Colombian agency spied on Spanish politician

DAS seal

DAS seal

An official report prepared for the Colombian government reveals that an illegal unit set up within the Colombian intelligence services spied on a member of the Spanish parliament. A copy of the report was leaked earlier this week to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, which has published an executive summary. The paper claims that Colombia’s scandal-prone and soon-to-be-dismantled DAS intelligence service spied on members of the Spanish-based Valencian Coordination of Solidarity with Colombia (CVSC), which works in support of victim’s of Colombia’s government-tied paramilitary groups. Specifically, in 2004, DAS agents spied on Spanish parliamentarian and CVSC activist Isaura Navarro, while she participated in Global Voices for Colombia, an international human rights conference held in Spain. El Mundo claims that the report, which was prepared for the Office of Colombia’s Inspector General, states that a team of DAS agents “closely monitored” Navarro and several other CVSC conference participants, collecting personal information, audio recordings and photographs. If true, the paper’s allegations would mean that the Colombian intelligence services broke Spain’s espionage laws by engaging in unauthorized intelligence activity on Spanish soil, targeting Spanish citizens, including a member of Spain’s national parliament. According to the leaked report, the espionage activities against Navarro were conducted by G-3, an unauthorized unit set up by rightwing elements inside the DAS to spy on legal political activity in Colombia and abroad, including on members of the European Parliament. The Spanish daily also mentions rumors circulating in Bogota that G-3 engaged in intelligence activities against US persons and organizations, but provides no further details.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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