Leaders of the Medellin drug cartel in 1986 offered U.S. officials a deal under which they would halt drug trafficking and provide information on leftist guerrillas in Colombia in exchange for amnesty from prosecution, according to a published report Wednesday.
The proposal in late 1986 never was taken seriously or pursued by the Reagan administration, The Washington Post reported, citing laws enforcement sources and documents.The newspaper said the deal was presented to an unidentified Miami lawyer, reported to the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami and then relayed to administration officials in Washington.
"We don't do business with international outlaws," said Ann B. Wrobleski, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics, who acknowledged that she was familiar with the offer. "These people are the scum of the earth."
Under the proposed deal, top leaders of the Medellin cartel offered to "work for American intelligence" and inform on guerrilla allies by supplying information on alleged Libyan arms shipments and Cuban personnel operating in Colombia, the newspaper said, citing DEA documents reports and sources.
The documents were obtained recently by a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, which has been holding hearings on international narcotics trafficking.
The DEA documents said the Miami lawyer attended two meetings in Colombia with cartel leaders Jorge Ochoa, Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder, who has been convicted on drug charges in Jacksonville, Fla.
"Lehder appeared to be under the impression that he, Escobar and Ochoa can work for American intelligence by supplying information about guerrilla activities, thereby incurring amnesty for their efforts," the DEA account said. "They then can return to their families and call an end to their trafficking activities."