A new commission will investigate the wiretapping of the negotiators of ongoing peace talks with rebel group FARC, the Colombian government announced on Monday.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon announced the creation of the special commission that will investigate the recent hacking of the communication devices of the chief government negotiator, Humberto de la Calle.
The negotiator on Saturday claimed he again had been the victims of cyber attacks that sought to hack his email account.
The alleged attempt to bug the peace commission’s communications is the second this year; In February, members of the Military Intelligence unit were allegedly found wiretapping the government and rebel negotiators, and later selling this classified information to opponents of the talks.
The defense minister said in Cartagena that he has decided to form a special group to raise the government’s counterintelligence. This commission will aim to persecute “anyone selling information or providing information pertaining to national security.”
This comes directly after the intercepted emails and mobiles from De la Calle, who said this weekend from Havana, that he was the victim of up to 17 hacking incidents in his iPad, phone and computer. “That we will not allow and so we will act,” Pinzon declared.
“Authorities in Colombia inform me that recent events show that illegal operations managed to infiltrate my personal communications,” said De la Calle in Havana. “They can not only know the information that I have but also have the ability to send messages on my behalf,” said the former Colombian vice president, who also claims to have found fake accounts of profiles on social networks that he has never opened.
Pinzon’s statement came hours after Interior Minister, Juan Fernando Cristo, announced that the government will “redouble efforts to defend the peace process.”
In an interview with broadcast media, Cristo said that the government is “concerned” at attempts to access the communication devices of De la Calle. Massive threats were reported this month against human rights defenders, journalists and political leaders, which takes the total to over 150 people.