Latin American Countries Must Not Give Asylum to Colombian Intelligence Suspects

MEPs sent a letter on 17th of December 2010 to Latin American Governments calling them to not help in the cover up of the illegal activities of the Colombian Intelligence Services, DAS.[:] 


17 December 2010


Open letter: Members of the European Parliament address Latin American governments


In February 2009, the illegal activities of the DAS, one of Colombia’s intelligence services, were publicly revealed: a large number of people, including, Supreme Court judges, human rights defenders, journalists, trade unionists, political opponents, and NGO members were shown to be spied upon, stigmatised, discredited, threatened, and
persecuted by the DAS.

Several judicial proceedings are ongoing against DAS converning the surveillance scandal. On the 28th of August 2010, one of the former deputy directors of the DAS, Jorge Alberto Lagos, was sentenced to eight years detention, and publicly recognised the claims. We welcome this judicial step.

However, several DAS public servants are currently fleeing Colombia and applying for asylum in neighbouring countries, arguing insufficient protection from the Colombian justice system. On the 19th of November 2010, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, ex-director of the DAS, obtained asylum in Panama.

We express our deep concerns regarding the decision of Panama’s government which thus contributes to impunity to those responsible for DAS illegal activities. We wish to remind the governments of Latin American countries that, under the Geneva Convention of 1951, asylum cannot be granted to people responsible for crimes or facts contrary to the goals and principles of the United Nations.

This is why, we urge the governments of the Latin American countries to refuse asylum to people prosecuted in the DAS case.

We also wish to remind the Colombian authorities of their obligation to protect all the people indicted in the DAS case in order to obtain justice. In this regard, we welcome the last statements from the new Colombian President, Mr Juan Manuel Santos, recalling that the Colombian justice system offers all the necessary guaranties in this respect.



Heidi Hautala, Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights

Chountis Nikolaos (MEP, Grèce)
Delli Karima (MEP, France)
Ernst Cornelia (MEP, Allemagne)
Gomes Ana Maria (MEP, Portugal)
Häusling Martin (MEP, Allemagne)
Howitt Richard (MEP, Royaume-Uni)
Liotard Kartika (MEP, Pays-Bas)
Lochbihler Barbara (Présidente de la Délégation pour les relations avec l’Iran, Allemagne)
Lösing Sabine (MEP Allemagne)
Lunacek Ulrike (MEP Autriche)
Martin David (Président de la Délégation à la commission parlementaire Cariforum-UE, Royaume-Uni)
Matias Marisa (Vice-Présidente de la Délégation pour les relations avec les pays du Mashrek, Portugal)
Meyer Willy (Vice-Président de la Commission des pétitions et de la Délégation à l’Assemblée parlementaire
euro-latino-américaine, Espagne)
Portas Miguel (Vice-Président de la Commission spéciale sur la crise financière, économique et sociale,
Scholz Helmut (MEP, Allemagne)
Staes Bart (Vice-Président de la Commission du contrôle budgétaire et de la Délégation aux commissions de
coopération parlementaire UE-Kazakhstan, UE-Kirghizistan et UE-Ouzbékistan et pour les relations avec le
Tadjikistan, le Turkménistan et la Mongolie, Belgique)
Svensson Eva-Britt (Présidente de la Commission des droits de la femme et de l’égalité des genres, Suède)
Tavares Rui (MEP, Portugal)
Taylor Keith (MEP, Royaume-Uni)
Triantaphyllides Kyriacos (Vice-Président de la Délégation pour les relations avec le Conseil législatif
palestinien, Chypre)
Vergiat Marie-Christine (MEP, France)
Wils Sabine (MEP, Allemagne)
Zimmer Gabriele (MEP, Allemagne)