Key Witness in Case against DAS Secret Police Assassinated in Colombia
News from Colombia |
on: Sunday, 7 November 2010
A former employee of Colombia’s DAS intelligence service has been assassinated in the city of Medellin shortly before he was due to appear as a key witness in an ongoing investigation into the illegal activities of the DAS. David Antonio Ballen, who was shot dead by assassins on motorbikes in the El Poblado area of the city, purportedly had information linking the Colombian presidency to the scandal.
For months investigators have been unearthing evidence that the DAS carried out illegal surveillance on members of the judiciary, the political opposition, journalists deemed critical of the Government, and human rights groups. As well as following targets and intercepting their communications, DAS agents allegedly engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment against certain individuals including breaking into their homes and issuing death threats.
Mr Ballen was killed on the afternoon of November 4th in an attack that also wounded his driver and a woman who was traveling in the same car as him. According to Colombian press reports, Medellin was particularly violent on November 4th with 12 further people, in addition to Mr Ballen, being murdered in the city later that evening.