This source is an unclassified cable memo from the U.S. Ambassador Curtis W. Kamman that highlights the likely ties between the Colombian military and the ACCU paramilitary. In it, Kamman describes how a controversy erupted after the ACCU paramilitary murdered “two long-demobilized CRS Guerillas near Medellin”, and then the next day, the military presented these same bodies as active “ELN guerillas killed in combat with the army”. Kamman goes on to write that this is “a clear case of army-paramilitary complicity”. There was little confusion over whether this complicity actually occurred, the local Fiscalia Prosecutor who examined both of the bodies stated “the two cadavers were the only ones which the Fiscalia recovered period.” The source singles out the 4th Brigade that was part of this controversy as especially bad when it came to interaction with the paramilitary.
This source is useful because it demonstrates the United State’s knowledge that the paramilitaries and the Colombian military had active ties. It is also a demonstration of the use of “false positives” by the military, where they would take dead civilians and claim they were soldiers. This was written around the time that both the U.S. and Colombian governments were formulating Plan Colombia, it demonstrates that although the U.S. understood the relationship between these two groups, it still went ahead with the militarized plan. The focus on the 4th Brigade in this is useful as it shows just how bad this group was, but it could also be interpreted as Kamman not trying to implicate the rest of the military in the human rights violations.
U.S. Department of State, “Paramilitary Ties of the Army’s 4th Brigade.” by Kamman, Curtis W., February 1, 2000.https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB266/20000208.pdf