Felipe Muñoz, director of Colombia’s intelligence service DAS sacked
the deputy director of the service’s counterintelligence department
amid a growing scandal involving illegal wiretaps of judges, opposition politicians and journalists. More people are expected to be fired.
Deputy director Alberto Lagos is the first victim that has caused outrage in Colombia.
According to the Government, the mafia is behind the widespread illegal use of wiretaps and blames alleged drug lords like ‘Don Mario’, ‘El Cuchillo’ and ‘El Loco Barrera’ of having corrupted the service. “Behind this there are criminal gangs, enemies of Colombia. This is a very serious situation and we will get to the bottom of this,” Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, politically responsible for the DAS, told Caracol Radio.
However, the opposition doubts the coincidence that exactly the persons involved in activities that potentially could harm the Uribe administration are illegally being wiretapped; the wiretapped judges are involved in investigation of coalition congressmen with ties to death squads, the bugged media directors are those of stations relatviely critical of the government and only opposition politicians have been reported investigated by the intelligence service.
In a press conference, DAS director Muñoz announced more people have offered their resignation.
Meanwhile, an elite squad of Prosecution investigators have occupied the DAS main office in Bogotá to investigate the wiretaps.