International Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

U.S. relations with Colombia : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, August 3, 1994 online

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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiU.S. relations with Colombia : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, August 3, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 9)
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U.S. RELATIONS WITH COLOMBIA



\ Y 4.F 76/l:C 71/3



U.S. Relation llltl ColonMa. 103-2- ■ •

JOINT HEAKING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEES ON

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL

ORGANIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

AND

THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



AUGUST 3, 1994



Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84-196 CC WASHINGTON : 1995



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046512-5




U.S. RELATIONS WITH COLOMBIA



\ Y4.F 76/1: C 71/3



U.S. Relations Hith ColonMa. 103-2...

JOINT HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEES ON

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL

ORGANIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

AND

THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



AUGUST 3, 1994



Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84-496 CC WASHINGTON : 1995

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046512-5



COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS



LEE H. HAMILTON,



SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut

TOM LANTOS, California

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York

HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida

ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York

EN1 F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American

Samoa
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ERIC FINGERHUT, Ohio
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
DON EDWARDS, California
FRANK McCLOSKEY, Indiana
THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois



Indiana, Chairman

BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DAVID A. LEVY, New York
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, Florida
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California



Michael H. Van Dusen, Chief of Staff

RlCllAJlD J. Gajion, Minority Chief of Staff

DkrokaH HaUCER, Professional Staff Member

JO WEBER, Staff Associate

MlLACROS MARTINEZ, Staff Associate



(ID



International Security, International Organization and Human Rights

TOM LANTOS, California, Chairman

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine

MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey

FRANK McCLOSKEY, Indiana DAN BURTON, Indiana

THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio

Ron-ERT KING, Staff Director

MICHAEL ENNIS, Republican Professional Staff Member

THEODORE M. HlliSCII, Professional Staff Member

BBTH L. POISSON, Professional Staff Member

ANDREA L. NELSON, Professional Staff Member



Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey, Chairman
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey

JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida

CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina

PETER DEUTSCH, Florida ELTON GALLEGLY, California'

ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland

Ron HENKEN, Staff Director

DOROTHY TAFT, Republican Professional Staff Member

ALAN Fl.EISCIIMANN, Professional Staff Member

(III)



CONTENTS



WITNESSES

Page

Ambassador Michael M. Skol, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-
American Affairs, Department of State 4

Ambassador Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary for International Narcot-
ics Matters, Department of State 6

Teresa Roseborough, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative
Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, answering questions on legal matters .. 8

APPENDLX

Prepared statements:

Hon. Robert G. Torricelli 37

Ambassador Michael M. Skol 38

Hon. Robert S. Gelbard 43

Additional Material Submitted for the Record

Questions submitted by the subcommittee to Theresa Roseborough and re-
sponses thereto 46

Sheila F. Anthony, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs,

U.S. Department of Justice, responses submitted to the subcommittee 47

Memorandum from Walter Dellinger, Assistant Attorney General, concerning
the U.S. assistance to countries that shoot down civil aircraft involved
in drug trafficking 48



U.S. RELATIONS WITH COLOMBIA



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 1994

House of Representatives,

Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Subcommittee on International Security, Inter-
national Organizations and Human Rights, and
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2 p.m. in room 2200,
Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Robert G. Torricelli (chair-
man of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere) presiding.

Mr. Torricelli. The committee will please come to order.

Six weeks ago, the Western Hemisphere and the International
Security Subcommittee held a joint hearing on the administration's
counternarcotics strategy for the hemisphere. Our specific concern
was a new legal ruling by the executive branch that was prevent-
ing the United States from sharing radar intelligence with our An-
dean neighbors.

We believed that the cessation of information was having an ex-
tremely detrimental impact on our drug interdiction activities, and
perhaps an even more troubling impact on the state of U.S. rela-
tions with our neighbors.

I believe that I speak for my colleagues in saying that when we
left that hearing some 6 weeks ago, we all felt we had received a
guarantee from the State Department that our Government and
the governments in the region were going to resume a level of close
narcotics cooperation. While a final solution to the radar intel-
ligence problem awaited congressional action, we were informed
that an interim agreement which would allow a resumption of in-
formation sharing would be negotiated with Colombia and Peru in
"a matter of days."

As we meet this afternoon, however, the information sharing still
has not resumed. And, as a result of that circumstance, as well as
several other troubling developments, relations between Colombia
and the United States have reached a troubling area. Indeed, re-
cent events and U.S. policy shifts have created confusion and out-
rage in Colombia and have left the impression that the United
States is retreating from our war on drugs.

Today, we hope to analyze the sources of tension in the United
States' relationships with Colombia with two officials from the
United States Department of State. Ambassador Gelbard, Assistant
Secretary for International Narcotics Matters; and Ambassador
Skol, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Af-
fairs. Also present to answer legal questions is Teresa

(l)



Roseborough, Deputy Assistant Attorney General from the Office of
Legislative Counsel at the Justice Department.

The Clinton administration cannot afford to send mixed signals
to Colombia on issues as important as the war on drugs. Nor can
the narcotraffickers have any doubts about American resolve on
this matter.

Only last fall, the United States hailed Colombia for dismantling
the violent Medellin cocaine cartel, for its efforts to reduce drug
production, and for battling narco-related corruption. Despite re-
cent tensions, the United States and Colombia must not lose sight
of the fact that it will take a great deal of combined effort to tackle
drug trafficking at its source.

Many aspects of our relationship with Colombia are positive. I
hope today we will accomplish what our earlier hearing set out to
do, indeed what I believe members of this committee believed al-
ready had been achieved, and that was a reaffirmation of our two
countries' commitment to work together to fight the war on drugs.

Mr. Lantos, do you have a statement you would like to make at
this point?

Mr. Lantos. Just a very brief comment, Mr. Chairman.

Let me first say that I want to commend you and congratulate
you for calling this hearing. It is in keeping with your role as one
of the principal and most effective voices on foreign policy in the
Congress. And I want to identify myself fully witn your opening
statement.

Ms. Roseborough and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to have you be-
fore this joint hearing of the subcommittees. Although this hearing
is on the broader issue of U.S. -Colombian relations, we were inter-
ested to hear what the current status of the issue of intelligence
sharing with both Colombia and Peru is. At our last hearing, Am-
bassador Gelbard, you testified that we would have interim agree-
ments with Colombia and Peru that would allow us to restart the
intelligence sharing, I believe you said, within 48 hours or before
the end of that week.

It is now about a month later, and we have not been able to re-
start this extremely important effort. We want to hear in detail
from you what the administration has been doing on this issue in
the last 4 weeks, and what the reasons are for not being able to
conclude these agreements.

On the broader issue of U.S. -Colombian relations, our colleagues'
cooperation is and will remain one of the central aspects of our bi-
lateral relationship with Colombia. As such, and as the largest pro-
ducer and consumer of cocaine respectively, we need to ensure that
we work effectively to combat narcotics production and trafficking
as well as consumption here in the United States.

But in order to have effective cooperation, what is needed is trust
on both sides. Some recent events have caused a significant lessen-
ing of trust between the United States and Colombia.

We hope that cooperation with Colombia might continue. But we
need to be very clear that it has to be effective cooperation. In
order for us to continue to justify assistance to Colombia, we must
be able to show concrete results from that assistance.

With respect to the Cali cartel, there have up until now been no
results. No results. Congress expects strong, effective action



against narcotics production and trafficking in order to maintain
continued support both for direct bilateral assistance and for other
forms of assistance. This must include arrest and effective prosecu-
tion of the Cali cartel leaders, including appropriate prison sen-
tences and reasonable forfeiture of assets derived from narcotics
trafficking.

It must also include a continued commitment to the opium and
coca eradication program.

I look forward to listening to your testimony and raising several
issues with you as we go along.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. Lantos, thank you for your comments and
for your very kind remarks.

Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Today's hearing is designed to address a range of issues relating
to U.S. -Colombia relations. Clearly the most serious issue facing
our relations with Colombia is the war against drug traffickers. In
recent months, U.S. relations with Colombia have become strained
and more complicated because of the U.S. decision to cease intel-
ligence sharing with Colombia until certain legal questions are
clarified.

As has been pointed out, Ambassador Gelbard, at our last hear-
ing on June 22, you assured us that "what we intend to do is try
to establish very, very quickly, interim agreements with those gov-
ernments (in Peru and Colombia) that would permit us to resume
the provision of real-time tracking data as quickly as possible, and
I would hope even before the end of the week."

Six weeks later, Mr. Chairman, we still do not have, to the best
of my knowledge, a resolution of that problem.

Parenthetically I would note that I met with President Fujimori
just 2 weeks ago in Lima as part of a wide-ranging series of talks
on human rights and trade, as well as drug trafficking. President
Fujimori was incredulous that the United States has ceased to pro-
vide the information which has been so useful in interdicting drug
traffickers.

As a matter of fact, the DEA recently estimated that there has
been at least a 20 percent increase in shipments via aircraft. Such
statistics obviously bode ill for my constituents and all Americans
who are put at peril by drug use and cocaine abuse.

I would also point out that there are reports with respect to the
campaign contributions made to President-elect Samper, which
were allegedly received from the Cali cartel.

Again, during our last hearing, Ambassador Gelbard, you related
damaging reports of contributions which the gentleman had re-
ceived. You indicated that, "We are looking into this to try to deter-
mine the veracity of this kind of information."

I remain concerned, Mr. Chairman, about these reports. I hope
we can be updated about that aspect as well.

I did receive a letter dated July 15 from the President elect,
which said, "I am completely confident that my campaign was suc-
cessful in rejecting drug traffickers' undercover efforts to spread
their corrupting influence." And he too, I will note for the record,
has called for an investigation.



In addition, Mr. Chairman, as noted in Amnesty International's
recent report entitled "Colombia: Political Violence," the country is,
"plagued by internal conflict and appalling levels of violence . . .
Many . . . victims of political violence in Colombia died in con-
frontations between guerrillas and government forces." There are
allegations that U.S. "aid destined to combat drug-trafficking was
diverted to finance counterinsurgency operations."

Hopefully our distinguished witnesses can speak to the possibil-
ity of such diversions, especially in light of Amnesty's call dated
July 26 for a suspension of military assistance to Colombia because
of those allegations, and the potential for dual use of U.S. military
assistance. Perhaps one week those monies are used to help a
counterinsurgency which may be aiding and abetting human rights
abuses, while another week the forces are working to interdict and
to stop the drug traffickers.

If you could respond to these issues during the course of your tes-
timony, I would appreciate that. I look forward to the testimony
from our distinguished witnesses.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. Torricelli. Thank you, Mr. Smith.

Ambassador Skol, Ambassador Gelbard, Ms. Roseborough, this is
the hearing that never should have happened. It was never our in-
tention to have the same subject come before this committee on an-
other occasion to discuss a subject that was already discussed at
length. The members of this committee felt we had a commitment
from the administration to resolve this problem. It is not resolved.

In all of my time in Congress I can recall no issue which across
party lines, uniting peoples of all political philosophies, should
have come to such a logical conclusion. Nevertheless, the problem
not having been solved, despite assurances to the contrary, we
bring you back to discuss this further and hope to come to some
resolve.

We will, of course, receive any of your prepared statements. We
would ask you to summarize them as you see fit, hoping that since
each of us know our respective positions and much of the back-
ground, much of what needs to be done here is of course the ques-
tions and answers. We hope will you reserve the balance of the
time accordingly.

Ambassador Skol.

STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR MICHAEL M. SKOL, PRINCIPAL
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTER-AMERICAN AF-
FAHIS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Mr. Skol. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am delighted to be here and I believe this hearing is very useful
for a number of reasons. Let me paint a more general picture, and
Robert Gelbard will go on to talk more specifically about the drug
issue. In painting any general picture, drugs remain the most im-
portant single issue in our relations with Colombia, as Chairman
Lantos said? We are the biggest consumer of cocaine. Colombia is
the biggest producer. Without an active policy on the part of both
governments, there is no antidrug policy in the Western Hemi-
sphere.



Let me begin with the recent past and with the present. We have
had a strong, powerful relationship across the board with the ad-
ministration of President Cesar Gaviria — on drugs and all other is-
sues. Recently, as has been pointed out, we have had some very
angry, unfortunate moments — the result of things we have done,
the things Colombia has done, and more importantly, allegations of
what each of us has done.

Cesar Gaviria, who finishes his term as President this coming
Sunday, has exhibited, continues to exhibit, a level of courage, of
determination, of cooperation with us, of success in antidrugs and
other issues that is very nearly unparalleled anywhere. It was a re-
flection of what Cesar Gaviria did, his successful combat with the
Medellin cartel — the most dramatic of all of this — that led the U.S.
Government to make a rare exception to its rule of not supporting
specific candidates for office in regional bodies.

We strongly supported the candidacy of Cesar Gaviria to be the
Secretary General of the Organization of American States. He will
be inaugurated on the 15th of September here in Washington. And
I would emphasize that we would never have made such a decision
had it not been a reflection of admiration for Cesar Gaviria, the
way he has been running Colombia, the way he has been running
the antidrug policy in cooperation with the United States.

In a word, what we need now is a continuity of what Cesar
Gaviria has begun with the United States and with Colombia itself
in drugs. There are other issues. There are human rights issues.
Human rights are being violated on a daily basis in Colombia.

There is a willingness on the part of — a commitment on the part
of the incoming administration — to deal with these issues. And it
is a basic American interest in Colombia to see that these issues
are in fact dealt with.

TRADE

Colombia is an advanced country in terms of economic reform.
We see Colombia in our future in terms of increased trade, in
terms of investment. We have a deep interest there.

DEMOCRACY

The continuity of democracy. Reform of the judiciary. These are
some of the issues we see as basic to the American interest in that
country.

Now we are undergoing a transition to the administration of the
President-Elect, Ernesto Samper. And we all know there have been
doubts raised. There have been accusations, allegations, along with
a number of other issues that have arisen, including the "force-
down" issue to which all three of you have referred. We descended
over the past several weeks into what can be described as a very
unhappy moment in the relationship, not only with President-elect
Samper, but with Colombia as a whole.

Our view is that whatever in fact happened during the election
campaign, the most important focus for our administration, for Co-
lombia, for President-elect Samper and his team, is what happens
in the future, that is, what begins to happen on his inauguration
this coming Sunday.



We are looking for a pragmatic solution to a terribly complicated,
difficult and angry problem. Ambassador Chris Arcos, Ambassador
Gelbard's deputy in the State Department, and I visited with Presi-
dent Samper in New York some weeks ago. We talked with him
and two of his ministers. We talked frankly about what we will all
be looking for, what the Congress of the United States and the
Congress of Colombia will be looking for — and that is action, ag-
gressiveness. Doing something about the Cali cartel.

President-elect Samper gave to us at that time an outline of
what I would call his battle plan against the cartels. It is very
nearly the same as what he put into a letter to several Members
of the Congress. We can go into details later about the specific pro-
posals that he made.

In our view, it is a good battle plan. It makes sense. It could
work. And as President-elect Samper himself indicated in the let-
ter, it will only work if his government, his administration, is seri-
ous about pursuing it, and it will only work if the United States
is serious about pursuing it with him.

We had another round last week of the same kind of discussions,
much more in detail, with three ministers — designate of President-
elect Samper. Ministers — designate of justice, defense and foreign
relations. Once again, we talked battle plan. We talked actions. We
talked what we would do. We made promises to each other.

Ambassador Myles Frechette, newly arrived in Bogota, is under-
taking the same kinds of conversation with the incoming adminis-
tration. Our hope basically, our belief, our commitment, and it
must be the Colombian commitment too, and that is what we have
been told, is that we can duplicate and improve on the level of co-
operation that we have had with the administration of President
Gaviria. And we will do everything in our power to make that come
to pass.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Skol appears in the appendix.]

Mr. Torricelli. Thank you.

Ambassador Gelbard, welcome back.

Mr. Lantos. You should be under oath before you make a state-
ment like that.

STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR ROBERT S. GELBARD, ASSIST-
ANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS MAT-
TERS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Mr. Gelbard. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you
today.

As your letter of invitation suggests, our relationship with Co-
lombia has undergone several rocky weeks. It is a vital bilateral re-
lationship. From my own narcotics perspective, there is none more
important anywhere.

Mike Skol and I hope to place that relationship in some perspec-
tive, explain how we got where we are today, and offer our think-
ing on where we are headed.

I have a formal statement, Mr. Chairman, which, if you agree,
I will submit for the record.

Mr. Torricelli. Without objection, it will be entered in the
record in full.



Mr. GELBARD. Thank you.

I last appeared before the two subcommittees 5 weeks ago. At
that time your attention and mine was focused on the issue of the
suspension of radar intelligence to Colombia and Peru. I was opti-
mistic that we had finally resolved the issue since the President's
decision solved a difficult policy problem that we have wrestled
with for months.

Congress showed every sign of willingness to resolve the criminal
liability problem as soon as possible. I myself was hopeful that we
could resume cooperation with Colombia and Peru soon through
some interim agreements. Five weeks later, as you have stated, I
regret that this issue is still not yet behind us.

To be fair, Congress is trying to do its part by moving on the
President's requested amendment to the criminal code that will
permit us to resume cooperation without risk of prosecution. And
we hope the necessary bill will be on the President's desk for signa-
ture before the August recess.

But despite near assurances from the Colombian and Peruvian
Governments in my early conversations with Bogota and Lima,
they have apparently elected not to pursue interim agreements and
to wait instead for us to resolve our domestic law concern. I regret
this because this continued suspension hurts us all.

It is all the more important, of course, that we pass the adminis-
tration's proposed amendment as soon as possible. The amendment
is important because Colombia is important. It is key to U.S.
counternarcotics efforts in South America, in the Western Hemi-
sphere, and in the world.

More Americans die from cocaine every year than any other il-
licit drug, and the overwhelming majority of all cocaine entering
the United States is processed through Colombia by a few Colom-
bian trafficking cartels.

For 5 years, we have been fortunate. Under the leadership of
President Gaviria, we have enjoyed the best counternarcotics co-
operation of any two governments anywhere. Whether interdiction,
investigation, prosecution or eradication, we worked hand in hand
with the Gaviria administration.

And the cooperation did not come to Colombia free of cost. The
families of more than 2,000 assassinated police officers can tell us


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Online LibraryInternational Organizations United States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiU.S. relations with Colombia : joint hearing before the Subcommittees on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights and the Western Hemisphere of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, August 3, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 9)