Human Rights Groups Denounce Persecution by Colombia’s Intelligence Agency

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This is a proclamation signed by dozens of individuals representing the courts, non-governmental organizations, media, academic community, political parties, and unions that have been subjected to monitoring, interceptions, and other illegal forms of persecution by the DAS.
Click here to read the original PDF in English o haga clíc aquí para español.

Recover the Rule of Law!

“…disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

“Every individual has the right to personal and family privacy and to his/her good reputation and the state will respect them and have these rights and ensure they are respected. Similarly, individuals have the right to know, update, and rectify information gathered about them in data banks and in the records of public and private entities. Freedom and the other guarantees approved in the Constitution will be respected in the gathering, handling, and circulation of data. Correspondence and other forms of private communication are inviolable. They may only be intercepted or recorded pursuant to a court order, following the formalities established by law.  For tax or legal purposes and for cases of inspection, supervision, and intervention of the state, the submission of accounting records and other private documents may be required within the limits provided by law.”
Article 15 of the Colombian Constitution, 1991

The country and the world knows today, with astonishment and indignation, the scope of a criminal enterprise promoted by the presidential agency in charge of security (DAS) and directed against citizens who have been subjected, for years, to espionage, interception of communications, surveillance both in and out the country, montage, pressure, threats, terrorism, and slander or sabotage operations.

According to ongoing investigations and official, public documents, these actions of “offensive” or “passive” intelligence were conducted without a warrant and designed to monitor, neutralize, or impede the work of judges of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, international organizations like the Inter-American Court and Commission on Human Rights and the European Parliament, embassies, political opponents, journalists, peace activists, unionists and human rights defenders. On some occasions, state security agents, in a rush to ensure results, followed, intimidated, and threatened the sons and daughters of the so-called “targets” of the intelligence and counterintelligence operations that were carried out.

This unacceptable situation seriously questions the validity of the rule of law proclaimed by the Constitution because it was the start of a massive criminal operation to intimidate the courts, neutralize the opposition, follow journalists, and prevent human rights defenders as well as unionists from doing their work and because it constitutes multiple, grave violations of international human rights treaties signed by Colombia.

Who ordered the use of national resources, state institutions, and public servants to perform these operations? Who collected this information, how was it used, for what purposes was it collected, and who benefited from it? Since when have these operations been taking place and how can we be certain that they are now suspended? Since when has having a different opinion or thinking differently about a particular matter been a threat to national security?

Those signing this statement, direct victims of these illegal operations and citizens belonging to various different political parties and holding various different ideologies that do not allow for these sort of arbitrary actions to take place, which have received disapproval and repudiation from the government of the United States, express our profound indignation and rejection of these practices; demand the Attorney General's Office to provide us with access to the findings of these investigations; and ask the country’s judges and competent organizations to condemn the responsible perpetrators and instigators.

The victims of these criminal activities call upon the authorities to take all the legal, administrative, disciplinary, and political actions necessary to investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible and to unite all of society so as to restore rule of law in Colombia. The continuous and systemic nature of the investigations, as well as the large number of people affected, indicates that what occurred were not isolated cases, but rather the result of a high order from the current government.

The international community, Colombian society, and the media must spread awareness as a conscious critic about what has occurred and must play an active role in demanding the truth.

The next president must make a commitment to society that, never again, will the state allow and sponsor such terrorist acts, reminiscent of the worst dictatorships. We hope that the two candidates vying for the presidency in a second round of voting will make this sort of public promise.

We are confident that if the Colombian judiciary does not operate with expediency or produce results, the international community will recognize these crimes and condemn the guilty before the world, bringing shame to a society whose tradition of liberty we hope to reclaim during the bicentennial celebration of independence.

Ramiro Bejarano, Gustavo Gallón, Jorge Rojas, Gustavo Petro, Hollman Morris, Marco Romero, Claudia J Duque, Alirio Uribe, Reinaldo Villalba, Gloria Florez, Ivan Cepeda.

List of signatories that denounce the irregular actions of the DAS

Judges, present and former:
•    Jaime Araujo

Congresspersons and political actors:
•    Gustavo Petro
•    Piedad Cordoba
•    Ricardo Montenegro
•    Alexander Lopez
•    Carlos Gaviria Diaz
•    Juan Fernando Cristo
•    Juan Manuel Galán,
•    Cecilia López Montaño,
•    Parmenio Cuellar
•    Joaquín Melo
•    Clara López
•    Iván Cepeda
•    Ofelia Puerta Hoyos
•    Gustavo Gallón
•    Pedro Santana
•    Alirio Uribe
•    Marco Romero
•    Padre Mauricio García
•    Gloria Flores
•    Hollman Morris
•    Claudia Duque
•    Jorge Rojas
•    Carlos Lozano (Periódico Voz)
•    Claudia López
•    Alfredo Molano
•    Olga Lucía Gomez (Fundación País Libre)
•    Marta Burbano (CCEEU Nodo de occidente)
•    Agustín Jiménez
•    Reinaldo Villalba (Colectivo de Abogados)
•    Luis Jorge Garay
•    Fernando Jiovani Arias
•    Maria Cristina Umbarila
•    Viviana Krsticevic
•    Jaime Zuluaga Nieto
•    Olga Lucía Ramírez (Vamos Mujer)
•    Marina Gallego (Red Pacífica)
•    Claudia Erazo (Corporación Yira Castro)
•    Camilo Castellanos (Minga)
•    Tito Augusto Gaitán (Minga)
•    Gloria Luz Gómez (Asfaddes)
•    Olga Amparo Sanchez (Casa de la Mujer)
•    Luis Eduardo Celis (Arcoiris)
•    Berenice Celeyta (NOMADESC)
•    Danilo Rueda (Justicia y Paz)
•    Carlos Salgado
•    Marta Peña
•    Marta Lucía Botero
•    Stella Sacipa Rodríguez
•    Luis Eduardo Salcedo (Asamblea por la Paz)
•    Cecilia B. Castro
•    Yesika Hoyos (CCAJAR)
•    Jorge Molano
•    Stella Duque (Taller Vida)
•    Maria Rocío Rodríguez (FNC)
•    Padre Gabriel Izquierdo Maldonado (SJ)
•    Gloria Ines Florez Schneider (Defensora DDHH)
•    Wilfredo Cañizález
•    Rafael Molano (CUT)
•    Comisión Colombiana de Juristas
•    Fundación País Libre
•    Polo Democrático Alternativo
•    CINEP
•    Minga
•    CUT
•    Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por al Paz
•    Viva la Ciudadanía
•    Fundacion Progresar
•    Federación Colombiana de Periodistas
•    Equipo Nizkor
•    Radio Nizkor
•    Fundación Derechos Humanos, Justicia y Paz
•    Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo
•    Corporación Yira Castro
•    Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz
•    Fundación Sembrar
•    Fedeagromisbol
•    Fundación para la libertad de prensa
•    Casa de la Mujer
•    Corporación para el Desarrollo Regional
•    Foro Nacional pro Colombia
•    Fundación Dos Mundos
•    Corporación Unidades Democráticas para el Desarrollo
•    Fundación Progresar de Norte de Santander
•    Corporación Regional de Medellín
•    Corporación Red de Promotores de Derechos Humanos y DIH
•    Vamos Mujer
•    Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa
•    IPC
•    Fundación Humanitaria de Desplazamiento Nuevo Amanecer
•    Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional
Civil Society:
•    Claudia Julieta Duque
•    Vladdo (cartoonist)
•    Laura Gil (journalist)
•    Stella Sacipa Rodriguez
•    Alvaro Jiménez Millan
•    Rodrigo Pardo (journalist)
•    Cristina Espinel (Washington)
•    Felipe Zuleta Lleras (attorney and columnist)
•    Fernando Chacón
•    Ignacio Gómez
•    Carlos A. Lozano Guillen
•    María Eugenia Vásquez Perdomo 41511657
•    Constanza Vieira (journalist)
•    Patricia Casas (journalist)
•    Lisa Haugaard (Latin American Working Group)
•    Gimena Sanchez (Washington Office on Latin America)
•    Adam Issacson (Washington Office on Latin America)
•    Kelly Nichols (US Office on Colombia- Washington)
•    Neida Perez (American University and Colombian Human Rights Committee)
•    Ramiro Bejarano
•    Antonio Jose Chavaco (Indígena Guambiano MISAK)
•    Jesús Mario Corrales
•    Carlos Arturo Sabogal
•    Iván Leonardo Soto Melo
•    Mauricio Soto Melo
•    Fabiola Agudelo
•    Fabio A. Mariño Vargas (CEUDES)
•    Natalia Salazar Benavides
•    Hermes Gregorio Araujo España
•    Rodrigo Restrepo
•    Flor Edilma Osorio
•    Jaime Torres González
•    Santiago Gomez Obando
•    Diana Marcela Gomez Correal
•    Myriam Ramírez García
•    Myriam Galeano Lozano
•    Carolina Aldana García