Illegal activities by the DAS

The Department of Administrative Security (DAS) was, until 2011, the main Colombian State intelligence agency and answered directly to the Presidency.

During the two administrations of Alvaro Uribe Velez (2002-2010), this intelligence agency unleashed the systematic and generalised persecution of opposition leaders, members of the judiciary, journalists and human rights organisations, by monitoring their communications, following them and putting them under surveillance, carrying out information theft, sabotaging their activities, mounting smear campaigns, threats, psychological torture and even murders, amongst many other illegal intelligence activities which were carried out within Colombia’s own borders as well as abroad.[1]

The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective, (CCAJAR) represents more than 20 victims of the DAS’ persecution in national and international courts. Approximately 20 DAS officials[2] have been found guilty so far, including: the Presidency’s secretary general, Bernardo Moreno,[3] former DAS directors Maria del Pilar Hurtado,[4] Jose Miguel Narvaez and Carlos Arzayuz, former assistant directors German Villalba and Martha Leal, and former Army captains Jorge Alberto Lago and Fernando Alonso Tabares who were formerly heads of intelligence and counter-intelligence at the DAS.

Jorge Noguera Cotes, also a former director of the intelligence agency, is awaiting sentencing, and was previously found guilty of the homicide of professor Alfredo Correa de Andreis.[5]

Other cases are still in process, including the investigation into former president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, which is with the Congressional Accusation Commission in keeping with the prosecutorial process for accused presidents.

In the words of Luis Guillermo Perez, the CCAJAR lawyer leading the case, evidence has been submitted in support of the investigation of the “eventual criminal responsibility of Alvaro Uribe Velez for the persecution unleashed during his presidency, particularly the persecution by the DAS of [CCAJAR], the Colombian Commission of Jurists, other human rights defenders and of members of the political opposition…”,[6] accusations which Uribe Velez’ lawyer denies.[7]


[1] Semana: El DAS sigue grabando, 21 February 2009
[2] CCAJAR: Annual Report 2014, September 2015
[3] El Tiempo: Condena de 14 años para Hurtado y 8 para Bernardo Moreno por chuzadas, 30 April 2015, see full text of decision: Corte Suprema de Justicia: Sentencia 36784, 7 May 2015
[4] El Tiempo: Condena de 14 años para Hurtado y 8 para Bernardo Moreno por chuzadas, 30 April 2015
[5] El Tiempo: Condena a Jorge Noguera, la más alta contra un ex funcionario de Uribe, 14 September 2011
[6] El Tiempo: Condenan a Narváez y compulsan copias contra Uribe por caso ‘chuzadas’, 26 July 2016
[7] El tiempo: Abogado de Uribe dice que no hubo compulsa de copias por ‘chuzadas’, 28 July 2016

*Cover photograph: courtesy of CCAJAR

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