October 17, 2001
Narco News 2001
for US v. FARC
Audiotape: "U.S. Is Happy To
By Agence France Press
Narco News Commentary:
recording among the 30,000 secretly made by former Peruvian strongman
Vladimiro Montesinos was made public today by the Peruvian Congress.
There was already much evidence that Montesinos was a CIA "intelligence
asset" during the decade he and Alberto Fujimori ruled Peru.
But this is the first recording that states why the U.S. protected
the war criminal Montesinos in his human-rights abuses, torture
chambers, and other atrocities - from protecting Bin Laden's
gang in Peru (see Monday's Narco News story on that chapter) to
being protected in his own narco-trafficking: Montesinos, now
revealed by his own words on audiotape, ran a large spy organization
across national borders in Colombia - specifically to spy on
the Colombian rebels.
The Narco News Bulletin
October 17, 2001; 14:35 hours:
ex-chief of the secret service, Vladimiro
Montesinos, confirmed that he had a network of 120 undercover
agents in Colombia and in the zone where guerrilla leader Manuel
Marulanda - "Tirofijo," or "Sure Shot" -
operated that Montesinos used to pass information to the United
States, according to an audiotape released by the Peruvian Congress.
"The best intelligence network that
we have in Latin America is in Colombia. In Tirofijo's zone of
exclusion, I have five undercover agents," Montesinos was
heard saying in a conversation that he had years ago, on an unspecified
date, with Francisco Tudela, who was the deposed president Alberto
Fujimori's foreign minister.
According to the audiotape, whose transcription
was delivered to the press this Wednesday, the ex-advisor to
Fujimori said that "the best information that Washington
has about Tirofijo is that which I sent them from here, on the
altar of bilateral cooperation."
"I have, on average, almost 120 men
there in Colombia, throughout the entire territory," the
ex-de facto chief of the disappeared National Intelligence Service
(SIN, in its Spanish acronym) stressed.
"And (the U.S. officials) are very
happy to maintain this relationship of cooperation," Montesinos
said in the recording, pointing out that in the first days of
June - he didn't state which year - he would travel to Washington
to spend seven days in a Security Council meeting. "It might
be to have a conversation about the issue of Colombia, because
they are very interested in knowing how it is that I am managing
the entire clandestine network," he added.
Montesinos stressed that the satellite
intelligence of the United States can not enter the zone where
the guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
operates - led by Tirofijo - and that the United States cannot
send any Colombian there because they feared the corruption and
the matter of drug-trafficking.
"Thus, I have prepared five men,
and I have succeeded in penetrating the exclusion zone. I have
had them living there for two years, and I have an intelligence
office that works for me in Bogota with mobile posts in the critical
areas where the FARC and the ELN (Popular Liberation Army) operate."
On the tape, Montesinos says to the former
foreign minister Tudela that he knows that the FARC has placed
troops toward the Caribbean zone of Panama and for that reason
has he has sent a team of agents to the Darien region to collect
Months later a video was released in Lima
in which Montesinos spoke about the FARC, but this is the first
time that he referred to having a network of spies in Colombia.
Many members of the media have repeatedly said that, in his conversations,
Montesinos tried to impress those he was talking to and that
he was accustomed to bragging about his knowledge of intelligence
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