Politics & Government

CIA declassifies whistleblower's complaint about relationship with Peruvian spy

A CIA whistle-blower complained in 2001 that the agency may have broken U.S. laws by failing to pursue allegations that Peruvian spy master Vladimiro Montesinos trafficked in drugs and laundered money, according to the complaint.

The next week, the CIA classified the complaint as "Secret." The agency finally declassified it this February, amid a long-running lawsuit by the whistle-blower, Franz Boening, arguing that was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

"I wish to call to your attention several very serious issues, including possible violations of U.S. laws, related to CIA's alleged operational relationship with Vladimiro Lenin Montesinos," Boening wrote in his May 10, 2001 complaint to the agency's inspector general.

"Montesinos almost certainly used CIA tools and bureaucratic support to facilitate his crimes," he added.

Boening's complaint was based on previously published reports about Montesinos, his tight relationship with the CIA and his involvement in drug smuggling, money laundering, weapons trafficking and human rights violations. The CIA has been often and openly criticized for its ties to Montesinos.

Montesinos, now serving several prison sentences of up to 20 years in Peru, was the notorious intelligence chief and liaison with the CIA during President Alberto Fujimori's rule, 1990-2000.

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