Links between Colombian Intelligence Organisation and Venezuelan Opposition Uncovered

Rafael Garcia, ex director of information technology of Colombia's
main intelligence agency, DAS, revealed that the agency had used its links with
the paramilitary in Colombia to participate, together with Venezuelan
opposition sectors, in a plot against the current Venezuelan government.

By Tamara Pearson

DAS.jpg

Ex DAS director of information technology, Rafael Garcia, in the interview with TeleSUR (VTV)
Ex DAS director of information technology, Rafael Garcia, in the interview with TeleSUR (VTV)
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Mérida, September 9th,
2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - Rafael Garcia, ex director of information technology of Colombia's
main intelligence agency, DAS, revealed that the agency had used its links with
the paramilitary in Colombia to participate, together with Venezuelan
opposition sectors, in a plot against the current Venezuelan government.

TeleSUR
interviewed Garcia, who is currently in jail for 18 years, on Monday morning.
Garcia described how the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), which is
meant to fight terrorism in Colombia, and the Colombian internal affairs
ministry, through their links with the Self-defence Units of Colombia (AUC),
participated in a plot driven by Venezuelan opposition sectors against the
Chavez government.

The AUC was an
illegal paramilitary organisation created in 1997, to unite various
paramilitary groups, and it declared itself a "counter-insurgency group" to
fight the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the  National Liberation Army (ELN). Both
Colombia and the US formally classified the AUC as a terrorist organisation,
which, according to the records of one of its leaders, Carlos Castano, was
financed by drug trafficking, kidnapping and extorsion.

Garcia
explained in the interview that in the lead up to the presidential campaign in
2002, many politicians were supported by the AUC, in its aspiration to have
influence in the Congress. Current Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, on being
elected, handed out positions, including to some of these
"paramilitary-politicians".

"Jorge Noguera
[ex DAS director] knew he needed the support of [the North bloc of the AUC] ...
and he looked for that support through me, because I participated in their
campaigns, I participated in electoral fraud and everything," Garcia said.

Jorge Noguera,
director of DAS from 2002-2006, was also head of Uribe's presidential election
campaign. He is now in jail over his illegal relationship with the Colombian
paramilitary, largely due to testimony by Garcia.

Noguera's
arrest was part of what is known in the English world as the Paragate scandal
(parapolitica in Spanish- or paramilitary politicians) where, in 2006, several
Colombian politicians were arrested for colluding with the AUC. By April 2008,
62 congress members and 33 lawmakers, including Uribe's cousin, were in jail
waiting to be tried.

Garcia then
described how many of the paramilitary-politicians were present the day after
Uribe won the election, in August 2002, and how they asked him to name Noguera
for the position of DAS director. The AUC, Garcia explained, wanted influence
in DAS, as well as to infiltrate the Attorney General's Office.

"Jorge Noguera,
from the start, he said to me.... "Our mission is full collaboration with the
AUC"".  Garcia also named other people
in the DAS who had collaborated with the AUC.

The police had
a report pointing to Garcia as a link between Noguera and the AUC, and Noguera
told Garcia one day, "Don't worry, because the president and the attorney
general are well informed about this and they will protect us when the time
comes." Indeed, when the scandal arose, Uribe initially transferred Noguerra to
be consul in Milan, Garcia said later on in the interview.

"It's clear
that there was a conspiracy plan against the Venezuelan government, in which
DAS played a part, as well as the minister Fernando Londoño, who I suppose had
friends in Venezuela," Garcia went on.

"Things are
being discovered little by little... DAS took ex government employees and put
them to work undercover...this is what Jorge Noguera did with Jorge Diaz, they
took him from his position of DAS director in Cucuta and they put him to work
on clandestine undercover operations in Venezuela."

"He and Jorge
Noguera met with Venezuelan military personal. I don't know if these meetings
took place here in Colombia or in Venezuela, but I know they took place,"
Garcia revealed.

In response to
the question; do you think the plot you are talking about was initiated by
Jorge Noguera and the minister Londoño? Garcia responded,  "No, I don't think it was. They were sought
after, above all Londoño, was sought after by Venezuelan opposition sectors."

"Over there [in
Venezuela] there was an opposition alliance; I think it was called the
Democratic Bloc, that had made alliances with factions of the [AUC] in order to
conspire against the government of President Chavez."

Venezuelan opposition plans to defeat the Chavez
government

"There were
concrete plans, this group, the Democratic bloc, I don't remember the exact
name, had a plan with three components. [Firstly,] the sabotage of productive
apparatus in Venezuela, and as a result of this there was the [oil] strike in
2002 that caused a lot of damage to productive apparatus."

"[The second
component of the plan was] media attacks, that is, putting the media against
the Chavez government, and [thirdly] they looked at assassinating
representatives in order to cause unease in Venezuelan society. In those plans,
I know that President Chavez, Jose Vincent Rangel, the minister of justice and
internal affairs, Jesse Chacon, and the attorney general, Isaías Rodriguez were
included."

Next, Garcia
talked about the assassination of Danilo Anderson in November 2004. Anderson
was a Venezuelan environmental state prosecutor investigating over 400 people
accused of crimes against the state and the Venezuelan people in the failed
April 2002 Coup. He was killed by an explosive in his car.

"I didn't know
that Danilo Anderson was included in this [list of people to assassinate],
never the less it's very likely, given the way he was killed. A lot of
explosives were passed on by DAS workers via the border post of Paraguachon, in
my presence, I saw it."

The interviewer
also asked about the over 100 presumed paramilitaries who have been detained in
Venezuela. Garcia responded that, "The border [between Venezuela and Colombia]
is imaginary when it comes to the [AUC] appropriating land or intimidating the
population."

Garcia then
gave the example of one romantic relationship that existed, and how this was
used to help get paramilitaries into Venezuela. The woman involved in the
relationship lent the AUC a large farm, El Hatillo, where they were later
discovered by Venezuelan police.

"I know that in
Zulia [state in Venezuela, bordering Colombia] there were a lot of people who
collaborated, not just in these activities, but also in drug-smuggling though
Venezuela... there was a time when [Noguera] was the authority, just as [he] was
in Colombian cities, he was in Maracaibo [capital of Zulia state]."

"The AUC were a
phenomenon that was changed by drug-smuggling....so they looked for
cultivation and smuggling zones, so this is what permeated the [border] zone,
including today [the phenomenon] is still present in [Venezulean border state]
Tachira with [paramilitary group] the Black Eagles."

Venezuelan
journalist Alberto Nolia, analysing the interview, said, "Its clear the
Colombian government was completely involved in the conspiracy...Garcia has
linked the government of Uribe with the paramilitaries and with drug
smuggling."

The revelations
of links between the Colombian government and its institutions with the
paramilitary and the Venezuelan opposition's attempts to defeat the Chavez
government come at a time when Colombia has just accepted a U.S. military
presence on seven of its bases, something Chavez sees as paramount to "talking
about war."

On Tuesday the
Colombian Supreme Court annulled charges against Noguera, for aggravated
murder, bribery and misappropriation, but the charge of coordinating crime
remains.

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