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U.S. cable ties Colombian military to rights abuses
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A recently declassified cable from the U.S. embassy in Colombia in 1979 indicates that Colombia's military created a paramilitary group linked to human rights abuses.
The document, released on request by the independent National Security Archive, tells how the Colombian military's Battalion of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, or BINCI, decided to form the American Anti-Communist Alliance because of frustration over the lack of success the military was having in fighting leftist rebels.
The right-wing paramilitary group, known as "Triple-A," was feared in Bogota.
"A disturbing development of recent date is the delineation of a plan by BINCI -- approved in late November 1978 by Gen. Jorge Robledo Pulido, commander of the army -- to create the impression that the American Anti-Communist Alliance (AAA) has established itself in Colombia and is preparing to take violent action against Colombian communists," said the cable from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota dated February 1979.
The cable went on to describe the alliance's activities as "more appropriately characterized as dirty tricks than as violations of human rights."
The cabled blamed the alliance for a bombing of the Communist Party headquarters in December 1978, specifying that there were "no casualties."
In Bogota, an army spokesman did not return calls for comment.
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