Jorge Noguera Cotes

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Jorge Aurelio Noguera Cotes
Director of the Administrative Department of Security
In office
16 August 2002 – 26 October 2005
President Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Preceded by Luis Ernesto Gilibert Vargas
Succeeded by Andrés Mauricio Peñate Giraldo
Personal details
Born (1963-09-23) 23 September 1963 (age 51)
Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Party of the U (2005-2011)
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (-2005)
Alma mater Pontifical Xavierian University (LLB, 1988)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Noguera and the second or maternal family name is Cotes.

Jorge Aurelio Noguera Cotes (born 25 September 1963) is a Colombian lawyer and former Director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), the intelligence service agency of Colombia. A Liberal party politician, he served as regional campaign manager in the Department of Magdalena for then-candidate Álvaro Uribe Vélez during the 2002 presidential elections. After Uribe's victory in the elections, Noguera was appointed Director of the DAS, serving from 2002 to 2005, after which time he was appointed Consul-General if Colombia in Milan in 2006.

On 14 September 2011, the Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Colombia found Noguera guilty and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to commit aggravated crime;[1] conspiracy to commit murder; destruction, suppression, and concealment of public documents; and the illegal unauthorized disclosure of secret information and activities, all stemming from his time as Director of the DAS and his involvement in the paramilitary activities of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)[2] by allowing the DAS to be infiltrated by the AUC.

Paramilitary infiltration in the DAS[edit]

Noguera held the position as chair of the DAS throughout Uribe’s first term as president, Uribe would later name him as a consul-general in Milan during his second administration as president. Noguera later resigned to his post after the Colombian weekly magazine Semana revealed that judiciary investigations (judicial proceedings held against a plaintiff) linking him to paramilitary groups were currently taking place.[3]

The Colombian parapolitics scandal originated as a result of the detention of former DAS chief of information technology, Rafael García Torres by Colombian authorities. García had been accused of using his position of authority in order to assist paramilitary groups and drug traffickers with extradition orders. Soon after the former allegations were proven to be legitimate, Garcia chose to collaborate with the authorities by identifying several other individuals involved in the corruption allegations making him a key witness in the scandal.[4] One of Garcia’s numerous statements mentioned that Noguera Cortes used his position of influence in order to make the resources of the DAS readily available to the paramilitary group AUC which was led at the time by Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, also known by his alias as Jorge 40.[5] In addition to this, Garcia assured the authorities that Noguera personally provided the AUC with the necessary logistics to carry out assassinations against trade unionists throughout the country.

After the former accusations were revealed to the public, Noguera Cotes, who had been strongly backed by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe Velez, resigned to his post as acting consul-general in Milan to stand before judicial authorities. On 22 September 2007 Noguera was arrested under charges of conspiracy to commit crime and murder.[6]

As news of these accusations reached president Uribe, he declared that if Noguera were to be found guilty, he would have to issue an apology to the country for having named him as consul-general. Noguera was named as one of the executive directors for Alvaro Uribe’s presidential campaign in the Caribbean coastal department of Magdalena in 2002. One week after his appointment under Uribe’s presidential campaign, Noguera was appointed head of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) for the next four years until his assignation as consul-general in Milan during Uribe’s second term as president.[7]

On 23 March 2007, Noguera was released from detention because of procedural flaws after his lawyer was able to prove that (under the provision of the Superior Council of the Judicature[8] of Habeas Corpus), that his client’s detention did not take place as specified by law – making Noguera’s arrest illegitimate since he was denied of this fundamental right. The case was then passed onto the hands of Attorney General Mario Iguaran, who did not hide his dissatisfaction with the court’s decision; Iguaran quickly declared that he would launch an inquiry into the prospective actions that his office could take to counter-act this decision.[9] Noguera was taken into custody for a second time on 6 July 2007, three months after his previous release.[10]

On November 2007, the Attorney General’s office dismissed Noguero from his posts and barred him from holding public office for the next 18 years due to his collaboration with the far right-wing paramilitary group AUC. The charges included mismanagement of resources and falsification of data in order to benefit drug trafficking groups.[11]

The prosecutor’s office continued to investigate Noguera’s case until 11 June 2008 when the Supreme Court of Colombia overturned the Attorney General’s office decision since the lead prosecutor, Mario Iguaran named a fiscal officer[12] to lead the investigation against Noguera. This is a task would have been exclusively reserved for Iguaran since under the provision of fuero constitucional, only the country’s Attorney General has the ability to investigate the head of the DAS.[13] Noguera was once again released from custody while waiting for yet another trial to be held against him while the Supreme Court sent forth copies of Iguaran’s findings to the Commission of Accusations, a committee led by the Chamber of Representatives to investigate the irregularities in the proceedings held against Noguera.[14] On December 12, 2008 Noguera was once again arrested; the public prosecutor’s office accuses him of homicide and conspiracy to commit crime.[15] He was sentenced to 25 years in prison on 14 September 2011.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Born to Luís Aurelio Noguera and Maruja Cotes Blanco on 25 September 1963 in Santa Marta, Colombia, he graduated from the Colegio San Luis Beltran, and attended the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá where he obtain his Bachelor of Laws in 1988.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conspiracy to commit crime, referred to as Concierto para delinquir in Spanish, is defined under the Colombian criminal law as “a crime that occurred as a result of the criminal party’s attempt to commit activities such as kidnapping, the establishment of illegal groups, terrorism, extortion and others. This occurs when two or more persons conspire to commit criminal acts, no particular type of crime is required in order to enact this law, it is only necessary to prove that the end result of such action(s) is to commit a criminal activity.
  2. ^ The AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia) is Colombia’s most powerful paramilitary force. Formally established in 1997, it has been classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. Its aim is to "protect its sponsors and supporters from insurgent activities," which they claim the Colombian military has failed to do so.
  3. ^ Semana is a Colombian weekly-based liberal magazine founded in 1946. Over the years it’s been known to be an open critic of President Uribe and one of the main newspapers to reveal to the public the parapolitics scandal of 2006.
  4. ^ The parapolitics scandal refers to a congressional scandal that originated in 2006 as a result of indictments against several congressmen and other politicians for their collaboration with the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), Colombia’s most powerful paramilitary organization.
  5. ^ Rodrigo Tovar Pupo is the former leader of the Northern Bloc of the AUC, who was demobilized along with his two-thousand strong-force in 2006 under Alvaro Uribe’s amnesty. A laptop computer belonging to Tuvor contained the names of over 550 murders and mentioned included the names of several congressmen under investigation because of the parapolitics scandal of 2006. Tuvaro is also alleged to be the leader of a drug-trafficking ring in Northern Colombia.
  6. ^ Caracol Noticias, Jorge Noguera quedó detenido en la Fiscalía, February 22, 2007.
  7. ^ El Espectador, Jorge Noguera quedó en libertad
  8. ^ Superior Council of Judicature (Spanish: Consejo Superior de la Judicatura) is Colombian institution part of the judicial branch of Colombia in charge of adopting a yearly report which is presented to Congress with a detailed report on justice handling in Colombia. The council also adopts the Development plan for the judicial branch of Colombia and presents it to the President of Colombia so that it can be included in the Colombian National Plan of Development. The Superior Council of Judicature also establishes rules for an efficient administration of justice and can adopt and propose Law projects related to the administration of justice and procedure codes. Members of the council are entitled to elect the new president of the council. The functions of the Superior Council of Judicature are stipulated in Article 79, Law 270 of 1996 in the Colombian Constitution of 1991.
  9. ^ BBC, Colombia: liberan a Noguera
  10. ^ Semana, Fiscalía capturó a Jorge Noguera por 'parapolítica'
  11. ^ Procuraduría destituyó y suspendió por 18 años a Jorge Noguera por ‘parapolítica’
  12. ^ A lower-ranking staff member from the General Attorney’s office.
  13. ^ Fuero Constitucional is a provision under Colombian law that “guarantees certain public sector employees, depending which position they have, in this case the head of the DAS, the possibility to be judged by ‘special’ functionaries and procedures than the judicial standard. In this case, only the Attorney General has the ability to investigate the head of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS).
  14. ^ "Corte anula proceso contra Jorge Noguera". Semana (Colombia). 6/11/2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ "Jorge Noguera, otra vez a la cárcel". Semana (Colombia). 12 December 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008 
  16. ^ "Colombia imprisons ex-spy chief Jorge Noguera". BBC. 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  17. ^ Noguera Cotes, Jorge Aurelio (1988). El daño justificado en responsabilidad civil extracontractual y su paralelo con el derecho penal [Justified damages in civil tort and their parallel in criminal law] (Thesis) (in Spanish). Bogotá: Pontifical Xavierian University, Faculty of Legal and Socio-Economic Sciences. LCCN 92111428. OCLC 22673644. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  18. ^ "Jorge Noguera, otra vez a la cárcel" [Jorge Noguera, once again to jail]. Semana (in Spanish). 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-13. .

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