A DAS official alleges that Partido de la U’s presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos was aware of espionage activities conducted by the Colombian security agency against foreign diplomats, W Radio reported Friday.
The DAS official, who asked to remain anonymous due to death threats against him and his family, made the accusations against Santos in an interview with Colombian investigative journalist Holman Morris on his popular show “Contravia.”
According to the anonymous official, DAS – with the approval of the government – created a special group to spy on, track, and infiltrate the embassies in Colombia of countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cuba.
All of this is documented “in many cases by the Office of Internal Disciplinary Control, and implicates the politicians and current director of DAS,” the official said, providing documents that allegedly support his testimony.
The official went on to explain that the espionage reports from the special group were presented “in the presidential palace” to several top officials within President Alvaro Uribe‘s administration, in addition to the “then-defense minister in his own apartment, in his place of residence,” referring to Juan Manuel Santos.
Apparently, the special group showed Santos a “mega-project … to conduct espionage against neighboring countries,” according to the official.
The official claimed to have been part of a special group of investigators in the intelligence agency that “conducted various operations and the most important is the one that had to do with espionage against the leftists of Latin America.”
“We would infiltrate meetings of ambassadors … private parties, conferences, commissions,” all of which, he claimed, “needed funding to execute, and that requires high-up government approval.”
The officials explained that these operations began “about four years ago, under the presidential administration of Uribe, and saw its peak levels of activity during 2008 and 2009.”
Two other DAS officials; Francy Helana Villegas, the head of DAS’s union, and Victor Hugo Vasquez, a detective, appeared with the anonymous official on Contravia, both of whom corroborated the accusations made.
This most recent accusation comes after Santos was accused last week by extradited AUC commander Salvatore Mancuso, of asking paramilitary head Carlos Castaño to carry out a coup to overthrow then-President Ernesto Samper.
The statements from the anonymous DAS official come amidst the growing scandal of the agency’s spying activities against Colombian journalists, politicians, and judges, in addition to foreign entities.
On Tuesday, the European Union Parliament accused DAS of illegally wiretapping their organization.
This follows news last week that leaked reports from the trial against DAS had revealed that the security agency had carried out illegal monitoring as part of a smear campaign against European organizations, including the EU parliament.