National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services

DISIP (General Sectoral Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services) was an intelligence and counter-intelligence agency inside and outside of Venezuela between 1969 and 2009 when SEBIN was created by former President Hugo Chávez. DISIP was established in March 1969 by then-president Rafael Caldera, replacing the Directorate General of Police (DIGEPOL).

National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services
Dirección Nacional de los Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevención
Seal of the National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services

El Helicoide building in Caracas - former headquarters of DISIP
Agency overview
FormedMarch 19, 1969 (1969-03-19)
Preceding agency
DissolvedDecember 4, 2009 (2009-12-04)
Superseding agency
HeadquartersCaracas, Venezuela

History edit

Origin edit

With the overthrow of dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez in January 1958, Venezuela was plunged into an acute institutional crisis in the police and security area, following the dismantling of the National Security, also called "political police"; the absence of a similar, moderately effective organization gives rise to impromptu Technical Services Criminology, an organization in the popular police jargon was known as Criminology, was a time of much confusion as it was beginning to take shape guerrilla activity and for that reason the political activism of opposition was severely punished.

On April 29, 1959, according to Executive Order No. 51, taking into account the need to define the roles and responsibilities of the various police forces, the general direction of police "DIGEPOL", DISIP's predecessor organization, which creates would have the task "to exercise and coordinate the entire national territory policing aimed at the preservation of order and public tranquility", according to its powers under the Ministry of Interior, in Article No. 18 of the Constitution of Ministries, without prejudice to the legal powers of the Judicial Technical Police and state police. With this decision, the powers of the criminal police, faculty and power of intelligence and state security were separated.

1960s edit

Creation of DISIP edit

When Rafael Caldera assumed his first presidency in the Venezuela, he ordered the dissolution of the DIGEPOL and signed Decree No. 15, dated March 19, 1969 giving birth to the "Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention "whose initials are DISIP. Its objective was to demonstrate the initial combat subversion and drug trafficking. Its first commanders took the initiative to establish appropriate training courses and their members, mostly from former members of DIGEPOL.[citation needed]

The first head of DISIP was Cuban dissident Luis Posada Carriles.[1] During his leadership, Posada was in countering various Cuban-supported guerrilla movements in Venezuela. Posada was dismissed from the service in 1974 due to ideological differences with the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez.[2][1]

1970s edit

In its early years, DISIP had nearly 4,000 employees on the payroll between the areas of administration, police and intelligence. The story of the early years of the DISIP parallels the political group "Bandera Roja", whose leaders Carlos Betancourt (under the pseudonym "Gerónimo"), Eduardo Candiales Barrios and Gabriel Puerta Aponte, Lieutenant Betancourt was confronted by the police organization from the beginning of the group. The DISIP conducted the first dismantling of this group between 1972 and 1973. They also acted against the Party of the Venezuelan Revolution (PRV-FALN) and other smaller groups, achieving frustrate many plans uprising of leftist groups of the time.[citation needed]

In the mid-1970s to the need to raise the technical level of the security agency was created Brigade speeches or Command groups led by the Commissioner General Henry López Sisco [es], who led major operations against leftist guerrillas in the field.[citation needed] In 1976, the leader of Revolutionary Left Movement and founder of the Socialist League, Jorge Antonio Rodríguez [es], was detained by DISIP agents, who tortured him to death.[3]

1980s edit

In this context, the DISIP holding several clashes such as the Cantaura massacre, occurred between 4 and 8 October 1982 where some tens of DISIP agents with more than 400 soldiers from the Armed Forces killed 23 Front guerrilla fighters "Americo Silva", belonging to rural guerrilla group Red Flag.[citation needed]

During the Caracazo, DISIP officers were reported to have beat detained protesters with baseball bats and pipes.[4]

1990s edit

In the 1990s, the DISIP forward intelligence operations against the rebel soldiers led by Hugo Chávez and Francisco Arias Cárdenas giving two attempted coup against President Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1992, the national government of the time authorized actions to not investigate suspects of participants in the coup. In the particular case of November 27, 1992, officers of the Brigade of Interventions, Vehicular Patrol, the General Intelligence and Investigation Division faced by National Guard military rebels, the latter being defeated. DISIP facilities in El Helicoide in Caracas were bombed by the rebel air force.

Amnesty International expressed concern over excessive use of force by the DISIP, and the increasing polarization and political violence in Venezuela since Chávez was elected in December 1998.[5] During the president Hugo Chávez, a crackdown against suspected looters in the state of Vargas following the 1999 mudslides became, according to Human Rights Watch, "the first major human rights test of the Chávez government. At first, Chávez dismissed the reports as 'suspicious' and 'superficial,' but the evidence soon obliged the president and other top government officials to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation."[6] Human Rights Watch expressed their deep concern over DISIP (and National Guard) abuse in Venezuela in a 2004 personal letter to President Hugo Chávez.[7]

2000s edit

The Chávez administration distanced its intelligence services from the United States into the 2000s, instead partnering with Cuba, Lebanon and Libya for its DISIP operations, providing advisory offices for each nation in El Helicoide.[8] DISIP was also used to fund Bolivarian Circles to provide intelligence from poor areas.[8]

Human Rights Watch expressed concern over DISIP (and National Guard) abuse in Venezuela in a 2004 personal letter to President Hugo Chávez.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bardach, Ann Louise (2002). Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana. Random House. pp. 184–186. ISBN 978-0-375-50489-1. Posada ascended to chief of operations for DISIP, the successor to DIGEPOL, with the help of CIA recommendations and immediately went to war against the leftist guerrilla movements supported by Castro in Venezuela. (...) A falling-out with Venezuela's newly elected President, Carlos Andres Perez, led to Posada's dismissal as head of DISIP in 1974
  2. ^ Carrillo, Karen Juanita (10 May 2007). "Protests set to decry release of Posada Carriles". New York Amsterdam News. p. 18.
  3. ^ "Rodríguez, Jorge Antonio". Fundación Empresas Polar. Diccionario de Historia de Venezuela.
  4. ^ López Maya, Margarita (February 2003). "The Venezuelan "Caracazo" of 1989: Popular Protest and Institutional Weakness". Journal of Latin American Studies. 35 (1). Cambridge University Press: 117–137. doi:10.1017/S0022216X02006673. S2CID 145292996. In this regard, the Caracazo was not such a spontaneous outburst as is commonly believed. We have found that anti-neoliberal student protest had been building in the previous days in Merida as well as other cities.
  5. ^ Venezuela: Fear for safety/use of excessive force | Amnesty International Archived 2004-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Human Rights Watch World Report 2001: Venezuela: Human Rights Developments
  7. ^ "Letter to President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Human Rights Watch, April 12, 2004)". Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Myers, David J. (2003-01-01). "The Institutions of Intelligence in Venezuela: Lessons from 45 Years of Democracy". Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 33 (1). Stockholm University Press: 85. doi:10.16993/ibero.164. ISSN 2002-4509.
  9. ^ "Letter to President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Human Rights Watch, April 12, 2004)". Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2014.