Venezuela announces arrest of Colombian “spies”

Francisco Arias Cardenas


The government of Venezuela announced yesterday the arrest of an undisclosed number of Colombian intelligence agents, who were allegedly “captured carrying out actions of espionage”. The announcement was made by the Venezuelan deputy foreign minister, Francisco Arias Cardenas, who claimed that the detainees were all members of Colombia’s scandal-prone and soon-to-be-dismantled DAS intelligence agency. Cardenas gave no further details yesterday, but said that the Venezuelan government would “soon produce evidence” to back up its claims. Several hours after Cardenas’ initial announcement, it emerged that the alleged DAS operatives were detained in the course of an ongoing investigation into the mysterious murders of ten men, most of whom were Colombians, who were killed execution-style last weekend on the Venezuelan side of the Venezuelan-Colombian border. The Associated Press reported that the alleged Colombian intelligence agents were “detected carrying out espionage work and attempting to bribe”. DAS has a lengthy history of covert activity in Venezuela during the presidency of leftist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. Last month, Rafael García, former director of information technology at DAS, revealed details of what he said was a Colombian- and DAS-assisted coup attempt against the Venezuelan government, in 2004.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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