Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office is investigating three of President Alvaro Uribe‘s closest aides in connection with the illegal wiretapping of opposition politicians, journalists and judges, the country’s Foundation for the Freedom of Press (FLIP) said Tuesday.
As well as Uribe’s personal secretary Bernardo Moreno, press secretary Cesar Mauricio Velasquez and former deputy Defense Minister Jorge Mario Eastman, the IG’s Office is investigating four former directors of intelligence agency DAS and nineteen other government officials.
The DAS and government official were all instated after Uribe took office in 2002.
FLIP director Ignacio Gomez told Spanish press agency EFE he had personally been informed by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez about the investigations.
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the country’s Prosecutor General has opened criminal investigations against forty DAS officials and indicted another seven so far.
In a reaction to ongoing criticism of its respect for the freedom of the press, Colombia’s Interior and Justice Ministry released a press statement, stressing that “the government, since its beginning, has had a clear policy in regards to the protection and security of the citizens and professionals that carry out journalism.”