Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS planned a smear campaign to discredit NGOs working for Colombia’s displaced citizens, El Espectador has discovered in classified DAS reports.
The plan intended to send undercover DAS agents to infiltrate the Second National Meeting of Victims of Crimes against Humanity and Violations of Human Rights in June 2005. The agents would chant and distribute flyers amongst a crowd of protesters in an attempt to suggest links between the NGOs and guerrilla groups the FARC and the ELN.
The event was specifically targeted because it was seeking to gain the attention of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), with DAS officials also aiming to obtain “audio and video recordings of the event’s participants and to establish the full identity, ideology and other information of interest of the participants.”
El Espectador’s report comes after their own findings from files taken from the wiretap investigation into the DAS. The findings seemingly corroborate a declaration in March 2011, by Congressman Ivan Cepeda who claimed to have known of this plan.
The intelligence agency, which has been disgraced by the wiretapping scandal undertaken under fomer President Alvaro Uribe, was dealt a further blow in early April when former DAS official Jorge Alberto Lagos claimed that DAS was heavily infiltrated by paramilitaries when he reviewed the organization in 2007.
Although the planned chants never materialized as part of the DAS’ wider sabotage efforts, the undercover agents did handout various posters and flyers at the 2005 event according to the report.
The recent revelations are expected to help build the case against those involved in crimes that include illegal surveillance.
The current administration’s proposal to dismantle the discredited intelligence agency and replace it with a new one was recently approved in both the Senate and the House.