Prominent exiled Colombian journalist Claudia Duque calls for the European Council to investigate President Alvaro Uribe‘s role in Colombian intelligence agency DAS’s spying on human rights defenders.
“They should open an investigation into the president because he either knew about what was going on, or he let it happen through his hostile speeches throughout the course of the last eight years against all who opposed him,” Duque said Tuesday during a press conference at the European headquarters of international NGO Reporters Without Borders.
The persecution of more than 300 human rights workers and journalists, according to Duque, who herself claims to be a victim of DAS harassment due to her human rights work, was a “gigantic operation, not only against Colombians, but also against European citizens, and we believe that it is very important for Europe to look at the reality of what exactly happened.”
Duque, who has been forced to flee Colombia three times due to her work in covering collaboration between the Colombian government and right-wing paramilitary groups, called on the European Council to open up an investigative commission similar to the one created following the revelation of the clandestine kidnappings of supposed terrorists from European soil by the U.S.’s CIA. According to Duque, it is necessary to study “the responsibility and illegality of the actors.”
Duque also called into question whether European governments should be investigated for their potential complicity in the Colombian body’s illegal espionage.
The exiled Colombian journalist went on to say that the Spanish government should investigate allegations that DAS have opened a fake NGO in the Spanish city of Valencia in order to neutralize other human rights defenders.
Duque, who is one of Colombia’s most high profile journalists, in February condemned the state of journalism in the Andean nation, saying that many reporters live in a “state of terror.” She has received numerous death threats during her career, and was once kidnapped.