A Spanish NGO has accused Colombian intelligence agency DAS of illegally spying on a then-member of Spain’s parliament at a human rights conference in Colombia in 2004, El Mundo reported Monday.
The Valencian Coordination of Solidarity with Colombia (CVSC) accused DAS of spying on Isaura Navarro while she attended a meeting of World Voices for Life in Colombia. While she was at the conference Navarro’s actions were “closely monitored by DAS agents, according to a report from the Colombian Inspector General’s Office on illegal activities committed by the intelligence service during 2004 and 2005,” reports El Mundo.
Jaime Fernando Ovalle, coordinator of DAS’s G-3 unit, who has been accused of overseeing illegal wiretaps, received a report on the activities of Navarro and other attendees. The report included personal information, photographs, and detailed information about Colombian and international attendees of the conference. According to El Mundo, the two agents who prepared the report have since been detained.
The Inspector General’s Office also said that Spanish activists and organizations “were subjected to intelligence work by the DAS both in Spain and in Colombia, aiming to discredit their work of solidarity with victims of violence in the Latin American country.”
In July 2009, Ovalle officially confirmed the existence of G-3 and its role in the illegal wiretapping of journalists, human rights organizers and political opposition. He said that the G-3 never was legally established, and the orders for their work were made orally and never with judicial authorization.
According to files revealed in April, the European Parliamentary committee on human rights, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and national governments were agencies deemed a threat to the Colombian government and were illegally placed under surveillance.
The strategy was to discredit European entities by creating press releases, website reports and by waging legal battles against them. DAS members attended NGO seminars, workshops and forums to compile confidential reports which included photographs and films of attendees.
The possibility of smear campaigns against U.S. entities is also being investigated.