Felipe Muñoz, director of Colombia’s scandal-ridden security agency DAS, suggested Wednesday that the U.S. will fund a new Colombian civilian intelligence agency, after Washington cut off financing for DAS.
The U.S. government is “interested in” the creation of a new Colombian civilian intelligence agency, “to define new mechanisms for cooperation,” announced the director of Colombia’s security agency DAS, after meeting with U.S Ambassador William Brownfield Wednesday.
Muñoz’s meeting with Brownfield follows the U.S. ambassador’s announcement Tuesday that his government will suspend funding to DAS due to the wiretapping scandal.
Muñoz also said that the withdrawal of U.S. funding of DAS has been known about for seven months, since a “re-evaluation” of U.S. contributions began, according to El Espectador.
Brownfield told journalists Tuesday that “the United States government has decided to transfer its collaboration to other institutions, specifically the police.”
Muñoz also met with Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the announcement by the U.S. government. The details of the meeting have not been revealed.
The DAS head recognized that his agency’s wiretapping scandal had had an impact on its relationship with Washington, but added that the restructuring of the agency had lowered its funding needs.
The Colombian presidency has been implicated in the wiretapping scandal, which involved the illegal surveillance of Colombian journalists, politicians, trade unionists and human rights defenders.
Following Brownfield’s announcement, the Colombian government issued a press release asserting that it “has never ordered shady or illegal practices and those who engage in such practices should be tried and sent to prison.”