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Cable 977: Illegal Paramilitary Groups Return to the North Coast of Colombia

Cable 977: Illegal Paramilitary Groups Return to the North Coast of Colombia

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Published by Andres
This is a 2006 US embassy report summarizing evidence of renewed violence and criminal activity by members of demobilized right wing paramilitary groups on the North Coast of Colombia.
This is a 2006 US embassy report summarizing evidence of renewed violence and criminal activity by members of demobilized right wing paramilitary groups on the North Coast of Colombia.

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Published by: Andres on Jul 03, 2012
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04/03/2014

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P 131639Z OCT 06FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9779C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 009445SUBJECT: GOC CONTINUES TO UNCOVER MORE PARAMILITARYINFLUENCE IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC COAST
REF: A. BOGOTA 8793B. BOGOTA 9310C. BOGOTA 9217Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer.Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).
-------Summary-------
 ¶1. (C) The GOC investigation stemming from theseizure of ex-paramilitary leader Jorge 40'scomputer continues to paint a disturbing picture ofillegal activities on the North Coast, includingmurder, political corruption, and fraud. TheProsecutor General's Office (Fiscalia) arrestedfour deputies in Sucre Department and formallyopened a murder investigation against Jorge 40.Congressional contacts told us ex-paramilitaryinfluence on the North Coast was pervasive outsideof major cities; the influx of demobilized
 
paramilitaries into urban areas was also producingincreased crime and violence. End summary.
----------------------------------------Jorge 40's Computer Revelations Continue----------------------------------------
¶2. (C)
El Tiempo
newspaper reported on October 7that the Fiscalia's investigation of Jorge 40'scomputer reveals major crimes in AtlanticoDepartment and a town in Magdalena Department from2003-05. The computer reportedly includes a listof 558 persons murdered by paramilitaries inAtlantico. It also includes a list of GOCinstitutions in Atlantico allegedly under ex-paracontrol, details on ex-para embezzlement of 10percent of several local public contracts,information on schemes used to inflate the numberof demobilized, identities of narcotraffickers, andnames of GOC, Atlantic, Cesar, Magdalena, and SucreDepartment officials on their payroll.3. (C) The Fiscalia recently arrested fourdeputies in Sucre Department, linked Jorge 40 tothe murder of Professor Alfredo Correa de Andreisin Barranquilla, and began the trial of Jorge 40'sright-hand man Edgar Ignacio Fierro (AKA "DonAntonio,"), the source of the seized computer,additional hard drives, and documents. TheFiscalia also provided evidence to the SupremeCourt of Justice on three senators implicated inJorge 40's files: Dieb Maloof, David Char andJavier Caceres. The Supreme Court is theinstitution responsible for reviewing criminal
 
cases against members of Congress. Vice PresidentFrancisco Santos said on October 11 he favoredrevealing information from the computer to thepublic, and called for exemplary punishments forthose guilty of crimes.
----------------- More Revelations?-----------------
¶4. (C) Semana Magazine journalist Marta Ruiz(strictly protect), the first to report thecomputer story, told us the Fiscalia'sinvestigation was likely to extend from theAtlantico Department to Cesar, Bolivar, Guajira,Magdalena, and Sucre. She warned additionalpoliticians could be associated with Jorge 40,including Magdalena Governor Trino Luna, SucreGovernor Jorge Anaya, and Cesar Governor HernandoMolina. She raised the possibility the computerfiles could also link Jorge 40 to members of thepowerful Araujo family. Sergio Araujo is known tobe close to Jorge 40, and is commonly referred toas Jorge 40's press spokesman. His brother isCesar Senator Alvaro Araujo; his sister, MariaConsuelo Araujo, is Foreign Minister.¶5. (C) Ruiz said Jorge 40's paramilitary blocnever truly demobilized and continues to assertinfluence in Atlantico and Magdalena Departments.The Fiscalia is investigating the "Jose Pablo DiazFront," which has never been mentioned previouslyand was not included among demobilized units. Shenoted she was trying to collect more information on

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