Colombia’s state intelligence agency DAS paid a foreigner to spy on then-Senator Piedad Cordoba while she was on a controversial visit to Mexico in 2007, reported Caracol TV on Tuesday.
The television network was given a declaration made before prosecutors by the DAS’ former operations coordinator Fabio Duarte, who testified that the DAS paid $10,000 dollars to receive the bill of a Mexico City hotel, which was paid for by the Mexican Workers’ Party.
In the testimony, the former DAS coordinator said the bill was given to former DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who fled Colombia in 2010 and is now in Panama where she enjoys political asylum.
According to Duarte, the hotel bill was taken to the presidential palace, because it was “of total interest” of then President Alvaro Uribe.
The former official testified that DAS paid the foreign spy $10,000 for the bill.
Cordoba‘s visit to Mexico caused great controversy after she attended a symposium where she called Uribe a “mafioso, paramilitary and murderer” and called on Latin American governments to break diplomatic ties with her home country. Following her statement, Cordoba was accused of “treason.”
Illegal spying on government opponents caused a major scandal in Colombia. Several of Uribe’s closest aides and DAS directors are under criminal investigation and the DAS is in the process of being dismantled.
Piedad Cordoba was banned from the senate in 2010 for ties to leftist rebels.