Colombia’s former spy chief held for militia links

December 13th, 2008 - 8:20 am ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Dec 13 (IANS) Former head of Colombia’s security service DAS has been arrested for the third time in less than two years on charges that he collaborated with the country’s murderous right-wing militias, EFE news agency reported Saturday.Jorge Noguera, who ran DAS from 2002 to 2004 and then served as Colombian consul-general in Milan, Italy, was arrested following a Supreme Court order over his alleged links with militia men, officials said.

Noguera is accused of providing the paramilitaries with classified information and of allowing them to infiltrate the ranks of the spy agency.

He was first arrested in January 2007, but released a month later only to be taken into custody again in July last year and held for 11 months.

Prosecutors say Noguera was allied with former militia chiefs Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias “Jorge 40″, and Hernan Giraldo, both among the 15 warlords extradited to the US seven months ago to face drug charges.

Noguera, Tovar and Giraldo worked together in 2002 on the presidential campaign of Alvaro Uribe, now in his second four-year term.

Nearly 70 current and former Colombian lawmakers have been implicated in the investigation of ties between the militias and politicos, almost all of them supporters of the rightist president, whose government receives roughly $500 million a year in military aid from Washington.

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