Colombia: secret police agent gets mobbed, guerilla suspect “unarrested”

The chief of the DAS, Colombia’s secret police, says a mob assaulted three of its agents as they tried to arrest a suspect with guerilla ties Nov. 15. DAS director Felipe Muñoz says Ivan Danilo Alarcon, wanted for rebellion and drug trafficking, was detained near a university in the city of Cali. Muñoz says Alarcon cried out he was being kidnapped and 100 people surrounded the officers. The crowd detained the agents for over an hour, threatened them with death and took their weapons and armored vests. They freed Alarcon from handcuffs, and he fled. Muñoz charged that Alarcon posed as a human rights activist but was in fact giving logistical support to the FARC. (AP, Nov. 15)

In a rare display of a long-promised crackdown on the right-wing paramilitaries, a team from Colombia’s elite Judicial Police (DIJIN) arrested 46 alleged members of Aguilas Negras in southern Nariño department Sept. 9. DIJIN director Gilberto Ramírez Calle called it a major blow against the paramilitary network—while admitting that one DAS agent was among those arrested! (El Espectador, Bogotá, Sept. 9)

The DAS, for Administrative Security Department, has been plagued by scandals in recent months, and President Alvaro Uribe is said to be considering disbanding it.

See our last post on Colombia.

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