Colombia’s ex-president takes responsibility for spying on journalists, opponents

  • By Guest
  • October 6, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Former President Álvaro Uribe has assumed “legal and political responsibility” for actions taken by his former chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, one of nine former senior officials sanctioned for the espionage scandal involving wiretaps and illegal surveillance of judges, opponents, and journalists, Colombia Reports, Associated Press, and El Espectador report.

Uribe also announced that he will make himself available to Congress and the Supreme Court, El Tiempo adds. A congressman has called that Uribe be investigated for his involvement, Colombia Reports says, quoting El Espectador. Uribe has denied ordering illegal wiretaps.

“The call for the investigation was issued to the Committee for Investigations and Accusations by Velasco, who said that Uribe's ‘closest collaborators’ have been investigated and punished for the scandal, and ‘people wonder if the president knew, or if they went behind his back,’” Christina Filipovic writes.
Moreno was banned for 18 years from public service for his role in the espionage commited by Colombia’s national intelligence service.

Uribe’s supporters have praised him, but his critics say he is escaping accountability, since his statement accepts responsibility for Moreno's actions under limited conditions.

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.

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