Conroy: Law Enforcement Corruption in Colombia
Conroy: DEA, FBI, CIA Informant Weighs In on U.S. Law Enforcement Corruption in Colombia
March 20, 2006
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Baruch Vega, the mysterious Colombian-born fashion photographer and informant who spied on Colombian drug traffickers for several U.S. government agencies, has spoken to Bill Conroy about the corruption he witnessed while doing this work. Though Conroy warns that Vega, as a professional informant, "makes his living through deception," much of what Vega tells Conroy fits convincingly into the picture being drawn in the ongoing Narco News investigation into allegations of massive corruption within the DEA and other agencies' Colombia operations.
Conroy reports in the Narcosphere:
"Baruch Vega claims he was used by multiple U.S. law enforcement agencies simultaneously in the late 1990s to infiltrate and flip key figures in Colombia’s North Valley Cartel narco-trafficking syndicate.
"As a result, Vega contends that he has intimate knowledge of the alleged corruption outlined in the 'Kent memo,' an internal Department of Justice document that was leaked to Narco News earlier this year and has prompted a barrage of media attention over the past few months.
"Justice Department attorney Thomas M. Kent wrote the memo in late 2004 in an effort to draw attention to alleged serious corruption within the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. In the memo, Kent alleges that DEA agents in Bogotá assisted narco-traffickers, engaged in money laundering, and conspired to murder informants.
"Vega told Narco News that between 1997 and 2000, the FBI and DEA each employed him as an informant in separate investigations focused on the North Valley Cartel leadership. At the same time, Vega claims, he also worked as a foreign counterintelligence source for the CIA.
"During the course of those DEA and FBI investigations, Vega claims he discovered the operations were being compromised by corrupt players within both DEA and U.S. Customs — a federal law enforcement agency whose investigative arm has since become U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE."
Vega goes on to describe something he calls the "Devil's Cartel," a drug trafficking racket comprised of members of the North Valley Cartel, officers of the Colombian National Police, rightwing paramilitaries, and U.S. Customs and DEA Agents.
Read the full story, here:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin