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Hollman Carranza, the son of the late Victor Carranza, appears in the Panama Papers among 850 other Colombian citizens involved in the scandal. The confidential files leaked Sunday known as Panama Papers showed a connection between offshore firms and the son of late Victor Carranza, a prominent figure of Colombian paramilitarism, the U.S. channel Univision and Colombian local media revealed Monday. In the 1980s, Victor Carranza was known as the “emerald tsar” as he owned emerald mines in the Boyaca [lees verder]

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BOGOTA—The former head of Colombia’s intelligence service was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Thursday for spying on opposition lawmakers, judges and journalists in one of the biggest scandals to mar the government of ex-President Alvaro Uribe. Maria del Pilar Hurtado, 51, headed the now-defunct Administrative Security Department (DAS) intelligence service from 2007 to 2008, which was shut down following the scandal and replaced with a new intelligence entity. Hurtado received political asylum in Panama in 2010, but the [lees verder]

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BOGOTA – A former director of Colombia’s DAS intelligence agency has turned himself in after the Attorney General’s Office ordered his arrest in connection with the 1989 assassination of reformist presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan. Miguel Maza Marquez surrendered late Tuesday at a DAS academy. Prosecutors say Maza Marquez made changes to Liberal Party hopeful Galan’s security detail just hours before he was killed on Aug. 18, 1989, at a campaign rally in the Bogota suburb of Soacha. One of [lees verder]

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El exdirector del DAS general (r) Miguel Alfredo Maza Márquez señaló que la organización mafiosa le ofreció al mandatario asesinar a quien fuera su más enconado rival. Maza Márquez: Cartel de Cali ofreció matar a Pablo Escobar Cartel de Cali ofreció a presidente Barco matar a Escobar Foto: Guillermo Torres Este martes se cumplió el segundo día del juicio contra el exdirector del DAS general (r) Miguel Maza Márquez, ante la corte Suprema de Justicia por su presunta responsabilidad en [lees verder]

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Panama’s Deputy Foreign Minister Álvaro Aleman, right, accompanies Maria del Pilar Hurtado as she leaves the foreign ministry building in Panama City in 2010. Photo: AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, File The former head of Colombia’s intelligence agency has surrendered to authorities. Maria del Pilar Hurtado is accused of ordering illegal wiretaps on politicians, journalists and even Supreme Court justices opposed to former President Álvaro Uribe. She fled to Panama in 2010 and was granted asylum arguing that she was being targeted [lees verder]

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A group of MEPs is calling for action as further details of an alleged covert operation conducted by the Colombian intelligence agency (DAS) continue to emerge, with one of its reported aims being to undermine the authority of the European Parliament. Recently released documents that were confiscated from the DAS by the Colombian Attorney General’s office highlight the nature of “Operation Europe.” The alleged action in Europe includes phone tapping and the interception of emails (Photo: Flickr.com) Its objective was [lees verder]

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ILLUSTRATION BY LEO GARCIAWhen the editorial staff of Semana, a feisty Bogotá-based weekly news magazine, was closing out their Feb. 21 edition, they couldn’t help but notice an unmarked car parked for several hours in front of their building. This came as no surprise to editor- in-chief Alfonso Cuéllar, who supervised a six-month long investigation of illegal wiretapping by Colombia’s domestic intelligence agency, the Administrative Department of Security, known in Colombia as the DAS. “We knew that both the good [lees verder]

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Venezuela has announced the arrest of a number of people whom it accuses of being agents spying for Colombia. Deputy Foreign Minister Francisco Arias Cardenas said they were members of Colombia’s DAS state security agency. He said they were “captured carrying out actions of espionage”, without giving any further details. Ties between the two nations have been frozen since July when Colombia said it would let the US army use its military bases for anti-drugs operations. The agreement has caused [lees verder]

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BOGOTA, Sept 18 Colombia’s state intelligence agency will be dissolved, the government said on Friday, following a flood of scandals in which agents are accused of wire-tapping judges, reporters and opposition politicians. Former officials of the DAS agency are also being investigated for taking bribes in exchange for providing right-wing cocaine-funded paramilitaries with hit lists of union leaders and human rights activists. Agents are accused of continuing to listen in on the phone conversations of politicians, rights workers and journalists [lees verder]

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BOGOTA – Colombia’s DAS security service fired 22 detectives, apparently in connection with an investigation into the illegal wiretapping of leading public figures, the press said on Tuesday. Monday witnessed “one of the biggest purges in the recent history of the DAS” after a meeting of director with the services internal-affairs panel, El Tiempo newspaper said. “When questioned about the reason for the dismissals, spokespeople for the agency said Muñoz affected them making use of the discretionary authority the law [lees verder]

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BOGOTA (Reuters) – La Central de Inteligencia de Colombia, inmersa en un escándalo de espionaje, siguió interceptando ilegalmente comunicaciones telefónicas de congresistas para establecer sus posiciones ante un referendo sobre la reelección presidencial, dijo el domingo una revista. La nueva denuncia podría aumentar las críticas contra el Gobierno del presidente Alvaro Uribe, por la falta de medidas eficaces para controlar la agencia de seguridad, bajo su mando directo, en momentos en que la Cámara de Representantes se dispone a votar [lees verder]

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CARACAS – The Venezuelan government presented on Thursday what officials called “irrefutable evidence” that neighboring Colombia has dispatched spies to Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba as part of an ambitious, CIA-financed operation. Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami detailed the contents of documents allegedly originating with Colombia’s DAS security service and unearthed since the apprehension of two suspected Colombian on Venezuelan soil. He said Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was fully aware of the espionage carried out by the DAS, which reports directly [lees verder]

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Claims of Collaboration with Drug Traffickers and Paramilitaries Sting the Country’s DAS Security Service and Support Allegations of DEA Corruption Published in Narco News Though it has barely registered in the U.S. press, a national scandal is currently unfolding in Colombia, where a jailed high official of the Administrative Department for Security (DAS, in its Spanish initials) has been speaking freely with journalists about the extensive collaboration between the secret police agency and right-wing paramilitary groups. Rafael García lost his [lees verder]

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A former executive of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS was sentenced to 9 years and 10 months in prison on Thursday for his role in the illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court justices and government critics during the Alvaro Uribe administrations (2002-2010). The ex-intelligence director of the DAS was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime, violation of communication equipment, illicit use of wiretapping equipment and abuse of power. Carlos Arzayus is one of a handful of former intelligence officials [lees verder]

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The DAS wiretapping scandal unfolded in 2008 after opposition politicians, media and authorities discovered that Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, the DAS, had been spying on the Supreme Court, journalists, human rights defenders and politicians. Later dubbed the “Colombian Watergate” scandal, it sparked a worldwide outrage as it not only implicated the Colombian president as the alleged force behind the illegal surveillance but also drew ties to the US — a close ally and financial contributor to Colombia. Main wiretapping targets [lees verder]

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“It’s a relatively small place, near the Galerías shopping mall in western Bogotá. It now doesn’t have the sign outside that had idenfitied it, hanging over the two windows with glass that blocks the view of the interior. In a small terrace, under a black awning, there are eight tables and 24 chairs. Inside there are seven more tables, and a curved staircase that leads to a second floor, which has a large room with a gigantic television and computer [lees verder]

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Colombia’s Defense Minister announced Tuesday that an investigation will be opened into the alleged wiretapping of both the state and rebel delegations to ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC rebel group. The move comes in the wake of revelations published by weekly Semana on Monday. Based on 15-months of reporting and testimony from an unnamed inside source, Semana concluded that a Colombian military intelligence unit funded and coordinated by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used [lees verder]

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Colombia’s oldest and largest living rebel group, the FARC, on Wednesday accused former President Alvaro Uribe of being behind the military’s alleged spying on the government and rebel delegations currently engaged in peace talks. “Of course, Alvaro Uribe is behind all of this. Don’t forget that Alvaro Uribe is public enemy number one of peace in Colombia,” said the FARC’s number two leader and chief peace talks negotiator “Ivan Marquez” on Wednesday morning. This represents the first formal accusation of [lees verder]

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The Obama administration often cites Colombia’s thriving democracy as proof that U.S. assistance, know-how and commitment can turn around a potentially failed state under terrorist siege. The country’s U.S.-funded counterinsurgency campaign against a Marxist rebel group — and the civilian and military coordination behind it — are viewed as so successful that it has become a model for strategy in Afghanistan. But new revelations in long-running political scandals under former president Alvaro Uribe, a close U.S. ally throughout his eight-year [lees verder]

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Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (left) speaks during a public congressional hearing in Bogota earlier this month about allegations that the country’s intelligence service spied on high court judges during his government. Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (left) speaks during a public congressional hearing in Bogota earlier this month about allegations that the country’s intelligence service spied on high court judges during his government. Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images In Colombia, a major scandal involving the country’s intelligence service is unfolding. Colombia’s [lees verder]