Colombia: Illegal Wiretapping Continues

According to, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report alleging that illegal wiretapping has continued in Colombia, despite the progress that has been made.

In 2009, a scandal broke out in Colombia “over wiretapping and harassment of Supreme Court magistrates, political dissidents, human rights defenders and reporters by the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), the domestic intelligence agency was officially closed in October 2011,” according to the article.

Since then, Colombia adopted the Intelligence Law, which was created to ensure that Colombia met international human rights standards. The law calls for two commissions: “one to assist in the purging of intelligence files and another, a congressional commission, to monitor intelligence activities,” according to the report.

However, the report adds “‘Noteworthy challenges to the implementation of this law are the weak mandate of the congressional commission and the lack of effective internal control mechanisms.'”

Accordingly, there have been allegations made about illegal spying, especially from human rights defenders and journalists. These allegations talk about emails being intercepted and information being stolen, according to the report.

I am glad that Colombia has made strides in eradicating illegal wiretapping; however, nothing will be accomplished if the government itself is not willing to do anything about it- especially if the government is actually involved in this illegal activity.

Honestly, I would not be surprised if government entities were involved in illegal wiretapping, especially since most of these allegations come from human rights defenders and journalists- both who work to expose the truth. And since the truth (especially if it is bad) is often something many government agencies want to be kept secret, it does not surprise me that these people are being monitored. But that does not make it right. Illegal wiretapping is illegal for a reason. It is not right.

People should enjoy the right to speak what they want, hence why the UDHR explicitly recognizes freedom of expression. And it is about time countries stop violating this right, and give way to it because, whether they like it or not, it is a right that every person is entitled to.



About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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