Documents leaked to Caracol Radio reveal that Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS spied on anyone suspected of opposing former President Alvaro Uribe, including government officials close to the then-president, the radio station claims.
The illegal wiretapping carried out by Colombia’s state intelligence agency extended to the office of Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, who was personally appointed by Uribe and is considered a loyal ally of the former president. Documents leaked previously showed that the DAS was spying on Vice President Francisco Santos.
A DAS report detailed proceedings in February of 2009 on the progress in the investigations by Ordoñez against former Minister of Social Security Diego Palacio and former Ambassador to Italy Sabas Pretelt de la Vega. The two were suspected of bribing congressmen to approve the 2006 re-election run of Uribe.
The report said that the inspector general had decided to acquit the men. This was not announced publicly until March 16, 2009, a month after the DAS report.
Under public pressure, investigations against Pretelt de la Vega and Palacio were eventually reopened. Pretelt de la Vega was convicted, while Palacio is still being investigated by the Inspector General’s Office. Ordoñez himself is now under investigation for acquitting the two men in 2009.
Caracol claimed to have seen e-mails between former DAS employees, as well as thousands of intelligence reports, detailed files on politicians, and further information on those targeted by the wiretapping, evidence which has been discovered and examined by investigators. There were more than 600 intelligence reports, each identified with a code, that gave information about union meetings; political opponents of Uribe’s government like Piedad Cordoba, Gustavo Petro, and Carlos Gaviria; and the movements of members of the Supreme Court.
Both the inspector general and the prosecutor general have opened investigations into who ordered the illegal wiretaps. Among the suspects are former DAS directors and Uribe’s closest aides within the presidential palace