Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS has denied any kind of illegal monitoring of Vice President Angelino Garzon after a union leader was arrested directly after meeting with him, Colombian newspaper El Espectador reported Monday.
DAS Director Felipe Muñoz denied any irregularity in the arrest of trade union leader Jose Valencia after a meeting of sugar workers, which Garzon attended, in Cali Saturday.
On Saturday, the Vice President Garzon condemned the arrest of Valencia and criticized the alleged infiltration of his security arrangements during the meeting.
Muñoz said that the only thing that happened was that the fingerprints of everybody attending the meeting were checked. It was found that the trade unionist had a warrant out for his arrest.
“The gentleman said that he was to participate in the event and he came out to clarify the matter … The gentleman entered, gave his presentation and when he left, we respectfully asked him to come with us,” said Muñoz.
Muñoz added, “[we] confirmed that he had an arrest warrant for him for seven crimes but the warrant was more than six months old and in the legal system an arrest warrant must be less than six months … he admitted that he had some unfortunate legal incidents that he was going to clarify.”
“In my opinion” said Muñoz, “my officers acted in the way they were supposed to.” He added that the two detectives at the event were only there to check fingerprints.
At the meeting of sugar workers in Cali Saturday, it was discovered that a plain-clothed officer was taking photographs.