BBC. "Colombia President Scraps Spy Agency After Scandals." 1 Nov. 2011. [http://www.bbc.co.uk]
"Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has officially dissolved the country's intelligence agency," the Administrative Security Department (DAS) , after a series of scandals.... Last month its former head, Jorge Noguera, was sentenced to jail for 25 years for collaborating with paramilitary death squads." Noguera led the DAS from 2002 to 2005, under former President Alvaro Uribe."
Boraz, Steven C.
1. "Establishing Democratic Control of Intelligence in Colombia." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 84-109.
"In reviewing the oversight regime in Colombia, the strides made by the executive branch ... have been impressive.... The country's leadership is providing clearer policy, has organized the community to better serve its needs, and is now following up to determine the efficacy of the intelligence community.... [T]hat no legislative oversight exists at all is troublesome." See the author's update at "Reader's Forum: Updating the Colombia Situation," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 384.
2. "Intelligence Reform in Colombia: Transparency and Effectiveness against Internal Threats." Strategic Insights 6, no. 3 (May 2007). [Available at: http://www.nps.edu/ccc/publications/onlinejournal/index.html]
"Colombia's approach to intelligence over the past two decades has focused on improving public security by combating" the threat posed by insurgent forces, "drug traffickers and the illicit activities in which they participate." Recently, "the security sector has made significant strides in achieving success" against these armed groups. This paper looks at the Colombian security environment, discusses changes in the security and intelligence apparatus, looks at "the mechanisms for providing control of the intelligence services," and highlights "some existing tensions in Colombia at achieving transparency of their intelligence services and increasing those services' effectiveness."
Bowden, Mark. Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001.
According to Wiant, Studies 46.1, this work focuses on the effort by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence organizations and Colombian authorities to track down Medellin drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The author "details the activities of Centra Spike ... and Delta Force ... in their 16-month campaign." The sourcing of operational information is, as might be expected, uneven; and "the reader will have some difficulty in sorting out fact from speculation.... Nevertheless, the author has produced a useful study of how a well integrated program of human and technical intelligence collection ... can take law enforcement operations to the narcotrafficker's doorstep."
Cardona, Libardo. "Colombian Prosecutor Orders Search of Spy Agency." Associated Press, 22 Feb. 2009. [http://www.ap.com]
On 22 February 2009, Colombia's chief prosecutor Mario Iguaran ordered a search of the headquarters of the country's domestic intelligence agency, the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), "over allegations some of its agents eavesdropped on prominent journalists, Supreme Court judges and opposition politicians."
DeYoung, Karen. "Colombia to Get Aid in Fighting Insurgents: U.S. Will Increase Intelligence Sharing." Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2002, A17.
Gentry, John A., and David E. Spencer. "Colombia's FARC: A Portrait of Insurgent Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 4 (Aug. 2010): 453-478.
"Like FARC as a whole, FARC intelligence is decentralized. Its strength is its focus on tactical military intelligence. Collection on strategic political issues, analysis, and counterintelligence are relatively weak. FARC's intelligence weaknesses limit its prospects for strategic success and its intelligence-related vulnerabilities offer the Colombian government opportunities to exploit."
Porch, Douglas. "Taming a Dysfunctional Beast -- Reform in Colombia's Departamento Administrativo de Securidad." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 421-451.
The DAS "remains a deeply dysfunctional organization, without a clear mission.... [T]he reforms carried out by the two previous directors, while ambitious, have not proven to be transformational."
Priest, Dana. "Covert Action in Colombia: U.S. Intelligence, GPS Bomb Kits Help Latin American Nation Cripple Rebel Forces." Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
"[A]ccording to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials," a CIA covert action program "has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders." The covert program provides the Colombian forces with real-time intelligence, including "substantial eavesdropping help" from NSA, and, beginning in 2006, "a $30,000 GPS guidance kit that transforms a less-than-accurate 500-pound gravity bomb into a highly accurate smart bomb."
Romero, Simon. "Ex-Spy Chief of Colombia Is Sentenced to Prison." New York Times, 14 Sep. 2011. [http://www.nytimes.com]
On 14 September 2011, Jorge Noguera, the former head of Colombia's Administrative Department of Security from 2002 to 2005, "was convicted ... of collaborating with paramilitary assassination squads and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his involvement" in the murder of "Alfredo Correa de Andreis, a well-known sociologist who was shot in Barranquilla in 2004 by paramilitary assassins."
Villamizar, Andres. La Reforma de la Inteligencia: Un Imperativo Democratico [The Reform of Intelligence: A Democratic Imperative]. Colombia: Editorial Kimpres, 2004.
Orellana, Studies 50.4 (2006), notes that the author "calls for political transparency and increased effectiveness in the Colombian intelligence reform process." Villamizar presents the view that "Colombia lacks a functional intelligence community.... [I]ntelligence agencies operate independently, are routinely assigned to carry out intelligence functions under vague control mechanisms, and suffer through repeated instances of duplication of effort, inter-service jealousies and professional rivalries.... . Lacking are clearly defined missions and roles, foreign collection capabilities, and the trust of the countrys highest political and military circles."
Return to Latin America Table of Contents