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Cablegate: Uribe Set to Dismantle Das

VZCZCXYZ0014
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3018 2612102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182102Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0705
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9171
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0118
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP PANAMA 4390
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 0116
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2943
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003018

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KJUS PREL PHUM PINR ASEC CO
SUBJECT: URIBE SET TO DISMANTLE DAS

REF: BOGOTA 002963 AND PREVIOUS

URIBE FAVORS DOING AWAY WITH DAS
--------------------------------
1. (U) President Uribe announced on September 17th that he
favored dismantling the wiretapping scandal-ridden
Administrative Department of Security (DAS). In a
much-anticipated move (reftels), Uribe proposed a much
smaller entity managed by the Colombian National Police (CNP)
that would focus on immigration services (NOTE: The DAS
currently reports directly to the Presidency, and includes
immigration services among its many duties. End Note.).
Local media sources pointed out this was the first time Uribe
has publicly spoken in favor of dismantling DAS, although
then-Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos had proposed doing
so earlier this year.

2. (U) Uribe announced no further details, but on September
18th CNP Director General Oscar Naranjo told a radio
interviewer that the CNP was ready to assume the DAS's police
functions. He listed DAS's intelligence and
judicial authorities as areas the CNP had a particularly
strong capacity to handle. Naranjo opined that the
overhaul had been in the works for some time and was not
prompted by the most recent press revelations alleging
illegal surveillance by DAS.

FORMER PRESIDENT SAYS
PROBLEM DEEPER THAN DAS
-----------------------
3. (U) Former President Cesar Gaviria, the head of the
opposition Liberal Party, announced he was not convinced
that dismantling DAS would solve the problem of illegal
surveillance, according to leading daily "El Espectador."
He added that he thought the problem could be easily solved
by asking the government to stop conducting illegal
surveillance. Gaviria, who has frequently accused Uribe and
his advisors of ordering the surveillance, said the DAS
had a long and honorable history, and that shuttering the
agency was an attempt by the administration to "wash its
hands" of the scandal. He called for an investigation by an
independent body to ascertain who was behind the illicit
monitoring.


Brownfield

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