Colombia’s national army came under fire after on Tuesday after adding journalists, the war crimes tribunal and even the Red Cross to an “opposition” social media monitoring list.
The “opposition” list was discovered when investigative journalism website Cuestion Publica was added to the list. The website has reported extensively on a scandal linking a drug trafficking organization to President Ivan Duque.
According to Cuestion Publica, the army’s “opposition” list on Twitter included members of the political party of the demobilize guerrilla group FARC as well as the war crimes tribunal, human rights organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The list contained only five opposition politicians.
The army’s “opposition” list
- War crimes tribunal JEP
- Senator Gustavo Petro (Humane Colombia)
- Senator Gustavo Bolivar (Humane Colombia)
- Political analyst Ariel Avila
- Indigenous organization ORIVAC
- Farmers’ organization Ascamcat
- HRW Americas director Jose Miguel Vivanco
- Newspaper El Espectador’s peace process newsroom
- Senator “Pablo Catatumbo” (FARC)
- FARC reintegration chief “Pastor Alape”
- Senator Aida Avella (Patriotic Union)
- National Police watchdog Oposicion CNP
- Human rights organization Congreso de los Pueblos
- FARC party
- Peasant organization ANZORC
- Investigative journalism website Mision Verdad
- News agency Colombia Informa
- Indigenous organization CRIC
- Venezuela’s opposition
- Caracol Radio director Gustavo Gomez
- Noticias Uno director Ignacio Gomez
- Semana columnist Vicky Davila
- Semana columnist Salud Hernandez
- Human rights radio station Contagio Radio
- Human Rights Watch
- Rural news agency Prensa Rural
- Senator Ivan Cepeda (Democratic Pole)
- UN human rights office in Colombia
- Former journalist and politician Hollman Morris
“Army lists stigmatize media and journalists”
Press freedom foundation FLIP expressed its concern that media were included in an “opposition” list.
Reporters Without Borders spokesperson Fabiola Leon said the “army lists stigmatize media and journalists with critical or different view on the complexity of the country.”
Lieutenant Carlos Manosalva told the website that “the list is a monitoring of what the opposition thinks.”
In a press release, the army apologized and said that “out of respect for individuals and the accounts of entities and organizations, they were eliminated as an immediate measure” after the criticism.
The FLIP responded that it will begin an investigation “in order to verify that there are no other irregularities that could affect the work of the press.”