This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 009095
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2015
SUBJECT: COLOMBIANS PROTEST FRENCH REGARDING FARC
Classified By: Ambassador William B. Wood; reasons 1.4
(b) and (d)
1. (U) The Colombian Foreign Ministry sent the French
Ambassador to Colombia a diplomatic note on September 23
protesting France's latest contact with the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in early September, without
GOC authorization. The French reportedly sent the envoy to
negotiate the release of dual Colombian-French national
Ingrid Betancourt. An earlier contact with a FARC
representative last July was made with GOC knowledge.
Colombia's note objected to the most recent encounter which
"meddles in the internal affairs of our nation." The note
goes on to request that France respect the principles
governing the Franco-Colombian bilateral relationship. It
specifically urges the French government to consult the
Colombian government before contacting the FARC directly.
All major Colombian television news broadcasts gave the
protest note prominent coverage.
2. (U) The previous French Ambassador to Colombia is now
married to Ingrid's sister Astrid Betancourt and has been a
visible French representative on the subject, in Bogota and
now in Paris. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is also
known to be close to the Betancourt family. Since the
Ambassador departed Bogota, President Chirac has sent at
least two envoys to meet with FARC representatives.
3. (U) Begin informal translation of dipnote:
I use this opportunity to address your Excellency to
communicate that the Government of Colombia has recently
received information about the contacts that the Government
of France is advancing with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (FARC), with the goal of freeing Ms. Ingrid
Colombia wishes to protest the fact that these negotiations
went forward without being announced to the national
government, thereby meddling in the internal affairs of our
Colombia hopes that France will respect the principles that
have guided relations between the two nations and will
consult the Colombian government before proceeding with any
overture of this nature. Colombia repeats before the French
Government and before public opinion that it has not
authorized any contact between FARC representatives and that
I take this opportunity to reiterate to your Excellency
assurances of my highest and distinguished consideration.
Camilo Reyes Rodriguez,
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
4. (C) Comment: The European Union decision to designate the
FARC as a terrorist organization was an important step. In
view of IRA training of the FARC, a Danish NGO's assertions
of a "right" to provide financial support to the FARC, and
unilateral French overtures to the FARC, it is important to
reinforce European solidarity against the FARC.
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