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Colombia’s Mapiripán massacre was “well-coordinated in advance” with the Colombian Army, according to confidential paramilitary sources, one of which the U.S. Embassy believed had “participated directly in the planning” of the killings. The new disclosures are the first from a fresh set of declassified diplomatic cables on the Mapiripán case released at the end of last week by the State Department’s Appeals Review Panel on the15th anniversary of the massacre.

If this “blunt admission” of Army complicity in the Mapiripán massacre was correct, an Embassy official observed, “then both of the key paramilitary operations which most directly affected U.S.-assisted counter-narcotics operations in the Guaviare region in 1997 had been conducted with the foreknowledge and facilitation by members of the Colombian Army.” The other “operation” was the October 1997 massacre at Miraflores, which, like Mapiripán, was then an important narcotics trafficking hub in Colombia’s eastern plains.

It’s taken the State…

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