The Colombian military sent home yet another intelligence official on Tuesday after a Military Intelligence list containing email addresses of peace delegates, journalists and the Red Cross was leaked to the press.
The military claimed on Tuesday that it is carrying out investigations into the existence of a list of emails of more than 300 public figures allegedly prepared by the military intelligence unit CIME.
The controversial document was published by Semana weekly on Tuesday.
The list is a Microsoft Excel file comprising of hundreds of private and work email addresses of notable people involved, in one way or another, in peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC staged in Havana, Cuba.
However, journalists who do not cover the peace talks, but general politics, were also included on the list.
According to Semana, part of the list had been sent to US network Univision earlier this year.
The exact purpose of the record is unclear.
According to Semana, the archive’s metadata indicate that it was developed by the CIME on October 28, 2012, shortly after the start of the peace talks. The last change in the file was made on March 10, 2014, a month after Univision revealed the existence of the spy list, and a month after a purge in the military’s intelligence team allegedly responsible for illegal spying on the talks.
E-mails of the entourage of Sergio Jaramillo, the High Commissioner for Peace, including Helena Ambrosi, a top official who is responsible for drafting of legal documents during peace negotiations, as well as Jaramillo himself are all catalogued in the document.
Other names on the list include high profile journalists, such as Fidel Cano of El Espectador, Nestor Morales of Blu Radio, as well as prominent politicians, such as congressmen Camilo Romero or Alexander Lopez.
Names of foreign journalists, Human Rights Watch activists and members of the international Red Cross committee also appear in the file.
In a statement published on Tuesday, the army officials say that they have been aware of the existence of such list for two weeks, and have taken the necessary steps to clarify the case.
As part of the investigation, the army ordered a special audit of the CIME to be executed by a group of IT experts.
It is for this reason and “in order to guarantee transparency of the inquiry” that the head of the Intelligence Service, Brigadier General Mauricio Forero, was temporarily sent on holidays, the army insisted in the release.
According to the statement, the personnel involved in the events was ordered to perform “reliability and credibility tests”, such as the polygraph test.
Additionally, the army executives assured that the institution have taken corrective measures including revision of documents, hardware and software control, as well as management of human talent to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Finally, the statement warned that the army would not tolerate actions such as gathering information on public figures, and that it is ready to draw all the consequences necessary in oder to avoid it.
“We are willing to provide all our support to the investigative entities to clarify this situation,” read the statement.
- Revelan lista en poder de inteligencia militar por ‘chuzadas‘ (La Vanguardia)
- ONU pide medidas serias para evitar chuzadas a periodistas y al propio organismo internacional (El Espectador)
- Ejército dice que está investigando lista de correos en inteligencia (El Tiempo)
- La polémica lista de Inteligencia Militar (Semana)