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DOCUMENTO Íntegro

Cable sobre las medidas de Uribe para controlar las actividades del DAS

El Tribunal Supremo colombiano solicita una investigación internacional sobre las operaciones del servicio de inteligencia colombiano

mgallardo@planeta.es
ID: 194752
Date: 2009-03-02 15:54:00
Origin: 09BOGOTA688
Source: Embassy Bogota
Classification: SECRET
Dunno: 08BOGOTA3193 08BOGOTA3359 09BOGOTA569
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0688/01 0611554
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 021554Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7456
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8687
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1738
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR 9961
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 7059
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 7779
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0566
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T BOGOTA 000688

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2029
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PTER, PHUM, KJUS, CO
SUBJECT: URIBE RESTRICTS DAS INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS IN
REACTION TO EAVESDROPPING SCANDAL

REF: A. 09 BOGOTA 569
B. 08 BOGOTA 003359
C. 08 BOGOTA 003193
D. 08 BOGOTA 3359

Classified By: Political Counselor John Creamer
Reasons 1.4 (b and d)

SUMMARY
-------
1. (C) President Uribe stripped authority from the Department
of Administrative Security (DAS) to conduct wiretaps after
press revelations that the DAS had illegally spied on
domestic political figures. All DAS monitoring must now be
done under the control of the Colombian National Police
(CNP). Uribe faced public pressure to make changes to the
agency, which has been involved in repeated political spying
scandals. The Supreme Court, which has been subject to DAS
surveillance, called for international organizations to
investigate, and reportedly filed a complaint with the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The
Prosecutor General's Office (Fiscalia) continues to
investigate, and has entered a DAS listening facility run in
cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
DEA has cooperated with GOC authorities. End summary.

URIBE WEAKENS DAS WITHOUT ABOLISHING IT
---------------------------------------
2. (U) President Alvaro Uribe announced on February 26 that
he had prohibited the Department of Administrative Security
(DAS) from conducting wiretaps after leading news magazine
"Semana" revealed that the DAS (roughly an FBI equivalent)
had illegally spied on a wide range of domestic political
figures (reftel A). At an early morning press conference,
Uribe announced that all legal wiretaps will have to be
approved judicially and by the Prosecutor General (Fiscalia)
and will be implemented by personnel of Colombian National
Police (CNP). The DAS reports to the Presidency.

3. (U) Recognizing the technical nature of the work, Uribe
stressed that DAS teams will continue to work the intercepts,
but that they will be under CNP control. Uribe was explicit
that DAS director Felipe Munoz would have to report to CNP
chief General Oscar Naranjo for all wiretap operations. DAS
intelligence chief Fernando Tabarez resigned on February 26,
and three others, including intelligence deputy Jorge Lagos,
have also resigned as a result of the scandal. The CNP was
involved in its own wiretapping scandal in May, 2007, which
led to the dismissal of twelve CNP generals and the
appointment of Naranjo as CNP head.

4. (U) Uribe faced pressure to make changes to DAS in the
wake of the scandal, which is only the latest in a series of
domestic spying scandals involving the embattled agency.
Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told reporters in
Washington that DAS was a "sick patient" that perhaps needed
a "Christian burial," but that Uribe would decide its future.
Prosecutor General (Fiscal) Mario Iguaran said he was
considering ordering all DAS listening facilities to be
temporarily closed, but he held off on the move following
Uribe's order. Still, Supreme Court President Francisco
Ricaurte--one of the many reported targets of the illegal
monitoring--said Uribe's changes would do little to address
the underlying problems at the DAS because it would not
identify those who ordered the illicit spying.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR ILLEGAL WIRETAPS STILL UNCLEAR
--------------------------------------------- ----
5. (U) The Fiscalia continued its investigation into who was
behind the illegal wiretapping and the subsequent attempt to
destroy evidence (reftel A). Investigators from CTI, the
Fiscalia's investigative unit, have collected over 10,000
records and are interviewing DAS personnel. After Fiscalia
complaints that the DAS was not cooperating in the
investigations, DAS Director Munoz assured Iguaran that the
DAS would fully cooperate. The DAS did not initially permit
CTI investigators into facilities operated jointly with other
countries, including one run by DEA.

USG FULLY COOPERATING
---------------------

6. (S) DEA officials confirmed that Colombian investigators
entered a DAS facility that had been operated jointly with
DEA, and that DEA has cooperated fully in the probe.
Inspector General (Procuradoria) investigators entered on
February 23, where they reviewed evidence and interviewed DAS
officials. Those investigators lacked the technical
expertise to analyze their findings. CTI technical
investigators joined the investigation the following day.
DEA and DAS officials helped the CTI investigators gather
data on all lines monitored at the facility so CTI could
establish that proper judicial orders existed for each
number. DEA officials confirmed that all operations were
carried out with proper orders (reftel A). DEA and DAS
personnel explained that, contrary to press accounts, it was
physically impossible to independently target telephone lines
from the site.

GOC DENIES INVOLVEMENT
----------------------
7. (C) Senior Presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria
continued to deny involvement, but both CNP Chief Naranjo and
former DAS Director Andres Penate have separately told us
that Gaviria in the past has pushed DAS to spy on the GOC's
political opponents. Supreme Court President Ricaurte and
Senator Petro both publicly accused the Casa de Narino of
ordering the wiretaps. Gaviria said he was an "enemy" of
both illegal recordings and their publication, which he said
differentiated him from "Semana" editor Alejandro Santos, who
had published details. Former President Cesar Gaviria
publicly speculated that a Colombian "Montesinos" might be
behind the illegal intercepts.

8. (C) Radio "W" reporter Felix de Bedout, a DAS target
mentioned in the "Semana" article, told us that former DAS
subdirector Jose Manuel Narvaez--a "paramilitary advisor" who
left DAS in 2005 after a previous scandal--had retained
access to the agency after his departure and was the Casa de
Narino's main liaison with DAS. Bedout alleged that
Narvaez's Casa de Narino contact was probably Gaviria or
Secretary of the Presidency Bernardo Moreno. In addition,
Bedout said mid-level DAS operators had initiated illegal
wiretaps themselves, both to earn money and as insurance
against their political masters. He claimed the Semana
revelations were sourced to DAS personnel who were
disgruntled with Lagos' and Tabarez' manipulation of the
polygraph system to punish enemies and collect kickbacks for
promotions.

9. (C) DAS Director Munoz told the press on February 26th
that computer records pertaining to possible illegal
recordings of DAS targets' conversations with Embassy
personnel may have been discovered, adding that he would
share any results with us. Bedout also told us the DAS had
listened to U.S. officials via conversations with Vice
Minister of Defense Sergio Jaramillo, among others. He said
Jaramillo was targeted by Casa de Narino and military
officials concerned about his role in promoting human rights
investigations within the Armed Forces.

COURT ADAMANT FOR STRONGER STEPS
--------------------------------
10. (C) Colombia's Supreme Court called for international
involvement to investigate the situation, and its 23 members
met with Iguaran, Inspector General (Procurador) Ordonez, and
Munoz to complain about having been targeted. Supreme Court
President Ricaurte publicly alleged a GOC "plot" against the
Court, and told the press the DAS surveillance undermined
its independence. The Supreme Court reportedly filed a
complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
and also informed the Special UN Rapporteur on Judicial
Independence Leandro Despouy. The Court took previous
allegations of executive encroachment to the UN (reftel D),
suggesting the long-smoldering conflict between Uribe and
Court may soon reignite.

11. (C) Ivan Velazquez, the Court's lead in the
parapolitical investigation (and both a frequent target and
critic of Uribe - see reftel C), told us on February 20 that
the DAS surveillance, including interception of his
communications, was intended to discourage witnesses from
cooperating with his investigations. He also told Spanish

daily "El Pais" that DAS had recorded over 2,000 hours of his
telephone conversations.

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