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| 11/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

The dark side

November 5--The former president and his aides are called to account for dirty tricks

During Colombia’s presidential campaign this year Antanas Mockus of the Green Party did surprisingly well by accusing the incumbent, Álvaro Uribe, of skirting the law in his efforts to make the country safer. Mr Mockus lost to Juan Manuel Santos, Mr Uribe’s candidate. But even though Mr Uribe left office three months ago, judicial probes into spying, bribery and corruption scandals have kept the country focused on the less savoury habits of his highly popular government.

The most explosive charges almost reach Mr Uribe himself. In 2009 Semana, a news magazine, reported that das, Colombia’s domestic intelligence agency, was illegally wiretapping and monitoring judges, journalists, politicians and human-rights activists deemed to be opponents of Mr Uribe, and had designed smear campaigns against them. The story prompted criminal investigations in which several former das officials testified that the intelligence was destined for the president’s top advisers. Mr Uribe has said he “never ordered, insinuated or considered an illegal option”. Now, however, he will have to repeat that denial under oath: Congress’s investigative committee began hearings on the topic on November 3rd. Mr Uribe asked for the normally closed-door proceedings to be made public, but the committee has kept them sealed.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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