Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS was infiltrated by paramilitaries, according to the testimony of its former deputy director of counter-intelligence.
Jorge Alberto Lagos said that when he reviewed the organization in 2007, he discovered that paramilitaries had infiltrated all areas and positions, above all during the directorship of Jorge Noguera, El Nuevo Dia reported Friday.
“We found a lot of infiltration of groups, especially Self-Defense [groups], the majority from the northern Atlantic coast,” he said, adding that many levels of DAS were compromised by the paramilitaries with whom “some people were very close.”
Lagos seemingly blamed the government for the alleged paramilitary links, explaining that the close ties came about as a result of the government’s directives that DAS should provide security for demobilized paramilitaries.
“Every time I collected information, I found that the permeability [of DAS] that presented itself came as a result of the protection work which the government had obligated DAS to do,” he said.
The former DAS official went on to talk about the direct actions of the intelligence agency, which has been disgraced by the wiretapping scandal undergone while former President Uribe was in office, admitting that DAS conducted illegal surveillance, as well as tasks intended to discredit opposition groups.
Among these persecuted groups were NGOs, trade unionists, journalists and human rights defenders.
Lagos explained that DAS sometimes sent “decapitated dolls smeared with blood” to their political opponents in an attempt to terrorize and intimidate them.
The current government is in the process of trying to enact a new proposal that would see DAS replaced by a new intelligence and counter-intelligence state agency.