19 December 2010

Wikileaks Colombia. "extrajudicial execution problem widespread"

The cables from the US Embassy in Bogota make for interesting reading:

09BOGOTA542 2009-02-20 13:01 2010-12-08 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bogota

"the Soacha phenomenon originated in the 4th Brigade in Medellin (commanded at one time by both former Army Commander Mario Montoya and current Army Commander Oscar Gonzalez). The practice later spread to other brigades and commands in the region, including the Joint Caribbean Command."
"Army Commander General Oscar Gonzalez has impeded investigations of abuses"
"Gonzalez tried to intimidate witnesses not to testify about murders committed by the 11th Brigade in Sucre, and said Gonzalez tries to limit his office's resources. XXXXXXXXXXXX echoed Suarez's comments, noting that Gonzalez has transferred personnel from Suarez's office, reduced his bodyguard contingent, and tried to restrict the IG's mandate. Suarez added that his family has received indirect threats due to his work. His staff is searching for an email allegedly circulating within the military which shows photos of the members of the MOD Commission that investigated the Soacha murders with X's drawn through them."
"President Uribe continues to view military success in terms of kills, leaving him susceptible to the arguments of some military officers and politicians that the MOD's emphasis on human rights is overstated and is harming the war effort against the FARC."

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