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Cable 972: Colombian President Denies Army Personnel Were Behind Deadly Bogota Bombing

Cable 972: Colombian President Denies Army Personnel Were Behind Deadly Bogota Bombing

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Published by Andres
This is a 2006 US embassy report on allegations that Colombian military personnel were responsible for a bombing in the city of Bogota that killed one person and injured a number of others.
This is a 2006 US embassy report on allegations that Colombian military personnel were responsible for a bombing in the city of Bogota that killed one person and injured a number of others.

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Published by: Andres on Jul 03, 2012
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12/19/2013

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P 152113Z SEP 06FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8902C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 008522SUBJECT: GOC BACKTRACKS: SAYS NO PROOF MILITARYINVOLVED IN BOGOTA BOMBINGS
REF: BOGOTA 8288Classified By: Charge D'Affaires Milton K. Drucker.Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d)¶1. (U) President Uribe clarified on September 10that the GOC has no solid evidence tying militaryofficers to a recent Bogota bombing that killed onecivilian, or to several other bomb plots uncoveredin the run-up to Uribe's August 8 inauguration (seereftel). He said that he and senior GOC leadershad reviewed the evidence in special meetings ofhis National Security Council and did not findevidence of criminal activity by the military. Heassured the public the investigation wouldcontinue, and said the implicated officers may havebeen involved in an intelligence operation. In aSeptember 7 press interview, Army Commander Montoyahad, prior to evidence being reviewed by the MoD,suggested that military officers were involved instaging the bombing attempts.
 
-------------------- A SKEPTICAL REACTION--------------------
2. (U) Public and media reaction has beenskeptical of the President's explanation. Ajournalist told us the President was motivated by adesire to quickly assure the public, but added thatUribe's comments could backfire if militaryinvolvement is later proved. In the Senate, theopposition Liberal party subpoenaed “Jessica,” thedemobilized FARC guerrilla/government spy allegedlyinvolved in the bombing plot/military intelligenceoperation. The question of whether Jessica willtestify, which is vigorously opposed by the GOC,will be considered by the courts.
-----------------BEHIND THE SCENES-----------------
¶3. (C) Sources close to President Uribe told usthe initial GOC statements indicating militaryculpability were based on Deputy Prosecutor GeneralJorge Otalora's assertion to Defense Minister JuanManuel Santos that there was clear evidence of theofficers' involvement. Subsequent militaryinvestigations, however, contradicted Otalora'sassertion, and he later admitted that the Fiscaliahad no direct evidence linking the officers to thecrimes. At the September 10 National SecurityCouncil meeting, Santos vouched for the officers'statements that they were not involved in anycrime, but said the investigation would continue.

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