A DEA plot that all but destroyed Colombia’s peace process is causing fury and confusion in the South American country.
The publication of evidence that the US counternarcotics agency was trying to frame the former political leaders of demobilized FARC guerrillas “Ivan Marquez” and “Jesus Santrich” caused chaos in Bogota.
Colombia’s opposition called top government officials to Congress to respond about the allegedly illegal DEA operation that triggered the FARC’s former political chiefs to rearm last year.
The president of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), magistrate Eduardo Cifuentes, said in a press conference that the prosecution withheld the evidence revealed by newspaper El Espectador on Sunday.
Former chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez, who alleged conspired with the DEA, told El Espectador he was unaware that the Americans were using prosecution facilities to illegally wiretap the former FARC leaders.
Martinez’ successor, Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa, will have to explain this to Congress.
Peace Commissioner Miguel Ceballos, Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz, Inspector General Fernando Carrillo and the JEP President were also summoned by the opposition.
According to center-right Senator Roy Barreras, “the 22,000 hours of recordings would prove that the former Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA took part in undercover and entrapment operations to discredit the peace process.”
The war crimes tribunal discovered irregularities last year already and ordered an investigation against the DEA agents allegedly involved in the operation and Martinez, who immediately resigned.
Washington DC and the US Embassy went mute after claiming that Santrich was conspiring to traffic cocaine to the US for more than a year contrary to evidence.
While the evidence revealed by El Espectador confirmed indications the DEA and the prosecution were trying to frame the FARC’s purported leaders in the Senate and House of Representative, many questions remain.
It is not clear, for example, who masterminded the operation that all but sunk the peace process less two months before the 2018 presidential election.