Colombian Police Wednesday officially took over leadership of Interpol as part of a restructuring of scandal-ridden Colombian Department of Administrative Security (DAS).
The decision, hammered out during a meeting between Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Lujan, National Police commissioner Oscar Naranjo, and the director of the DAS, Felipe Muñoz, established the framework under which Interpol will work under direction by regular police, which is generally how the organization operates in many of its 186 member countries.
Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, is a law enforcement association that promotes international police cooperation involving crimes that overlap member countries. The international body had requested the transfer after the wiretap scandal became known.
The restructuring comes on the heals of a scandal within the organization involving illegal wiretapping, alleged paramilitary links and other illegal actions involving the Colombian intelligence department, which prompted President Alvaro Uribe to order the dismantling of the agency and the forming of a new one.
Muñoz said the DAS and the National Police within 90 days will create a committee of officials from the agencies to ensure uninterrupted communication and free exchange of information used by Interpol. However, the DAS will continue to enforce immigration duties and policies in Colombia, duties which will also be under the authority of the new civilian intelligence agency.
“The entity (DAS) shall maintain full access to information and databases as the National Police from the time of the transfer,” said the director of the Administrative Department of Security.