Administrative Security Department (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad-DAS), its place in the government apparatus, its mission, its intelligence and immigration services and whether it has been accused of violating human rights (1996 to date) [COL31867.FE]

According to Country Reports 1998, the Administrative Security Department (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad-DAS) reports directly to the president of Colombia and is responsible for intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and conducting investigations (1999, 546). The DAS Internet site indicates that its mission is [translation] "to contribute to State security by producing strategic intelligence and safeguarding the integrity of the constitutional regime" and that its vision is [translation] "to ensure that DAS becomes the leading technical, scientific, and professional organization in the country, guided in its development by the principles of respect for human rights and the defence of civil liberties" (DAS 1999).

The DAS apparatus includes an intelligence branch, a protection directorate, an investigations branch, and a foreign affairs directorate (ibid.). According to the Internet site, the main constitutional and legal function of DAS is to produce intelligence (inteligencia). Consequently, the intelligence branch is responsible for obtaining information required to control conduct and events (conductas y hechos) that could be harmful to the internal and external security of the country, the stability of the constitutional regime, and law and order (ibid.). It is indicated on the site that the main function of the foreign affairs directorate is to control and supervise the migration of Colombian citizens (nacionales), as well as the entry, exit, and residence [permanencia] of foreigners (ibid.). The foreign affairs directorate is also responsible for deporting foreigners from the country who have violated provisions in force governing migration (ibid.).

The current director of DAS is German Jaramillo Piedrahita (ibid.). Former directors were Luis Enrique Montenegro Rinco, Jaime Cabrera, and Marco Tulio Guttierrez (Emisoras Caracol 20 June 1998; Inravision Television Cadena 19 July 1996; Chicago Sun-Times 19 June 1996).

In March 1996, Edgar Rojas, the DAS regional director in Barrancabermeja, was killed by National Liberation Army guerrillas (Reuters 13 March 1996).

A Chicago Sun-Times article reported that Marco Tulio Guttierrez resigned from the police security authority in June 1996 following allegations that he had attempted to spy on American diplomats (19 June 1996).

Two sources reported in May 1997 that guerrillas linked to drug trafficking had conspired to murder Luis Enrique Montenegro (El Tiempo 24 May 1997; Reuters 23 May 1997). As deputy chief of the national police, Montenegro played an important role in dismantling the Cali drug cartel (ibid.). In November 1997, there was yet another murder conspiracy against Montenegro by guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) (El Tiempo 5 November 1997).

Please see Country Reports 1996 for information about human rights violations committed by DAS. Additional information on violations committed by DAS could not be found among the sources consulted.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Chicago Sun-Times. 19 June 1996. "Colombia Security Boss Quits Amid Spying Flap." (NEXIS)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad. 1999. "Estructura Organica." http://ww.das.gov.co/htm/organi.htm [Accessed 12 May 1999]

_____. 1999. "Extranjería." http://ww.das.gov.co/htm/extra.htm [Accessed 12 May 1999]

_____. 1999. "Inteligencia." http://ww.das.gov.co/htm/inteli.htm [Accessed 12 May 1999]

_____. 1999. "Inteligencia". http://ww.das.gov.co/htm/inteli.htm [Accessed 12 May 1999]

Emisoras Caracol [Bogota, in Spanish]. 20 June 1998. "Security Organizations Combine Efforts to Police Runoff Elections." (BBC Summary 22 June 1998/NEXIS)

Inravision Television Cadena 1 [Bogota, in Spanish]. 9 July 1996. "New DAS Director Assumes Post, Outlines Plans." (FBIS-LAT-96-132 9 July 1996/WNC)

Reuters. 23 May 1997. "Colombia Secret Police Chief in Eyes of Assassin." (NEXIS)

_____. 13 March 1996. "Police Killed in Colombian Rebel Attacks." (NEXIS)

El Tiempo [Bogota, in Spanish]. 5 November 1997. "Air Force Uncovers Plot Against DAS Director, Prosecutors." (FBIS-TOT-97-309 7 Nov. 1997/WNC)

_____. 24 May 1997. "State Security Unveils Plot to Kill DAS Director." (FBIS-LAT-97-144 24 May 1997/WNC)