Using threats, blackmail, sabotage and media manipulation, the Directorate of Intelligence of the Colombian intelligence service DAS carried out covert operations to misinform NGOs and discredit political opponents, El Espectador reported Monday.
The report said the DAS used state funds in a “political war” to “neutralize the influence” of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations.
The covert operations also aimed to discredit Constitutional Court judges, such as Humberto Sierra, who was involved in postponing a referendum that would allow President Alvaro Uribe to seek another term.
This is the latest of a series of embarrassing events that have befallen the DAS, documented by the prosecutors investigating the agency. Uribe earlier this year announced a restructuring of the DAS in the wake of several scandals involving Illegal wiretapping and allegations of spying on certain politicians, journalists and Supreme Court judges.
A PowerPoint file found by the researchers, titled “political warfare,” details a complete assembly manual for developing and instigating false accusations to tarnish NGOs, deport foreigners unfriendly to the Government, and prevent the publication of certain books, all in the name of “creating division within the opposition movements” and to manipulate public opinion against those who criticize the government.
El Espectador listed several of the covert ops, many with catchy names such as “Operation Halloween,” which aims to raise public awareness about “the reality of communist ideology,” and “Operation Foreigner”, which aims to “neutralize” the actions of foreigners unfriendly to the government.