President Uribe met with CIA director Leon Panetta on Thursday to discuss the Colombia-U.S free trade agreement and the overhaul of Colombia’s scandal-ridden intelligence agency, DAS.
During the hour-long meeting, Panetta agreed to speak directly with President Barack Obama about Uribe’s desire to see the trade agreement passed soon.
Panetta also praised Uribe’s counter-narcotics efforts and his hard-hitting policies against the FARC.
The two also discussed how to reform training for DAS personnel. There are currently criminal investigations pending against 40 DAS officials for alleged involvement in the illegal wiretapping of journalists and human rights activists.
According to Caracol Radio, Panetta also showed interest in applying the model for a reformed Colombian intelligence agency to other countries.
Defense Minister Gabriel Silva, military forces commander General Freddy Padilla, and police chief General Oscar Naranjo also attended the meeting. Pre-presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos also reportedly met with Panetta.
Silva met privately with Panetta later in the evening to further discuss details about restructuring the DAS, after last year’s ongoing spying and wiretapping scandal.