Colombia's former intelligence chief gets 24 years in prison - report

by Anastasia Moloney | @anastasiabogota | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:55 GMT
Jorge Noguera is convicted of colluding with paramilitary groups to kill trade unionists and rights activists

BOGOTA (TrustLaw) - Colombia’s Supreme Court has sentenced the former head of the country’s intelligence agency, Jorge Noguera, to 24 years in prison for colluding with paramilitary groups to kill trade unionists and human rights activists, El Tiempo reports.

The court found Noguera guilty of conspiring with cocaine trafficking right-wing paramilitary groups by providing them with lists of union leaders and rights campaigners considered to be sympathizers of leftist rebels, some of whom were murdered. 

According to a former employee at Colombia’s intelligence service, Noguera placed the agency “at the service” of two paramilitary chiefs after taking charge of the state agency in 2002, El Tiempo reports. 

Colombia has one of the world’s highest rates of murders of trade union leaders. Many of those deaths are blamed on paramilitary groups. 

Colombia’s troubled intelligence agency, known as DAS, has been embroiled in other corruption scandals, including the illegal wire tapping of judges, journalists and politicians in Colombia. 

In recent years, dozens of DAS detectives and officials have been jailed for corruption and abuse of power.

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