Colombian tax officials fall victim to violence due to crackdown: Police

Recent assassinations of two Colombian tax officials and death threats against 29 others were due to crackdowns against organized crime, police said Monday.

Colonel Gustavo Moreno, the official charged with investigating crimes against National Tax and Customs Direction (DIAN) employees, said criminals were “bothered” by the authorities’ crackdown on illegal and stolen goods entering Colombian territory.

“There are 29 DIAN functionaries under threat in the country. The National Protection Unit is making security and risk studies in order to give them the required protection,” the colonel said.

Moreno said the recent murder of a tax employee in Colombia’s third largest city, Cali, could be related to the police’s expropriation of six tons of telephone cases.

“It seems the threats were born here,” the colonel said, while assuring the official was killed because of his work as a customs officer.

“It is a difficult work and offensive for the persons who are entering stolen goods,” Moreno said, while expressing concern about the recent threats against the director of DIAN, Juan Ricardo Ortega.

In late May, another DIAN employee was assassinated in the south-central city of Huila.

Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria said Tuesday that the assassinations were attempts by criminals to “corner” the DIAN’s organization. Cardenas said it was “no coincidence” that the two murder victims were tax officials.


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