Hundreds of thousands of secret intelligence reports of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS have been leaked, reported weekly Semana Sunday. The massive leaking would seriously threaten national security and the lives of informants and secret agents infiltrated in guerrilla groups and drug trafficking organizations.
According to the weekly, hundred of thousands of records have been leaked and the magazine itself got its hands on the records of all 6,022 DAS officials who were on the payroll of the intelligence agency in the beginning of this year.
This database reveals not only the names, ID numbers and office of the office agents, but also that of informants and undercover agents who have infiltrated in illegal armed groups. The database reveals the agents’ home address, where they are located, the names of their family members and former employers, said Semana.
According to the weekly, drug trafficking organizations like that of “El Loco” Barrera, one of Colombia’s most wanted drug kingpins, are in possession of large numbers of these documents, which endangers the lives of the service’s secret agents.
The database is also in hands of “a foreign government which in recent years has maintained tense relations with Colombia,” said Semana.
The weekly compares the leaking of almost the entire DAS database with WikiLeaks that got its hands on hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables between Washington and its embassies around the world.
According to the leaked records, the intelligence agency still had several infiltrators in the country’s Supreme Court and spied on Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, his predecessor Edgardo Maya, current Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras when he was still Senator and other critics of the Uribe administration.
The leaking or selling of intelligence information by corrupt agents is nothing new, said Semana, but has worsened after the announcement of former President Alvaro Uribe in October 2009 that the service will be dismantled, causing fear among the thousands of DAS employees that they would be out in the street.
“Since they said that the DAS would come to an end, a lot of people started doing business and find ways to obtain a few pesos. Others began to take the information as a form of insurance in case tomorrow they have a criminal investigation against them,” an anonymous DAS agent told Semana.
DAS director Felipe Muñoz told Semana that he wants “to send two clear messages to the staff and to society; my commitment is to entirely liquidate the DAS and move towards a new institution with better checks and more respect for human rights. Those who leak information which has happened are putting people’s lives and national security at risk. We will persecute and prosecute them.”
Earlier this year, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he planned to have the DAS — which in the past was involved in grave human rights violations, spying on government opponents, cooperation with paramilitary death squads and allegedly drug trafficking — dismantled by November.