Posted by Camilla Pease-Watkin on Jun 18, 2010 Leave a comment

DAS scandal ‘worse than Watergate’

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“Far Worse than Watergate,” a report by a group of U.S. NGOs, says that the scandal surrounding Colombian security agency DAS is “more shocking than initially reported,” involving death threats and possibly the collaboration of presidential aides.

The report is a joint project by the U.S. Office on Colombia, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, the Center for International Policy and the Washington Office on Latin America.

According to a press release, it “reveals that the Watergate-like scandal in Colombia is even more shocking than initially reported, with the presidential intelligence agency, DAS, not only spying, but also carrying out dirty tricks and even death threats on major players in Colombia’s democracy.”

Speaking about the report Kelly Nicholls, executive director of the U.S. Office on Colombia, said “This scandal is far more outrageous that we initially imagined. It includes spying in international territory, sending grotesque death threats, using blackmail, framing a journalist in a fabricated guerrilla video and conducting sabotage against Constitutional Court judges.”

The press release goes on to say that “Far Worse than Watergate also details new evidence that shows that this illegal activity may have been carried out with orders from top presidential advisers.”

According to the report, “Senior presidential advisors were aware of, and indeed may have directed, the Department of Administrative Security (DAS) at least some aspects of the illegal wiretapping operation against Supreme Court magistrates, members of the political opposition, journalists and human rights defenders, according to information recently revealed by the Colombian Attorney General’s office.”

The report says that “The next Colombian administration must be challenged to fully reform the nation’s intelligence services to put an end to these authoritarian practices.”

To read “Far Worse than Watergate” in full, click here.