Are intelligence sector reforms enough to protect Colombia's journalists?
Feb 23, Bogotá: When Colombia's national intelligence agency, known as DAS, was disbanded in October 2011 after revelations of illegal surveillance and harassment of the press and public figures, many journalists breathed a sigh of relief. But recent claims of reporters being spied on and government agencies buying advanced surveillance technology without ensuring clear guidelines over its use, has raised questions about the country's commitment to ending abusive practices.
President Juan Manuel Santos disbanded DAS (the administrative department of security) after news magazine Semana found in 2009 that some of its members were illegally spying on journalists, had issued death threats against investigative reporter Claudia Julieta Duque and her daughter, and used agents disguised as body guards for surveillance.
The Oslo Times/IFEX