose is to stop 
drug smuggling into the United States.
Recommendations:
          1. It is strongly urged that additional Maritime 
        Patrol Aircraft (MPA) resources be acquired to support 
        the maritime interdiction efforts on Colombia's North 
        Coast and west into the Pacific Ocean.

          2. It is strongly advised that the USG, particularly 
        the Department of Defense and the Department of 
        Homeland Security, develop and coordinate reliable 
        performance metrics to accurately measure the flow of 
        cocaine into the United States. Once this is done, all 
        parties will have accurate metrics on success or 
        failure.


            demobilization of rightist paramilitary fighters


    This demobilization is closely linked to realizing Plan 
Colombia's goals on drug eradication and interdiction. The 
Uribe administration's own study on demobilization, prepared 
two years ago, concluded that paramilitaries are responsible 
for at least 40 percent of the cocaine trafficking in 
Colombia.\6\ An effective demobilization would represent a 
victory in the war on drugs. The full demobilization process is 
scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2006 with 
implementation of ``The Peace and Justice Law,'' signed by 
President Uribe in July 2005, which attempts to establish a 
legal framework to neutralize the AUC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\ Confidential assessment prepared for the president of Colombia 
on whether peace talks should begin with the nation's main 
paramilitary, as sited in Washington Post, June 23, 2003 news article 
entitled ``Colombian Fighters' Drug Trade Is Detailed; Report 
Complicates Efforts to End War.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Though the GOC reports that 13,592 paramilitaries have 
handed their weapons over, fulfilling the introductory phase of 
the full demobilization process, these efforts have been 
problematic, and success is dependent largely on the co-
operation of terrorist groups, who must surrender their arms 
and agree to allow drug traffickers to face U.S. justice 
through extradition.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ ``Colombia: Paramilitary Demobilization Update,'' Source: 
Department of State, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia, Dec. 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There has also been some criticism of the ``Peace and 
Justice Law'' by Colombian government officials. The Peace 
Commissioner, Luis Carlos Restrepo, has stated that he knows 
full well that demobilization is a complicated ``monster of 
four heads,'' specifically referring to problems with 
government coordination of reintegration, legal processing and 
monitoring of demobilized combatants, verification that ex-
combatants are no longer involved in illegal criminal 
activities and victim reconciliation and reparations--the 
demobilization's four key elements. Staff's opinion is that the 
law will be ineffective because it relies on the AUC's 
willingness to cooperate in the implementation of its own 
demise. In addition the GOC has not built a strong framework 
for the law's implementation.
Recommendations:
          1. Staff strongly recommends that the USG condition 
        any funding support of the GOC's demobilization effort 
        on its ability to improve the demobilization law's 
        implementation, with special attention devoted to the 
        reintegration, legal processing and monitoring of 
        demobilized combatants, verification that ex-combatants 
        are no longer involved in illegal criminal activities 
        and victim's reconciliation and reparations. The USG 
        should strongly encourage the GOC to name a 
        ``Demobilization Czar'' to help make the implementation 
        more effective.

          2. Staff strongly recommends that the USG press the 
        GOC to start acting immediately and much more 
        aggressively in investigating and building up cases 
        against paramilitary commanders and locating and 
        confiscating their illegal assets. In this regard, the 
        U.S. State Department and U.S Embassy in Bogota should 
        examine how best the USG can provide technical 
        assistance to the GOC in its search for illegally 
        obtained assets and land.

          3. Staff strongly recommends that the USG ask the GOC 
        to ensure that extradition arrangements with the USG 
        not be weakened by the ``Peace and Justice Law''.


 progress regarding assistance to the government of colombia the (goc) 
      in advancing the defense and expansion of their presence in 
 revolutionary armed forces of colombia (farc) and united self-defense 
        forces of colombia (auc paramilitaries) controlled areas


    At stake is the survival of a state that has been battered 
and undermined by leftist rebels, who have long controlled the 
countryside, rightist paramilitary armies, and an out-of-
control drug trade that funds both sides (right and left) and 
fuels the cycle of chaos, violence and impunity. Experts say 
the burden is simply too much for Colombia to shoulder alone, 
but note that an important element of engagement with Colombia 
is strengthening its security and other institutions. In this 
regard, presently, Plan Colombia is the best structure in place 
to provide the framework for the Colombian government, working 
with the U.S. Military Group (MILGRP), to advance and 
facilitate social services in areas that have traditionally 
suffered from little state presence and pressure from illegal 
armed groups and at the same time strengthening the state. Plan 
Patriota, the GOC's military campaign to extend government 
control and security presence throughout the national 
territory, has made significant accomplishments, starting with 
the clearing of the Bogota area in 2003. Today 17,000 Joint 
Task Force troops in south-central Colombian jungles have 
destroyed more than 380 FARC encampments, including many with 
guest houses for visiting narco-traffickers.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ United States Embassy--Bogota, Colombia, Country Team Briefing, 
December 12, 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the time of the writing of this report, the Colombian 
Government had offered to demilitarize a small area of southern 
Colombia to begin peace negotiations with the FARC and also has 
recently begun peace negotiations in Cuba with the National 
Liberation Army (ELN).
Recommendations:
          1. Staff strongly recommends that efforts by the GOC 
        in advancing the defense and expansion of their 
        presence in Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia 
        (FARC) and United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC 
        paramilitaries) controlled areas should continue to be 
        funded as necessary subject to review and with the 
        appropriate oversight.

          2. Though, skepticism exists regarding the FARC's 
        response, these are positive developments and the Uribe 
        Government should be supported. Staff believes that the 
        GOC efforts demonstrate clear attempts to bring about 
        peace and should be facilitated and supported by the 
        U.S Embassy in Bogota appropriately.

                          Additional Analysis


                   DRUG ERADICATION AND INTERDICTION


    As of November 2005, over 132,000 hectares of coca and 1500 
hectares of opium poppy had been sprayed since the beginning of 
2005. Ground fire against spray planes is well below 2003's 
record levels but remains problematic.
    Interdiction operations are on target to match or exceed 
2004's record seizures. Through July 2005, the Colombian 
National Police (CNP) had seized more than 65 metric tons of 
cocaine and coca base, and the Colombian navy had seized more 
than 75 metric tons of cocaine. In 2004 Government of Colombia 
forces seized 178 metric tons of cocaine and coca base. Cocaine 
seizures reportedly rose from 117 metric tons in 2001 to 196 in 
2004. And just last month, White House Office of National Drug 
Control Policy (ONDCP) head John Walters announced the price of 
cocaine rose 19 percent and purity declined 15 percent over a 
seven-month period this year--evidence to him that cocaine is 
getting scarcer.



    Nevertheless, a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) 
report on the reliability of key U.S. Government data on 
cocaine trafficking, price, and purity questioned these numbers 
and advised that the U.S. Government needs to do a better job 
at obtaining more reliable data. The ONDCP estimated that 
between 325 and 675 metric tons of cocaine entered the United 
States in 2004, a range that is too broad to be useful, the 
report added.
    Although noticeable progress has been made regarding 
interdiction, with the exception of Operation Firewall, a 
cooperative U.S. and Colombian maritime interdiction initiative 
on the North Coast of Colombia, there are no other organized 
and capable partner nation maritime source or transit zone 
programs. This is an extremely important activity in the war on 
drugs, as it is estimated that approximately 70% of cocaine 
trafficking to the United States occurs by water transport.



  Source: Department of Defense, Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) 
                                 South

    In any event, Operation Firewall has achieved significant 
success with the direct and/or assisted seizures of 
approximately 32 metric tons of cocaine in FY 2004 and 47 tons 
in FY 2005. However, this program has been severely limited by 
the lack of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and rapid intercept 
capability mentioned above (at this time, the Colombians have 
no radar detection MPA or substantive helicopter intercept 
capability). Without adequate MPA resources, it is almost 
impossible to detect and pinpoint those drug-laden smuggling 
vessels in open waters. Although P-3 aircraft have been 
successfully utilized in air, especially given the increase in 
suspect air activity from Venezuela, their use is being reduced 
and replacements are not available.



  Source: Department of Defense, Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) 
                                 South

Recommendations:
          1. Staff recommends additional dedicated assets to 
        support the Firewall program and to enhance coordinated 
        interdiction efforts with Joint Interagency Task Force 
        South (JIATF-South) that is envisioned to compliment 
        joint maritime activities. The importance of MPA to the 
        Maritime Interdiction program (JIATF-South and 
        Firewall) can not be understated.

          2. Staff recommends a refueling platform to assist 
        Maritime Interdiction vessels coordinated through 
        JIATF-South operations to cover the eastern pacific 
        coast of Colombia (EASTPAC).


          DEMOBILIZATION OF ``RIGHTIST'' PARAMILITARY FIGHTERS


    Colombia's demobilization will be a challenge. The 
``Justice and Peace Law'' to govern the process falls short 
regarding the establishment of a strong framework for 
dismantling the paramilitary groups. The law lacks the 
effective enforcement structure necessary to ensure that 
paramilitaries disclose information about their groups' 
criminal operations or surrender their illegally acquired 
wealth. Under the law there is a very real possibility that 
Commanders convicted of atrocities will receive very short 
sentences, even if it becomes clear that they have lied to 
prosecutors, kept most of their illegal assets, drug labs and 
wealth, or continued to engage in illegal paramilitary activity 
after they have ``demobilized.'' When these leaders re-enter 
society, their wealth, political power, and criminal networks 
will have remained intact, allowing them to replace their 
weapons and troops with ease if they choose, or form their own 
laundered and ``legitimate'' narco-gangs.
    Though President Uribe's record of extradition throughout 
his term (08/07/02 to 12/15/05) is excellent (at 315), of 
particular concern to the United States under the new ``Peace 
and Justice Law'' is its ambiguity regarding the extradition of 
paramilitary commanders who have been indicted in the United 
States. It appears they can escape extradition by serving 
reduced sentences for their crimes in Colombia and then claim 
double jeopardy.


             Extraditions from Colombia to the United States
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 United
                                      Colombia   States   Others   Total
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Extraditions: From 1991
 Through 8/6/1998
  Total extraditions by                      0        7        8      15
   nationality, 7/4/91 through 8/6/
   98..............................
                                    ------------------------------------
Total Extraditions: Pastrana and
 Uribe
  Individuals extradited by                 51        4        9      64
   nationality during the Pastrana
   administration, 8/7/98 to 8/6/2.
  Individuals extradited by                304        1       10     315
   nationality during the Uribe
   administration\1\ 8/7/02 to 12/
   15/05...........................
                                    ------------------------------------
  Total extraditions from 07/04/91         355       12       27     394
   to 12/15/05.....................
                                    ====================================
Total Extraditions: From 1/1/05
 Through 12/15/05
  Total extraditions in 2005.......        131        0        3     134
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Note: The total of 315 includes ten (10) individuals that Pastrana
  approved for extradition but were extradited after Uribe took office.
 Source: Department of State, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia, Dec. 2005.


    Extradition provides President Uribe with an effective 
weapon, a symbolic sword, to deter paramilitary commanders from 
acting with impunity and encourages their adherence to 
agreements. Up to now President Uribe has used extradition with 
clear resolve. This sword must not be blunted by ambiguity.
    State Department figures on the demobilization of the 
paramilitaries show that approximately 13,592 (as of December 
15, 2005) paramilitary troops have handed over their weapons. 
That completes the introductory phase of the full 
demobilization process, which is to begin its full 
implementation through the ``Peace and Justice Law'' during the 
first quarter of 2006. Approximately 10,000 paramilitaries 
remain to demobilize.
                                ------                                


            COLOMBIA: PARAMILITARY DEMOBILIZATION UPDATE\1\

Demobilized Numbers: 22,218
 13,592--paramilitaries have demobilized collectively, as of 
            12/15

 8,626--illegal armed members have demobilized individually, as 
            of 12/15

         FARC 4,292, AUC 3,040, ELN 1,176, Dissidents 229

Demobilized CRO Registered, DAS Certified, Jailed, Deaths, SENA and 
        Employed
 CRO: 8,973, 7 CROs (Medellin, Turbo, Monteria, Sincelejo, 
            Cucuta, Antioquia, Cali) plus 2 mobile CROs

 DAS certified: 4,658; Jailed: 126; Deaths: 135; SENA: 3,223

         Employed: Of the 8,618 demobilized that have 
        registered at the CROs, 1,500 are working

 14% fromal sector, 7% productive projects, 79% informal sector
Paramilitary Groups Left to Demobilize: 10,000
 Approximately 10,000 paramilitaries remain to demobilize

         3,000 from the North Bloc

         3,000 from the BCB (over 25 fronts)

         Independent groups:

                 Elmer Cardenas Bloc with 800 members

                 Mineros Bloc with 2,000 members

                 Self-Defense Mid-Magdalena Bloc

                 Two remaining fronts from the Centauros Bloc

 Demobilization deadline: February 15 (According to Pretelt)

\1\ Source: Department of State, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia, Dec. 
2005
                                 ______
                                 

Recommendations:

          1. Staff strongly recommends that the USG encourage 
        the GOC to create strong regulations for the law's 
        implementation (at the time this report was written 
        implementing language had not been signed by President 
        Uribe) and forcefully implement them.

          2. Staff strongly recommends that the USG request 
        that the GOC ensure that regulations provide an 
        interpretation of the law's eligibility requirements 
        (including turnover of assets, cessation of illegal 
        activities, and release of hostages) that is as strict 
        as possible, establish rigorous procedures for 
        verifying that the requirements are met, and prescribe 
        effective sanctions for those who fail to meet them.

          3. To preserve the possibility for extradition, staff 
        recommends that the USG request that the GOC ensure 
        that regulations should prohibit the GOC's Attorney 
        General's Office from bringing charges under the law 
        for crimes with which demobilized individuals have been 
        charged in other countries.

 ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF COLOMBIA IN ADVANCING THE DEFENSE AND 
 EXPANSION OF THEIR PRESENCE IN FARC AND PARAMILITARY CONTROLLED AREAS

    United States Government assistance to Colombia under Plan 
Colombia is premised on combating the interrelated issues of 
drug trafficking and terrorism and includes training, material 
aid, and guidance to the security forces and other 
institutions. Establishing a state presence throughout national 
territory lies at the core of bringing peace to Colombia. 
Increasing state activity in 2005 may have been responsible for 
keeping FARC violence localized and below 2004 levels. 
Nonetheless, the FARC attacked indigenous towns, electrical 
towers, rural highways, military and police outposts. While the 
attacks were partially directed at military targets, civilians 
were also indiscriminately killed. Reductions in violence, 
however, did occur and are due for the most part to the 
effective implementation of military policy:

    Plan Patriota: Plan Patriota, the GOC's military campaign 
to extend government control and security presence throughout 
the national territory, is composed of two major phases: Phase 
1, the planning and preparation for the forceful removal of 
armed groups; and Phase 2, which was divided into three 
components: 2A, 2B, and 2C, to implement Phase 2. Phase 2A, 
which took place from June to December 2003, resulted in the 
removal of the FARC from Bogota and Cundinamarca Department. 
Phase 2B, which began in February 2004 and continues, includes 
Meta, Caqueta, and Guaviare Departments, involved the removal 
of the FARC from those areas. This is a large part of the area 
that comprised the ``despeje,'' or the area President Pastrana 
had conceded to the FARC. Phase 2C, which is the forceful 
removal of FARC from Antioquia Department, was scheduled to 
begin late in 2005, but has been postponed.

  Colombian Military Reports on Results for Joint Task Force Omega (in
                     Charge of Phase 2B), 2004-2005
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            2004       2005      Total
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Battles                                        505        317        822
                                        --------------------------------
  COLMIL Troops Killed.................         67         25         92
  COLMIL Troops Injured................        328         78        406
  FARC Members Killed..................        264        204        468
  FARC Members Captured................        217        394        611
  FARC Deserters.......................         97         76        173
                                        ================================
Materiel Captured
  Guns, Rifles, Support Arms...........        265        431      1,451
  Explosive Devices....................      2,752      3,074      5,826
  Explosives (KLS).....................     16,335     28,339     44,674
  Grenades.............................      4,440      5,962     10,402
  Munitions............................    630,428    826,022  1,456,450
  Communication Equipment..............        235        363        598
  Mined Camps..........................        206         88        294
  FARC Camps...........................        421        619      1,040
  Caches...............................        117        363        480
  Cultivated Hectares..................      1,277      1,167      2,444
  Coca Paste and Base..................     10,292        869     11,161
  Laboratories.........................         32        196        228
  Vehicles.............................        255        117        432
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Source: Department of State, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia

    The Colombian military claims that Plan Patriota has 
reduced the FARC ranks from 18,000 to 12,000 in the past year. 
Information provided by the Office of the Colombian President 
reports that 11 FARC-run villages were recaptured, more than 
400 FARC camps were destroyed, 1,534 explosive devices and 323 
gas-cylinder bombs were seized, 2,518 combatants were killed, 
and a large amount of ammunition and weapons were taken. FARC 
drug trafficking activities also were reduced. As of September 
2004, the Government reported that the Colombian military had 
located and destroyed more than 47 tons of solid chemical 
supplies, 18,000 gallons of liquid precursors, half a ton of 
cocaine base, and $34,000 in cash.
    In addition, with support from the U.S. Military Group 
(MILGRP), the Colombia Government formed an interagency center 
to facilitate social services in seven areas that have 
traditionally suffered from little state presence and pressure 
from illegal armed groups. The ``Center for Coordinated 
Integral Action'' focuses on providing immediate social 
services, including documentation and medical clinics, and 
establishing longer term projects, such as economic 
reactivation. Approximately 40,000 individuals have been 
enrolled in state health care, judges, investigators, and 
public defenders have been placed in all 16 municipalities of 
the Plan Patriota area, and a public library was recently 
opened in the town of San Vicente del Caguan, which had long 
been dominated by the FARC.
    At the time this report was written, President Uribe and 
the GOC had accepted an ``international commission'' 
(representatives from France, Switzerland, and Spain) 
suggestion to establish a 65 square mile ``security zone'' in 
the Valle del Cauca to conduct hostage exchange talks with the 
FARC; and the GOC had begun conversations with the ELN in Cuba.
    Regarding the FARC, the international commission handed the 
proposal to the GOC and the FARC on December 13. The FARC has 
not yet replied, and experts, including staff, viewed the 
likely response from FARC with some skepticism. Some 30 
families live in the proposed security zone, a rural area that 
contains several small governmental facilities and a church. 
Uribe said the proposal contemplates 40 international observers 
in the security zone to verify that no armed actors are 
present, either GOC forces or guerrillas. The security zone 
would exist for seven days prior to any GOC-FARC meeting (to 
allow the FARC to get to the zone) and for seven days following 
the conclusion of the talks (to allow the FARC to leave). The 
International Committee of the Red Cross would observe the 
process, along with a committee representing the European 
facilitators. Colombian sovereignty and law would remain in 
effect in the security zone.
    Regarding the ELN, the meeting between the GOC and the ELN 
in Cuba (which began in mid-December 2005) is the first formal 
encounter between them in almost four years. Few are optimistic 
success will come easily. The talks will be exploratory with an 
open agenda, assisted by Norway, Spain and Switzerland, the 
group of civil society guarantors of the ``Casa de Paz'' 
initiative, and other members of Colombian civil society. The 
first meeting will be in Cuba, primarily to schedule future 
sessions. Subsequent meetings would likely take place in 
Europe. The ELN leadership reportedly settled on Cuba rather 
than risk legal jeopardy in Europe, given their designated 
status as a terrorist organization. Cuba's role will be limited 
to that of host.

Recommendation:

          Staff strongly recommends that efforts by the GOC in 
        bringing about peace and in advancing the defense and 
        expansion of their presence in FARC and ELN areas 
        continue to be funded as necessary subject to review 
        and with appropriate oversight.
                              ----------                              


                               Appendix I


   STAFF HELD DISCUSSIONS WITH THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS IN COLOMBIA:

Colombian Government Officials
    President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe
    Minister of Defense, Camilo Ospina Bernal
    Vice President of Colombia, Francisco Santos' Director for 
Human Rights, Carlos Franco
    Prosecutor General, Mario Iguaran
    Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alejandro Borda Rojas
    Vice Minister of Defense, Jorge Eastman
    Vice Minister of Defense, Hernando Sanin
    Presidential Counselor, Juan Lozano
    Presidential Advisor, Jaime Bermudez
    Direccion de Policia Judicial--(Dijin), Director, Gen. 
Oscar Naranjo
    Attorney General of Colombia, Edgardo Maya



Colombian Government Legislative Branch
    Senator Rafael Pardo



United States State Department, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia
    U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Wood (POL. PAS, NAS, 
AID, DATT, MILGRP, DEA, ORA Officers)



Diplomatic Community
    Representatives from British, Canadian, Chilean, Swedish, 
Swiss, and Dutch Embassies



Multilateral Organizations
    Michael Fruhling, UN Office of the High Commissioner for 
Human Rights in Colombia
    Juan Pedro Schaerer, International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC), Head of Delegation in Colombia
    Sergio Caramagna, Head of the Organization of American 
States (OAS) Mission in Support of the Peace Process



Think Tanks
    Sergio Jaramillo, President, Ideas Para La Paz



Press
    Rodrigo Pardo, Chief Editor, Semana Magazine