Emails of a former executive of Colombian intelligence agency, DAS, indicate that Colombia’s Interior and Justice Ministry was involved in the illegal wiretapping of government opponents.
Investigators found the emails on a computer of William Romero, former DAS spy director. A report by Romero leaked earlier this week indirectly implied that former President Alvaro Uribe knew of and endorsed the wiretaps.
In emails found by investigators, and leaked to newspaper El Tiempo, Romero writes, “I was with a man who appeared to be working with the Interior (and Justice) Ministry, and (DAS counter intelligence chief Jorge Alberto) Tabares asked me the following: he needs six persons of an intermediate profile, international relations, law and political science professionals, in order to place them in the UTP [sic: UTL = legislative work unit] of some congressmen and have access to these targets.”
So far, neither Romero nor Tabares, who recently struck a deal with the prosecution, mentioned the involvement of employees of the Interior and Justice Ministry in the scandal, but Martha Leal, a former DAS operations coordinator, testified she had met with former Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio over the spying.
So far the scandal has led to two former DAS directors and the chief of staff under former President Alvaro Uribe being barred from public office. The Colombian government is in the process of dismantling the disgraced intelligence service.