A former DAS officer who admits to personally spying on the Colombian Supreme Court has testified how she infiltrated the judicial body on orders which she believes came from the presidency.
In an interview with W Radio, Alba Luz Florez, who is currently testifying in court on the DAS wiretapping scandal, said that she infiltrated the Supreme Court through “recruiting human sources.”
According to reports, Florez – who has been nicknamed “Mata Hari” by the Colombian media – started a relationship with a police captain in order to gain access to the court.
Florez said that she was following orders from the then-DAS spy boss William Romero Sanchez, but that she believes that Romero’s orders came from former DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who in turn received orders from the presidency.
Florez claims that she is a victim of a DAS plot to discredit her by accusing her of misappropriating funds, so that her testimony will not taken seriously.
“William Romero, who was my direct boss, gave me feedback that doctor Maria del Pilar Hurtado was happy with my work … They were going to decorate me but due to the problem that was coming to light, what the DAS did was throw me out,” Florez said.
The former employee said the state is accusing her of being a “criminal” because “the state wants to create smoke curtains … to shut me up so that my testimony does not enter the public arena.”
Florez claims that she was given financial incentives to make contacts within the court system in order to have access to confidential court information. She was told to seek information “on anything that came up, but they were emphatic about issues related to ‘FARC-politics,’ ‘parapolitics,’ and arrests related to those themes. Also issues that were debated within the court.”
Florez said that DAS gave her money to give to her sources in return for “their collaboration and support,” and that members of the police force also provided her with information.
Florez’s lawyer Edgar Torres said Tuesday that his client will testify in the case against the ex-director of the Financial Investigation Unit (UIAF), Mario Aranguren as well as the former head of DAS counter-intelligence Jorge Alberto Lagos and former DAS intelligence director Fernando Alonso Tabares
Torres also said that Florez will receive protection after having received threats against her. He added that Florez was involved in surveillance of Supreme Court magistrates for more than a year.
DAS is Colombia’s security and intelligence agency. The agency became the subject of a scandal when allegations that the administration of then-President Alvaro Uribe had ordered the wiretapping of magistrates, members of the press, opposition politicians, and human rights workers became public in 2009.
Uribe was forced to dismantle the DAS, Interpol transferred its cooperation with Colombian authorities to the national police, and U.S. Congress ordered that neither the DAS nor its successors will receive any financial aid from the U.S. government.
Tabares testified in July that he was ordered to keep an eye on Supreme Court judges, opposition politicians and journalists in a private lunch he had with Uribe’s secretary Bernardo Moreno and DAS director Hurtado in September 2007.