At the beginning of February 2014 reports started reappearing of an illegal intelligence centre

that was infiltrating the communications of delegates in the peace negotiations in Havana, human rights organizations, politicians and journalists, amongst others.[1] This new scandal meant that the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) phone tapping scandal returned to the front page of the newspapers as well as the issue of the lack of compliance with the agreements made in dissolving the archives that the now defunct DAS obtained illegally.[2]

DAS phone taps

During 2008, the scandal that would later be known as the “DAS phone tap scandal” unravelled. The DAS organized a special group within its ranks to undertake operations to monitor and obstruct the work of human rights defenders, opposition politicians, magistrates and journalists, amongst others.  The monitoring was at such a large scale that even family members, friends and emotional partners of the “intercepted” were included under the radar. The DAS’s actions also included making death threats, like the one directed at Soraya Gutiérrez, member of the governing board of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (CCAJAR), who they sent a children’s doll covered in blood accompanied by a note: “You have a pretty daughter, don’t sacrifice her”. [3]

There were many operations orchestrated by the DAS where the order were to neutralize the actions of the NGOs in Colombia and the rest of the world and establish links between NGOs like CCAJAR and guerrilla groups. Included in these operations was what was known as “Operation Europa”, that indicated as a target for discrediting, neutralization and legal attacks, the European judicial system, the European Parliament’s Human Rights Subcommittee, and European governments, amongst others.[4]

Ana Vicente


[1] Ccajar: Someone spied on the negotiators in Havana? 3 of February 2014.

[2] El Tiempo: Phone taps, the story without an end, 5th of February 2014

[3] El Tiempo: Illegal monitoring manual, 14th of June 2009.

[4] La Silla Vacia Operation Baptism: The history behind the name of the criminal operations of the DAS, 22 of April 2010.

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