Pursuant to the authority vested in me as Secretary of State, including under Section 556 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-102 “the Act”), I hereby determine and certify that the Colombian Armed Forces are meeting the conditions contained in Sections 556(a)(2) and 556(a)(3) of the Act.
The above-mentioned conditions are that: (A) The Commander General of the Colombian Armed Forces is suspending from the Armed Forces those members, of whatever rank who, according to the Minister of Defense or the Procuraduria General de la Nacion, have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations; (B) the Colombian government is vigorously investigating and prosecuting those members of the Colombian Armed Forces, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations, and is promptly punishing those members of the Colombian Armed Forces found to have committed such violations of human rights or to have aided or abetted paramilitary organizations; (C) the Colombian Armed Forces have made substantial progress in cooperating with civilian prosecutors and judicial authorities in such cases (including providing requested information, such as the identity of persons suspended from the Armed Forces and the nature and cause of the suspension, and access to witnesses, relevant military documents, and other requested information); (D) The Colombian Armed Forces have made substantial progress in severing links (including denying access to military intelligence, vehicles, and other equipment or supplies, and ceasing other forms of active or tacit cooperation) at the command, battalion, and brigade level, with paramilitary organizations, especially in regions where these organizations have a significant presence; (E) The Colombian government is dismantling paramilitary leadership and financial networks by arresting commanders and financial backers, especially in regions where these networks have a significant presence; and (F) The Colombian government is taking effective steps to ensure that the Colombian Armed Forces are not violating the land and property rights of Colombia's indigenous communities. A final condition, described in Section 556(a)(3), is that the Colombian Armed Forces are conducting vigorous operations to restore government authority and respect for human rights in areas under the effective control of paramilitary and guerilla organizations.
The Department of State has periodically consulted with internationally recognized human rights organizations regarding the Colombian Armed Forces' progress in meeting the above-mentioned conditions, as provided in Section 556(c) of the Act.
This Determination and Certification shall be published in the Federal Register and copies shall be transmitted to the appropriate committees of Congress.Start Signature
Dated: April 4, 2007.
Secretary of State, Department of State.
[FR Doc. E7-6955 Filed 4-11-07; 8:45 am]
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