Venezuela frees Colombian official accused of spying

Julio Enrique Tocora Parra, a detective with Colombian intelligence service DAS, returned to Colombia on Wednesday after spending one year and three days in Venezuelan detention, reports El Espectador.

Parra was arrested in September 2009 at the Las Delicias hotel in Maracaibo by Venezuelan immigration authorities, who accused him of espionage.

According to the DAS, Parra went to Venezuela at the invitation of a friend who worked for Venezuelan immigration authorities.

The Venezuelan official was supposed to meet Parra at 10AM for sightseeing activities, but failed to show up. An hour later, a large group of military intelligence agents arrested Parra.

DAS director Felipe Muñoz will receive Parra in Santa Marta, Colombia.

The security and intelligence agency has opened up an internal disciplinary investigation against Parra, as all DAS agents are prohibited from traveling to Venezuela.

In March Venezuela arrested at least 20 Colombian citizens on suspicion of espionage. A number of these detainees are thought to still be in Venezuelan custody .

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