Colombian intelligence official identified as mastermind behind death of journalist Jaime Garzón

By Ingrid Bachmann

Not only paramilitaries, but also government agents were involved in the 1999 killing of prominent journalist and humorist Jaime GarzónEl Heraldo reported that Colombian prosecutors ordered José Miguel Narváez, the ex-deputy director of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS, or Colombia's intelligence agency), be held for ordering Garzón's death.

The perpetrators of Garzón's death remain unpunished. Those who were initially identified as responsible for the killing were released, and the only person convicted, paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño, died in 2004.

The accusation against Narváez is based on testimony of three former paramilitaries, explained El Tiempo and La FM. Narváez maintained close ties with Castaño and encouraged him to "kill Communists."

Narvaez's defense will appeal the decision and says the former official is not responsible for the murder of Garzón, added El Espectador.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.