Intelligence: March 28, 2004


Peru is dismantling its National Intelligence Council (the CNI). The reason? Corruption. Well, the corruption is nothing new, but the political will to confront it is new. On March 21 the head of the CNI resigned after corruption charges were made against the agency. There are numerous allegations (okay, there's a lot of evidence) that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori used the CNI to intimidate political opponents. The charges run from blackmail to the existence of death squads. The charges of CNI death squads, however, long predates Fujimori. Of course, the CNI will have to be replaced-- governments need reliable intelligence services. For many reasons it will be interesting to watch Peru rebuild its intelligence service, turn it from a repressive and corrupt institution into a modern intelligence gathering and analytic agency. However, despite some recent flare-ups from Shining Path holdouts, and the constant problem of narcotics gangs, Peru may well have the political breathing space to clean-up the agency. (Austin Bay)


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