Friday links Two weeks’ notice
Apr 142010

The following images come from files that Colombia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office (Fiscalía) recently turned over to independent Colombian journalist Hollman Morris. They are shocking and seem to confirm some of our worst suspicions.

The Fiscalía is investigating illegal surveillance, wiretaps and intimidation carried out by the DAS, the Colombian Presidency’s intelligence service. The targets of the DAS campaign were opponents of President Álvaro Uribe: opposition politicians, journalists, human rights defenders, and even Supreme Court judges. Hollman Morris, the journalist, was one of those most aggressively followed.

A Fiscalía report issued Saturday concluded that the DAS surveillance of Supreme Court judges “was directed from the Casa de Nariño,” Colombia’s equivalent of the White House.

Here are the files obtained by Hollman Morris, with English translations. They go beyond surveillance and wiretapping to reveal what it calls a “political warfare” campaign of dirty tricks and threats against President Uribe’s political adversaries. They date from 2005, the last year of Jorge Noguera’s tenure as DAS director. Noguera is now on trial facing charges of aggravated homicide. Click on each graphic to view it larger.


  • Initiate a smear campaign at the international level, through the following activities
    • Communiqués
    • Inclusion in FARC video
  • Request the suspension of [U.S.] visa




  • Initiate a smear campaign at the international level, through the following:
    • Communiqués
    • Inclusion in FARC video
  • Sabotage actions (steal his passport, ID card, etc.)


  • Location of his residence at (address blurred out by CIP) in Bogotá
  • Constant following of his moves.
Fiscalía delegated to the Supreme Court

Evidence, Box 5 Copy AZ 63 – 2005

January 6 and 7, 2010





  • Defend Democracy and the Nation.
  • Create consciousness about the consequences of a communist system.



Smear campaign

  • Media, Polls, Chat
  • Streets: Distribution of pamphlets, graffiti, flyers, posters, books.
  • Creation of Web pages: Communiqués, denunciations, false accusations.


  • Terrorism: Explosive, incendiary, public services, technology


  • Threats, blackmail.

  • Disinform the population in favor of the Government’s detractors.
  • Generate division within the opposition movements.
  • Impede the organization of events convened by the opposition.
  • Ideological transfer. [Unclear to us what this means.]




JUNE 2005




  • Promote actions beneficial to the State for the 2006 elections.


  • Political parties opposing the State.
  • Constitutional Court.



  • CARLOS GAVIRIA DÍAZ: Generate ties to the FARC ONT (Narco-Terrorist Organization).


  • PIEDAD CÓRDOBA: Generate ties with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia [someone has drawn a question mark pointing to this].
  • HORACIO SERPA URIBE: Generate ties to the ELN.


  • GUSTAVO PETRO: Generate ties to the FARC.
  • ANTONIO NAVARRO: Generate ties to the M-19 and narcotrafficking.
  • WILSON BORJA: Generate sentimental infidelity [i.e., adultery rumors].
  • SAMUEL MORENO: Demonstrate relationship to financial embezzlement.



Smear campaigns, pressure and sabotage.



Neutralize the destabilizing actions of NGOs in Colombia and the world.


Establish their ties with narcoterrorist organizations, in order to put them on trial.



  • OBJECTIVE: Impede the edition of books
    • EA [we don't know what this stands for]
    • Others
  • STRATEGIES: sabotage and pressure.
  • ACTION: Public services
    Distribution trucks
    Judicial warfare


  • OBJECTIVE: Make the population conscious of the reality of communist ideology.
  • STRATEGIES: smear campaign.
  • ACTION: publish book (10,000 copies) – 7,620 delivered
  • PROJECTIONS: Internet (4,000 copies) – creation of web page

  • OBJECTIVE: Establish ties between CCAJAR (The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective human rights group) and ELN
  • STRATEGIES: Sabotage
  • ACTION: Exchange message with ELN leader, which will be found during a search of the premises


  • OBJECTIVE: Neutralize influence in the Inter-American Human Rights Court, Costa Rica
  • STRATEGIES: Smear campaigns and sabotage
  • ACTION: Alliance with foreign intelligence services
    Communications and denunciations on web pages
    Judicial warfare

  • OBJECTIVE: Neutralize influence in European Judicial System
    European Parliament Human Rights Committee
    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN
    National Governments
  • STRATEGIES: Smear campaign
    ACTION: Communiqués and denunciations web pages
    Judicial warfare


  • OBJECTIVE: Generate division between high Redepaz officials (Ana Teresa Bernal) [Bernal, director of the pro-peace group Redepaz, also serves on the government's National Commission for Reconciliation and Reparations]
  • STRATEGIES: Operative investigation
    Smear campaigns and sabotage
  • ACTION: Prove illicit activities of the Redepaz official to obtain economic handouts to obtain political asylum.
    Delinking her security apparatus (DAS)

  • OBJECTIVE: Generate controversy with regard to NGOs
  • STRATEGIES: Smear campaign
  • ACTION: Emission of communiqués through the creation of the pages: Truth and justice corporation, and Colombian Information and Statistical Service for Conflict prevention


  • OBJECTIVE: Neutralize the action of foreign citizens who attack State security
  • STRATEGIES: Operative investigations
    Smear campaigns and pressure
  • ACTION: Deportation
    Communiqués and denunciations

39 Responses to “Files point to DAS “Political Warfare””

  1. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Thanks Adam. This is the last straw for this dictatorship. Hope american mainstream media tag along ;)

  2. Tambopaxi Says:

    Seems pretty clear: Noguera and probably, various DAS associates, should be tried for using state apparatus in committing espionage against fellow citizens. The intelligence trail should be followed to see if this info was going to Uribe or his aides, and/or whether the whole thing was orchestrated from the Casa Narino. If it was, Uribe should be removed from office…

  3. Jaime Bustos Says:

    TP: what does this tell you?

    In a special report on Tuesday Colombian news source CM& claimed to have access to documents proving that information collected through the surveillance and wiretapping of judges, journalists and politicians conducted by security agency DAS was passed on to members of the government.

    The documents were obtained by the Prosecutor General’s Office and used to justify the arrest of five former DAS officials last Friday.

    Among the documents is allegedly a file labeled “President Uribe,” which was used by the DAS officials to collate “documents of interest to the Colombian president.”

    A second document allegedly shows evidence of the surveillance of journalist Holman Morris by the security agency, including an apparently illegally-obtained email written by Morris.

    The final piece of evidence mentioned in CM&’s report documents the opinions and intentions of Supreme Court magistrates concerning the re-election referendum of President Alvaro Uribe.

    The report is allegedly also labeled with the word “President” and documents which of the court’s magistrates were against the approval of a referendum that would allow for the potential re-election of Uribe to his third term as president.

    In reference to the new evidence, the president of Colombia’s Supreme Court, Jaime Arrubla, said on Monday that “everything seemed to indicate” that the government had been directly involved in the wire-tapping of court magistrates, which he found “horrifying.”

  4. Camilo Wilson Says:

    These revelations make crystal clear—crystal clear, let me emphasize—the public relations campaign waged by the Uribe Government. Truth mattered little, creating false perceptions was the order of the day. And those orders came from Uribe’s office. That is also crystal clear.
    A couple of thoughts come to mind. First, the strategy against journalist Hollman Morris including a request to the Americans to withdraw his visa. And second, U.S. Ambassador Brownfield’s recent statement that the U.S. was moving away from any support to DAS. With regard to the visa, the fact that such a request should be suggested indicates that the U.S. might have honored it, coming as it did from America’s “strongest ally” in the region. (One has to wonder how many requests of this nature the U.S. did indeed honor to please that ally.) I also wonder whether Brownfield’s statement is an effort to remove the U.S. from a rapidly growing scandal while there’s still time; Brownfield probably sees the handwriting on the wall, and knows that these outrageous, very undemocratic efforts (Brownfield recently described Colombia as a “vibrant democracy”; I would call it a democracy “on the edge”), taint Uribe and his government. (How could Uribe not be tainted? My cynical side, however, tells me that few Colombians—or Americans, as for that matter—are much concerned about such taints.)

    Beyond all this, the DAS scandal casts at least some aspersion on all Uribe government statements and reports, and on those media outlets that rely on them for their own reportage. What is believable?…

    For whatever they’re worth, I hope these revelations continue. A lot more could probably come out. I suspect that these revelations represent the tip of a huge, and very ugly, iceberg, and one that includes other government agencies.

    Whatever Uribe’s alleged accomplishments, they do seem increasingly to have a very dark side.

  5. Mexico’s Drug War May Have Caused More Deaths Than Previously Thought, New Report Shows | Latin America News Dispatch Says:

    [...] top news: The Colombian prosecutor’s office released documents from the country’s Department of Administrative Security (DAS, in Spanish; the Colombian [...]

  6. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Polls are being manipulated too according to this video … take a look!

  7. Jaime Bustos Says:


    Colombia Scandal Creeps Closer to Uribe

  8. Jaime Bustos Says:

    I am sorry I guess I jumped the gun, out of passion I did not read the date .. Darn :(

  9. lfm Says:

    I’ll go further than some of you. I don’t think we need to wait for the last puff of smoke to come out this gun. This is already impeachment material and it shouldn’t matter that the Administration is almost over. IMPEACH NOW!!

    You don’t need to establish judicial guilt for impeachment. You only need to establish misconduct. Let’s assume that Uribe was innocent (OK, done laughing? now let me go on). This would be the umpteenth time he staffs the very institutions he is supposed to oversee with people who are to their eyeballs in illegal activities. (Just like Aeronautica Civil, just like Antioquia’s governorship, you get the picture.) If true, he is one of the most derelict public servants in Colombia’s recent history and, among that small league, the only one who gets bumped up after each blunder, all the way to the Presidency. Strange, isn’t it? So, not being a lawyer, I’d say that dereliction of such caliber deserves impeachment. After all, impeachment is not removal from office so it’s not like it would be automatically denying Colombians the completion of the term of their beloved president. It would simply be an assertion of Congress (in case you have forgotten, we have one) of its authority to oversee the Executive.

  10. Alvaro Hurtado Says:

    In some ways this is shocking, but in others it merely confirms a lot of what has been suspected for a long while. Uribe should be ashamed of all this, including his spirited defense of Noguera back in the day, if he even has any shred of human decency left by this point in time. Just as well, it is something that we should never forget.

    Hollman Morris has his ups and downs, at least in my book, but he definitely doesn’t deserve to be the target of a smear campaign or any other threats. The same thing goes for the other individuals that are mentioned in these documents.

    LFM, I think I would have to agree about what Uribe deserves, impeachment included, because of these and other actions that are already on the record. I’m not a lawyer either, but I don’t think it’s as easy as that, even if it wasn’t practically impossible to get this Congress to do anything of the sort.

    Jaime, maybe you wanted to link to a different video, but I don’t see how that one amounts to anything of the sort. Just as well, I am not a fan of protests that rely on violent outbursts and irrational insults over reason and facts. Closing the door to debate is not something I will ever welcome, regardless of the people involved.

  11. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Alvaro, I am sorry you did not enjoy the Santos sabotage at the University. I really did. His responsibility in the false positive cases is something that resembles the “I know nothing bout it” attitude of shameless president of the South American country.

    Any doubts who’s behind the Uribe cover-up?

  12. Jaime Bustos Says:

    lfm and Alvaro, this one is a must see:

  13. Alvaro Hurtado Says:

    I don’t enjoy sabotage as a matter of principle. Does sabotage lead to the construction of a real alternative? No, it just leads to destruction and to provocations that can be turned against the protesters themselves. Particularly this kind of sabotage, as opposed to a more creative one.

    Santos is politically responsible for this scandal, such as things are, but I would say Uribe is much more responsible for the false positives as an issue, all in all, to a greater extent than any of the 2002-2010 Defense Ministers taken individually. It’s not a matter of saying they “knew nothing about it” but of looking at all the details of the problem in question, if one really wants to find a structural solution and not just assume politically convenient positions that will easily fade away.

    Uribe, not Santos, drafted the Democratic Security policy and implemented it from the start, with all the flaws and incurring in all the human rights violations that have been denounced from the beginning.

    The second video you’ve linked to says nothing about the fact that the policy being criticized precedes Santos, to say the least, who only became Defense Minister in 2006. This is very easy to prove, considering Uribe’s constant demands for military results since 2002, previous reports of extra-judicial executions and people being falsely dressed up as civilians as denounced by human rights organizations, or even by referencing the much criticized Defense Ministry directive 029 of 2005.


    It’s entirely fair to hold the false positives scandal against Santos, but it is extremely short-sighted to lose track of the details involved that lead to this tragedy to begin with. If you just single out Santos and block out everything else, you’re not solving the problem.

  14. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Alvaro I like students, it’s as simple as that. And I am concerned about Santos being the next president inasmuch as he is just the continuation of the nothing matters policy and booster of a Venezuelan Colombian conflict.

    The link to the video I posted is not that interesting because of what is said about Santos but the black future that hovers upon Colombia NO MATTER who the next president is.

  15. Alvaro Hurtado Says:

    And I like students that are able to stand up to Santos or Uribe or whoever else with words that reveal their sins or crimes as part of an irrefutable argument and not by throwing stones or setting tires on fire.

    I don’t like Santos at all either, even if he had never been Defense Minister the rest of his record speaks for itself (slander against Rafael Pardo, his leadership of the corrupt U Party, his oligarch status, etc). I am also worried that he might be elected, in spite of everything, if the opposition and at least a significant chunk of moderate Uribistas don’t find a way to flock towards Mockus -given that he’s living his 15 minutes of fame- soon enough to make a difference while there’s still time.

    Yes, the future isn’t going to be much brighter even under a potential Mockus presidency, to say the least, but at least it would offer potential for some amount of change and at least return a semblance of human decency to the presidency.

  16. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Another must see documentary …

  17. Camilla Says:

    That Hollmann guy has all the earmarks of being a covert FARC operative. My criticism of the Colombian government is that they don’t release the FARC computer files, which I think, would make that quite clear. Normal people don’t have the kinds of contacts with terrorists that he has, let alone the way-out-there ideology.

    If DAS was spying on him, it was doing its job, protecting innocent Colombians who are FARC’s victims.

  18. Colombia’s DAS Carried Out “Political Warfare” Against Journalist Hollman Morris, Files Indicate | Latin America News Dispatch Says:

    [...] Top Story – Documents posted to the Center of International Policy’s “Plan Colombia and Beyond” blog indicate that the Department of Administrative Security in Colombia coordinated an attack of “political warfare” against independent journalist Hollman Morris. [...]

  19. lfm Says:

    Oh right, that computer! I always forget. I’m sure everything is laid out there very clearly for everyone to see. It may even have those pictures of the Supreme Court in FARC fatigues. Gee, the government should really release this stuff now. That should solve everything. Otherwise people are going to think that the files have been tampered with. People sometimes believe the weirdest things.

  20. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Catalina Botero:

    Freedom of expression ‘barely exists’ in Colombia

  21. Alvaro Hurtado Says:

    Interesting interview and Catalina Botero is absolutely right about her criticism of what the DAS has done and the chilling effects such terrible actions have had on press freedom.

    Though I believe her exact words were that freedom of expression in Colombia is currently in a critical red zone, one that is close, but not equal, to that of other countries where it barely exists. Notice that she was making a comparison (and, for that matter, talking in a mainstream Colombian radio station, to boot, with mostly sympathetic commentators and hosts present…even when the government representative showed up, he was almost backed into a corner).

    A subtle difference, perhaps, but then again she did make distinctions. Such as stating that freedom of expression does not even exist at all in Cuba, for example, and she also indicated that the situation in Honduras after the coup was far worse.

    She did, nevertheless, equate Uribe’s and Chavez’s behavior of labeling opposition journalists as terrorists or enemies. In other words, if we had to make a ranking of shame, Colombia would be closer to Venezuela than any of the other countries that were criticized in the report, though still worse than our next door neighbors thanks to the greater numbers of murders and intimidation.

    Going back a little further, Jaime, that earlier video about child informants was very enlightening. It directly addresses both the shameless recruitment of children by the armed groups, including a bit of social and local context that puts things in perspective, while also revealing the highly questionable use of underage informants or demobilized children as information sources by the Colombian armed forces.

  22. Jaime Bustos Says:

    I am glad you liked it Alvaro.

    On your second paragraph, don’t forget “Felix de Bedout”, one of the sympathetic commentators, was also being tapped according to reports on same subject released late last year.

  23. Chris Says:

    these files are print-outs of a PowerPoint presentation… so somebody was briefing these to somebody else.

  24. Henry Says:

    I note that the files talk about ’smearing’ people and making ‘denunciations on web pages’. Adam, I strongly recommend that you ban Camilla from posting any more comments until she somehow proves to you who she is and where she works.

  25. Chris Says:

    check out this story:

    Colombia Offers Lessons For US Aid Efforts Elsewhere (Boston Globe)
    Sunday, April 18, 2010
    Bryan Bender

  26. Jaime Bustos Says:

    The disinformation about Colombia/Colombian president in the US is rampant. I remember in 2005 going to work, just days after the San Jose de apartado Massacre took place, I tuned in the radio to hear the local news, and there they were. praising the colombian president, for a change. I could not believe it!

    Check this one out. lol!

    “It would be nice if an important job could be found for Uribe on the international stage. Imagine him, for example, as United Nations secretary-general. But that is a pipe dream because he is far too pro-American to ever win favor in that sector. Regardless of what he does next, he deserves recognition for his inspiring achievements. He deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, because he has actually brought peace to much of his country.”

  27. Alvaro Hurtado Says:

    I’d want to laugh at that….then again, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize based on nothing but good intentions, so maybe in a few years that formerly admirable distinction will be so lacking in worth as to make Uribe eligible.

    Yes, it can be quite disturbing to see exaggerated praise for the Colombian president when so much blood has been spilled in this country and so much corruption has been promoted from above. That doesn’t mean that Uribe’s hasn’t done anything good, in all fairness, but as of right now I would agree that the bad tends to outweigh it…at least until history somehow proves otherwise, which I happen to doubt will ever be the case if current trends continue.

  28. Jaime Bustos Says:

    This would support Chris’ comment on the information being briefed via powerpoint presentations, but would also indicate that wiretapping continues, even today.

  29. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Alvaro, speaking of Nobel laureates,0,3413800.story

  30. Jaime Bustos Says:

    The air feels so thick here you could slice it with a hairpin …

    Operation storm (Valledupar, 2002 in which false positives were produced) was ordered by Alvaro Uribe

  31. whatever Says:

    JMS gets accused of having smeared Pardus as a FARK supporter during the presidential debates, gets p.o.ed big time and looks like a dufuss to the colombian people…he… gotta love it when somebody’s innate idiocy shines through no matter how rehearsed and researched the manipulation.

    Isn’t it poetic? CIA mole.

  32. lfm Says:

    CIA mole?? That’s interesting. I definitely wouldn’t put it past the character. Maybe “mole” is not technically accurate, but very likely he is in bed with unsavory Americans. Then again, this same stuff makes sense if he is simply the so.b. we all know and is simply trying to get the Americans to fight his splendid little war for him so that he doesn’t have to negotiate away his privileges.

  33. Jaime Bustos Says:

    CONTRAVÍA: Álvaro Uribe tiene que responder por la cacería del DAS (1-3)

  34. Jaime Bustos Says:

    The Colombian wiretap scandal for Dummies :mrgreen:

    El origen de la “cacería criminal” del DAS /CONTRAVÍA/ 1-4

  35. AR Says:

    In the meantime alleged threats to TV personality Jaime Bayly become focus of DAS investigators and headline in national newspapers …,

  36. Camilla Says:

    JMS a CIA mole? That would be like joining the post office for the task of moving a mighty river. The CIA is full of idiots who can’t even keep the identities of their operatives secret. They’re the gang who can’t shoot strai.. heck, at all. JMS’s record of success strongly points to steering clear of plodding incompetents like that crowd.

  37. John Says:

    Camilia, you say above “That Hollmann [sic] guy has all the earmarks of being a covert FARC operative”.

    Do you have any evidence for such a comment or are you simply believing the DAS disinformation that is contained in the documents that have just been posted.

    You should perhaps look Hollman up – in 2007 he was given a prestigious award in Washington for his work. Presumably the State Dept wouldn’t have given him a visa if he was a FARC operative.

    You really make yourself look silly!

  38. Green regeneration in Colombia « La ola verde Says:

    [...] There’s something else. Colombians want change. Their politics is not completely dysfunctional – ministries are filled with competent public servants. But the system is laced with corruption. Under Uribe, agricultural subsidies were handed out to powerful families, innocent civilians were killed by the military and dressed up as guerrilla casualties, the government allied with congressmen linked to paramilitary groups, and the security service spied on and intimidated judges and human-rights activists under orders from the presidential palace. [...]

  39. Hollman Morris To Receive Chavkin Journalism Prize Says:

    [...] work investigating Colombia’s armed conflict and human rights violations has placed him in personal danger, will receive the 2010 Samuel Chavkin Prize for Integrity in Latin American Journalism. Morris is [...]

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