The Colombian government denounced a conspiracy “on a [national] and international level,” as being behind the accusations of a former director of information of DAS, who is testifying against right-wing paramilitaries, according to a statement released Friday.
“We have information that Mr. Rafael Garcia would be serving the interests of people who want to affect the interests of our nation, both domestically and internationally, a situation that is being evaluated by the intelligence authorities of the country,” said DAS.
In his testimony against former director of DAS jorge Noguera, Garcia, a former ICT director of the DAS, said that the intelligence chief was actively involved in the trafficking of drugs to the U.S. by paramilitary organization AUC, and claimed that President Alvaro Uribe was aware of and approved the cooperation.
In its statement, DAS accused Garcia of “disseminating defamatory statements against the Colombian state against the President of the Republic and other national government institutions” and declared criminal charges against him.
“The National Government will request information from authorities in other countries to determine if Mr. Rafael Garcia has established a complaint, in order to begin proceedings,” the statement continued, without specifying what the proceedings would be.
In May 2007 President Uribe himself accused opposition senator Gustavo Petro of dealing with the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, where Garcia has sought political asylum.
“A senator offered asylum in Venezuela to the witness Garcia,” President Uribe said at the time. “The same Garcia who has been called upon to abuse so many people, has had support from very important [figures] of the opposition.
“Remember that Garcia was the witness that claimed that DAS armed paramilitaries who tried to attack President Chavez. Infamy. The greatest infamy. They were offering him all kinds of perks in Venezuela.”
Garcia, who was head of the Bureau of Information of DAS from 2002 to 2005, is one of the main prosecution witness in a scandal known in Colombia as ‘parapolitics’, in which links between government officials and right-wing paramilitary groups is denounced.