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7 Nov 2011

Colombian credentials

Presumably as a result of international pressure on the Colombian authorities, a colleague sending me a letter had to attach a photocopy of his REPUBLICA DE COLOMBIA - IDENTIFICACION PERSONAL - CEDULA DE CIUDADANIA (what appears to be his Colombian government-issued ID card), front-and-back including his mugshot and fingerprint, to the "CARTA DE RESPONSABILIDAD" form PR-OP-AD-001-FR-001 endorsed by somebody working for the POLICIA ANTINARCOTICOS at Aeropuerto El Dorado - Bogota.

The bottom of the form reads "Nota: Recuerde que es obligatorio anexar fotocopia del documento de identidad".  With my rather primitive understanding of Spanish, I take that to mean that it was compulsory for the sender to attach the photocopy of his ID card, presumably to be able to send me the letter.

I was absolutely amazed to receive all that personal information 'in plaintext', attached by sticky tape to the rear of the airmail letter that arrived in my NZ postbox today.

I guess the Colombian authorities appreciate that the attached information is personal to the sender and could probably be used as credentials for identity theft.  I presume that nevertheless they insist on it due to the significant risk of drugs being exported via email.  I am astounded that, having checked it, they actually sent the personal information out of the country.

Needless to say, I have destroyed the form and the photocopied ID card.   

Gary (Gary@isect.com)

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