Colombian government puts ex-guerrilla in command of the Intelligence Service

Like President Gustavo Petro, Manuel Alberto Casanova left the armed struggle in 1990, as part of the peace agreement signed by the guerrillas of the M-19 group.

EFE/ Mauricio Dueñas CastanedaGustavo Petro
Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced the appointment of a former guerrilla to take over the Intelligence Service

the government of Colombia nominated the former guerrilla and philosopher Manuel Alberto Casanova for the command of the South American country’s Intelligence Service. It is the first time that the nominee has no ties to the Colombian Armed Forces. just like the president Gustavo Petro, Casanova left the armed struggle in 1990, as part of the peace agreement signed by the guerrillas of the M-19 group. Former security chief of the Democratic Alliance party, an acronym created from the pact that determined the end of the armed struggle, Alberto Casanova worked more recently in Colombia’s technical education system and also worked with coffee exports. The appointment of a former guerrilla to a strategic area divided opinions. Deputy José Vicente Carreño, from the Democratic Center Party, which opposes the Petro government, criticized Casanova’s lack of experience and warned that the appointment discourages the institution’s work. For Glória Flores, a government senator and human rights defender, the appointment represents a change in the course of intelligence management in Colombia. Created in 2011, the Administrative Department of the National Intelligence Directorate replaced the Administrative Department of Security. The former body was dissolved after an espionage scandal that involved judges, opponents and human rights defenders in the government of former President Álvaro Uribe.

*With information from reporter Daniel Lian

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