Last week the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Justice published a report into the handling of sexual misconduct by law enforcement agent. Much of the report discusses handling of sexual misconduct inside and outside the workplace in the different law enforcement organisations and makes recommendations on improving it. But the key concern is that some of the cases involved agents with top security clearances whose work and information could have been seriously compromised. The point is made vigorously by the Colombian journal Semana, which picks up on the story. Some of the Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Colombia, it turns out, were enjoying the sexual services courtesy of drug traffickers.
The cases recorded appear to be the tip of the iceberg as the DoJ report raises concern over the “apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case”. File information was withheld for months and members of the agency were reportedly uncooperative with the investigation. This can be attributed to staff solidarity. There are also strong arguments against allowing state authorities to pry into what goes in inside the bedroom between consenting adults. Yet each of these arguments, can also be applied to drug offences, the very reason the DEA was created to crack down on in the first place. To many observers, there is a serious case of double standards that has unlikely to improve the reputation of the DEA in Latin America.