Colombian prosecutor accuses ex-deputy director of secret police of masterminding journalist's killing

The Attorney General of Colombia has accused a former deputy chief of the secret police of instigating the murder of journalist and humorist Jaime Garzón, perpetrated by the paramilitary almost twelve years ago, reported El Heraldo.

José Miguel Narváez Martínez, ex-deputy director of the Administrative Security Department (DAS in Spanish), was accused of masterminding the killing of the journalist explained El País.

Nárvaez, who also is being tried for the killing of a senator in 1994 and being investigated for his alleged involvement in a network that spied on journalists, judges and human rights activists during the administration of former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), has been held in a military garrison since August 2009.

In 2010 the prosecutor ordered his detention on suspicion of killing Garzón on Aug. 13, 1999, in Bogotá, when the journalist was on his way to work at the radio station.

The prosecutor's decision was welcome news to the journalist's sister, Marisol Garzón Forero, who said she was hopeful that finally there would be justice for her brother's death, according to El Colombiano.

Carlos Castaño, leader of the right-wing paramilitary group the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia who was killed in 2004, was the only person condemned for killing Garzón.

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.