| 2009/05/12 00:00

Spy chief accused of murder

The Prosecutor’s office accused former DAS director Jorge Noguera of murdering several trade union workers and left-wing supporters.

Spy chief accused of murder

In a never seen before action in Colombian history, a former director of DAS, the Colombian intelligence service, has been accused of murder. According to the prosecutor general, Mario Iguaràn, Jorge Noguera is responsible for the murder of four persons, and of contracting out DAS services to the illegal paramilitary groups.

The Prosecutor’s office alleges that the DAS gave the paramilitary the names of union trade workers and university teachers that were later murdered. One of the most documented cases is the one of Alfredo Correa D’Andreis, a sociologist and teacher whom DAS performed an extensive intelligence work on, as the files of the institution show.

Correa D’Andreis was detained without proof and later, after he was freed in September 2004, he was murdered by paramilitaries in Barranquilla, northern Atlántico province. The crime caused a huge impact on the region, where Correa D’Andreis was widely acknowledged as a human right’s defender.

In April 2006, when the former DAS systems director Rafael García revealed to SEMANA the details on how Jorge Noguera sponsored the paramilitary to perform crimes such as the one of Correa D’Andreis, people thought García was crazy. But after some investigation, the Prosecutor’s office found that García was telling the truth. His version matches up with a dozen of testimonies, documents, and analyzed facts.

One of those testimonies is the one given by Jorge Enrique Palacio, who declared that William Samper, alias ‘Pupi’, a hired killer of the paramilitary and processed by the professor’s crime, told him that the murder had been ordered by Rodrigo Tovar, alias ‘Jorge 40’, who said Correa D’Andreis had to be killed because he was helping the guerrilla.

The 166 pages accusation file, that documents other similar cases, shows that Noguera must also be held responsible for the murder of Zully Esther Cordina, Fernando Pisciotti, and Adán Pacheco. The Prosecutor’s office says there are enough proofs “to assure the participation of Jorge Noguera in such serious actions (murder) throughout the delivery of information recovered by the DAS that was handed over to the service of subversive groups that publicly had announced their decision to do away with these people”

Noguera is also accused of a conspiracy to commit a crime, since the Prosecutor’s office was able to confirm that Noguera ordered to help and protect paramilitary chief’s such as Hernán Giraldo and ‘Jorge 40’, whom have been extradited to the United States.

Destruction of documents, abuse of authority, fraud, and bribery are other of the charges the former director of DAS is accused of, who occupied the office since August 2002 through October 2005, when he left in the middle of the scandal that pointed the links of the institution and the paramilitary.

After that, he was named consul in Milan, but the evidence revealed by the press forced to return to Colombia to face his charges.

Now the accusation is formal, the former DAS director must appear before the Supreme Court. A trial that will be followed closely in Colombia as well as around the world. Two years ago, the United States Ambassador at the time William Wood said: “if Noguera is guilty, now that is a problem”.

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