Argentine journalist blames intelligence agency for creating plot to discredit him

On Monday, May 7, in an article published by the Argentine newspaper Clarin, journalist Daniel Santoro said that he was victim of a plot to discredit him created by the Argentine Intelligence Agency (SIDE in Spanish).

According to Santoro, the intelligence agency claims that the FBI accused him of being a Russian spy and alleged that he had collaborated with Iran in the AMIA terrorist attack on Buenos Aires in 1994. The campaign began at the news site informereservado.net, allegedly controlled by SIDE, and then spread to official state news media.

Santoro rejected the accusations and questioned the lack of sources and documents as proof. "I was never a spy. I am just an investigative journalist that investigates corrupt governments. Where is the subpoena with the complaint? I received no subpoena from the FBI, American Embassy, nor from the American court," he said in the Clarin article.

The SIDE information also mentions journalist Guillermo Lobo, from the TV channel TodoNoticias. The Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA in Spanish) issued a statement of solidarity with the reporters and called upon authorities of the Executive branch to ensure the execution of constitutional guarantees, protecting journalists from internal espionage.

It is not the first time that Santoro is involved with espionage stories. Before being accused of working for the Russian intelligence, the journalist's telephone was tapped and his email was monitored during June 2010, and he testified in an investigation about illegal wiretapping scandals involving the Buenos Aires government.