Why are we under surveillance? Questions for President Iván Duque’s government and the Colombian Army

This is a translation of an article was originally published at flip.org.co on 3 May 2020.

In response to Semana magazine’s revelation that the Army has been carrying out a digital surveillance programme, we, the journalists who have been profiled by military intelligence, with support from the Foundation for Press Freedom, express our condemnation of these actions. The majority of the military’s targets were journalists, both local and international, as well as politicians, generals and individuals from non-government organisations and trade unions – at least 130 victims in total.

Beyond our condemnation, however, we demand answers to some questions because, despite the information available, we are unable to fully comprehend the extent of these illegal actions ordered by a security force that, rather than persecuting and stigmatising us, has an obligation to provide guarantees for our work as journalists:

  1. Who gave the order for military intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance and profile journalists and media outlets? These actions constitute a direct attack on guarantees for the free exercise of journalism in Colombia.
  2. One of the purposes of military intelligence is to protect human rights and prevent and combat internal and external threats that compromise national security. Are we, the journalist and media outlets that were targeted with state surveillance, a threat to national security? What criteria were used to justify these actions against the media, applying measures that are meant to combat crime?
  3. Who were the recipients and/or who had access to the files containing the profiles and surveillance information obtained on journalists, politicians and human rights defenders?
  4. What knowledge or information does President Iván Duque, the Minister of Defence or other high level officials possess regarding these illegal surveillance activities? What actions will they take to guarantee that journalists can carry out their work without being targeted by profiling, surveillance and stigmatisation?

According to the Semana magazine investigation, military intelligence operatives carried out an illegal monitoring programme. As such, we demand that the illegally collected information be handed over to the individuals who came under surveillance and were subjected to profiling.

Today, on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, we demand to hear from President Duque’s government and we remind the president of the obligations the Colombian government has to provide guarantees for press freedom and the free exercise of journalism, which constitute pillars of a democratic society.

Signatories

Journalists who have been targeted with military profiling: 

Juan Forero, The Wall Street Journal

Nicholas Casey, The New York Times correspondent

Yolanda Ruiz Ceballos, RCN Radio and El Espectador columnist

María Alejandra Villamizar, Caracol Radio and Caracol TV

Daniel Coronell, Univisión

Ignacio Gómez, Noticias Uno

Dayana Rodríguez Bernal, Colombian National Radio

Rutas del Conflicto (Conflict Routes) Team: Óscar Parra, Lidha Beltrán Valero, Luisa María Rincón Guzmán, Paula Andrea Hernández Vargas, María del Pilar Puentes Espinosa, David Leonardo Riaño Valencia, Silvia Natalia Corredor Rodríguez, María Jimena Neira Niño, Alvaro Andrés Avendaño Alba, Juan Pablo Gómez Peña, Carol Lizeth Sánchez Fonnegra, Nicole Acuña Cepeda, Juana Teresa Callejas, Fernanda Barbosa dos Santos, Germán Alejandro Ballesteros Coral, Santiago Luque Pérez, Ricardo Sánchez Gómez, Richard Stiven Romero Trochez, Daniela Aguirre

John Otis, NPR and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) correspondent

Stephen Ferry, independent

Camilo Poveda, Blu Radio

Andrés Cardona Cruz, photojournalist, Florencia

Federico Ríos, photojournalist

Nicolás Bedoya, photojournalist

Christian Escobar Mora, photojournalist

Karem Racines, independent journalist who writes for La Liga Contra el Silencio (League Against Silence)

Ginna Morelo, La Liga Contra el Silencio

Foundation for Press Freedom (Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa, FLIP)

This petition is supported by:

Jineth Bedoya Lima, UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2020 and El Tiempo deputy editor

Cecilia Orozco, Noticias Uno

Jaime Abello Banfi, Fundación Gabo director

José Manuel Acevedo, Noticias RCN

Juanita León, La Silla Vacía (The Empty Seat) director

Maria Teresa Ronderos, CPJ board of directors

Camilo Acosta, La Liga Contra el Silencio

Camilo Sánchez, La Liga Contra el Silencio

José Díaz, La Liga Contra el Silencio

Sara Castillejo, La Liga Contra el Silencio

Jeanneth Valdivieso, La Liga Contra el Silencio

Fidel Cano, El Espectador director

Gustavo Gómez, Caracol Radio

Diana Calderón, Caracol Radio

Érika Fontalvo, El Heraldo director

Diana Durán, El Espectador

Néstor Morales, Blu Radio

Camila Zuluaga, Blu Radio and Noticias Caracol

Damián Esteban Landínez Cañón, Blu Radio

Mabel Lara, Noticias Uno

Darío Fernando Patiño, journalist

Rodrigo Uprimny, El Espectador columnist

José Guarnizo, independent journalist

Ernesto Cortés, El Tiempo general editor

Juan Roberto Vargas, Noticias Caracol director

Alberto Medina, Noticias Caracol deputy director

Fernando Ramírez, Noticias de La Patria editor

Camilo Vallejo, La Patria columnist

Omar Rincón, TV critic, El Tiempo

Esperanza Rico L., RCN Radio Information System director

Francisco Leal Mateus, journalist and independent lawyer

Jairo Ernesto Tarazona, RCN Radio journalist

Dora Montero, Noticias RCN journalist and Consejo de Redacción (CdR) president

Sinar Alvarado, The New York Times columnist

Nathan Jaccard, Latam OCCRP editor

Claudia Julieta Duque, Radio Nizkor

Carlos Eduardo Huertas, Connectas director

Patricia Gomez, RCN

Juan David Laverde, Noticias Caracol journalist

Juan Diego Restrepo E., Verdad Abierta

Bibiana Ramírez, Verdad Abierta

Olga Behar, independent journalist

Carmen Rosa Pabón, journalist, Arauca

Sara Trejos, Presunto Podcast

Maru Lombardo, Presunto Podcast

Santiago Rivas, Presunto Podcast

Javier Osuna, Fahrenheit 451 director

Lorenzo Morales, La Liga Contra el Silencio and Cerosetenta contributor

Óscar Durán, Jorge Tadeo Lozano University’s CrossmediaLab

Juan Camilo Maldonado, Mutante

Elizabeth Otálvaro, Mutante

Natalia Ospina, Mutante

María Claudia Dávila, Mutante

Luisa Rengifo, Mutante

Laura Cruz, Mutante

Juliana Castellanos, Politécnico Grancolombiano University Institution, Journalistic Investigation Unit director

Alejandro Gómez Dugand, Cerosetenta

Natalia Arenas, Cerosetenta

Tania Tapia, Cerosetenta

Manuela Saldarriaga, Cerosetenta

María Fernanda Fitzgerald, Cerosetenta

Sebastián Payán, Cerosetenta

Natalia Botero Duque, photojournalist

Betty Martínez, Diario del Norte and TuuPutchika, La Guajira

Jorge Cárdenas, journalist, Villavicencio

Adriana Villegas, La Patria columnist

Alejandro Samper Arango, La Patria columnist

Martín Franco Vélez, La Patria columnist

Fabio Posada, independent journalist

Julián Martínez, independent journalist

Cesar Molinares, independent journalist

Catalina Loboguerrero, independent journalist

Camilo Jiménez Santofimio, independent journalist

Óscar Sánchez, independent journalist

Carlos Chica, Canal Capital ombudsperson

Mauricio Beltrán, Fedemedios director

Claudia Marcela Mejía, independent journalist

María Paulina Baena, La Pulla

Patricia Nieto, University of Antioquia Hacemos Memoria (Making Memories) project journalist

Karim Ganem Maloof, El Malpensante

Maryluz Vallejo, Directo Bogotá

Belén Pardo, Vokaribe Radio

Ivan Mercado, Vokaribe Radio

Patricia Rendón, Vokaribe Radio

Walter Hernández, Vokaribe Radio

Alfredo González, Vokaribe Radio

Octavio González, Vokaribe Radio

Actualidad Panamericana editorial team

PACIFISTA!

La Cola de Rata

Carolina Guerrero, Radio Ambulante

Daniel Alarcón, Radio Ambulante

David Trujillo, Radio Ambulante

Camila Segura, Radio Ambulante

Laura Rojas Aponte, Radio Ambulante

Constanza Bruno, independent journalist

Fernanda Pineda, photojournalist

Natalia Guerrero Ulloa, independent journalist

Santiago Wills, independent journalist

Andrea Aldana, El Poder en Semana TV journalist / Fundación Paz y Reconciliación Colombia (Colombian Peace and Reconciliation Foundation) investigator

Paula Thomas, Reojo Colectivo

Charlie Cordero, Reojo Colectivo

Santiago Mesa, Reojo Colectivo

Andrés Buitrago, Reojo Colectivo

Gerald Bermúdez, freelance journalist and photojournalist

Andrés Páramo, independent journalist

Diego Alarcón, independent journalist

Laila Abu Shihab Vergara, independent journalist

Carlos Cortés Castillo, La Mesa de Centro

MaryLuz Avendaño, independent journalist

César Rojas Ángel, independent journalist

Gloria Castrillón, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Natalia Herrera, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Laura Dulce Romero, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Beatriz Valdes, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Nicolás Sánchez, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Sebastián Forero, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Carolina Ávila, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Edinson Bolaños, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Valentina Parada, Colombia 2020, El Espectador

Ramiro Bejarano Guzmán, El Espectador columnist

Alexánder Marín, El Espectador, Bogotá section editor

Sergio Silva, El Espectador

Alejandra Bonilla Mora, El Espectador

David Tarazona, Cuestión Pública

Diana Salinas, Cuestión Pública

Claudia Báez, Cuestión Pública

Mariana Escobar Roldán, independent journalist

Natalia Arbeláez, La Silla Vacía

Laura Ardila, La Silla Vacía

Blanca Berrío, Zenú Radio journalist

Angélica Cuevas, independent journalist

Tatiana Pardo, independent journalist

Andrés Bermúdez, independent journalist

Alejandro Pino, Publimetro editorial director

German Calvo, Cuarto de Hora

Cindy Morales, journalist

Rafael Quintero, El Tiempo data editor

Julio César Guzmán, El Tiempo editor

Carlos Solano, El Tiempo multimedia journalism school director

Juan David López, El Tiempo journalist

Ricardo Galán, Libreta de Apuntes director

José Marulanda, Unicauca Estéreo journalist

José Gabriel Celis, Rotonda Deportiva

Felipe Restrepo Pombo, writer, editor and journalist

Sandra Castro, Red de Medios Alternativos y Populares (Alternative and Popular Media Network)

Jorge Luis Galeano Bolaños, Hechoencali.com director

Laura Sofía Mejía, Baudó Agencia Pública (Baudó Public Agency) director and cofounder

Victor Hugo Soto Galeano, Baudó Agencia Pública photojournalist and cofounder

Angie Salazar Marmolejo, Baudó Agencia Pública external and digital communications

Mateo Medina Abad, University of Javieriana social communications student

University of Rosario Journalism and Public Opinion Programme

Beatriz Elena Marín Ochoa, Asociación Colombiana de Investigadores en Comunicación (Colombian Association of Communications Researchers, Acicom) president

FLIP Correspondents Network: Javier Jules (Bogotá), Sonia Godoy (Cauca), Orlado Cetina (Huila and Amazonas), Luis Oñate (Magdalena), Germán Arenas (Putumayo), Carmen Rosa Pabón (Arauca), Jorge Cárdenas (Meta), Betty Martínez (La Guajira), César Pizarro (San Andrés), Ángel Romero (Norte de Santander), Ricardo Cipagauta (Boyacá), Juan Pablo Sánchez (Caquetá), Ana María Saavedra (Valle del Cauca), Máryuri Trujillo (Tolima), Yeison Rojas (Urabá Antioqueño), Félix Quintero (Santander)

Miguel Orlando Alguero, La Patria

Blanca Eugenia Giraldo, La Patria

Julián Guerrero, Cartel Urbano magazine

Alejandro Villegas Oyola, RCN Radio

Angélica Latorre Coronado, independent journalist

Diego Delgado, Documental Amarillo coordinator

Carol Valencia, Consejo de Redacción (CdR)

Diana Carolina Ampudia Castillo, Red+ Noticias

Santiago Restrepo, aeronautics engineer and independent researcher

Priyanka Arias, SOS Mamá (Encuentroradio.co)

Valeria Murcia, El Colombiano

Luis Carlos Vélez, journalist

Luz María Tobón Vallejo, El Mundo newspaper

Luis Carlos Gómez, Colprensa general editor

José Luis Peñarredonda, independent journalist

Paula Pinzón, independent journalist

David Pereañez, independent journalist

María Isabel Moreno, independent journalist

Edison Henao, independent journalist

Miren Vitore Magyaroff, Publimetro

Jénnifer Mejía, independent journalist

Valentina Arango, independent journalist

Laura Castrillón, independent journalist

Gonzalo Guillén, La Nueva Prensa

Diana López Zuleta, La Nueva Prensa

Julián F. Martínez, La Nueva Prensa

Daniel Mendoza Leal, La Nueva Prensa

Juan Trujillo, La Nueva Prensa

Jorge A. Sánchez Vargas, independent journalist

Wílver Raíllo Pitalúa, Ciudad Global radio programme director

Jamie Paola López Albarracín, final semester student in University of Rosario Journalism and Public Opinion Programme

Fátima Martínez, University of Rosario Journalism Programme professor and director of the faculty’s digital media site PlazaCapital.co

Red Colombiana de Periodismo Universitario (Colombian University Journalism Network) and its member media outlets: Datéate al minuto, Tinta Negra (Uniminuto Bogotá), Unimedios (University of Santiago de Cali), Un Pretexto (University of Boyacá), Norte Urbano (Uniminuto Bello), Ciudad Vaga (University of Valle), En Primera Persona (Catholic University of Pereira), Periódico 15 (Bucaramanga Autonomous University), Entre Nos, El Anzuelo Medios (University of Ibagué), Contexto (Bolivarian Pontifical University – Medellín), De la Urbe (University of Antioquia), Sextante (Luis Amigó Catholic University), Unisabana Medios (University of La Sabana), Bitácora, Nexos (EAFIT University), Página, UniDiario, La UM Central (University of Manizales), Unicomedio, Unicomfacauca Radio (Unicomfacauca), CrossmediaLab (Jorge Tadeo Lozano University – Bogotá), Conexión Lasallista (Lasallian University), Ágora, Miradas y Voces (University of Pamplona), Plataforma, Estación V (Bolivarian Pontifical University – Bucaramanga), Technological University of Pereira Technological

International journalists:

Mónica González, independent journalist, Chile

Peter Limbourg, Deutsche Welle director general

Carsten von Nahmen, Deutsche Welle Academy director

Rodrigo Villarzú, Deutsche Welle Latin America Academy director

Fabiola Gutiérrez, La Pública, Bolivia

Marcela Turati, independent journalist, Mexico

Miguel Dimayuga, Proceso magazine photojournalist, Mexico

Lise Josefsen Hermann, freelance journalist, Ecuador and Denmark

Raul Romero, photojournalist, Venezuela

Nicola Frioli, photographer, Italy

Sara Aliaga T., photojournalist, Bolivia

Román Camacho, photojournalist, Venezuela

Desirée Esquivel, Ciencia del Sur journalist, Paraguay

Isabela Ponce, GK, Ecuador

Luz Mely Reyes, Efecto Cocuyo director, Venezuela

Fabiola Torres, Salud con Lupa, Peru

Thelma Gómez, independent journalist, Mexico

Francesco Manetto, El País, Spain

Catalina Oquendo, El País, Spain

Santiago Torrado, El País, Spain

Pere Ortín, journalist and documentary filmmaker, Altair Magazine director, Spain

Paulette Desormeaux, independent journalist, Chile

Diego Salazar, independent journalist, Peru

Periodistas Sin Cadenas journalists collective, Ecuador

La Barra Espaciadora, Ecuador

Martha Pskowski, Latin America News Dispatch editor, headquartered in New York

Liza López, Historias Que Laten director, Venezuela

Jonathan Gutiérrez, Historias Que Laten editor, Venezuela

María Fernanda Rodríguez, El Pitazo and IPYS Venezuela correspondent

Rafael Sulbarán, independent journalist, Venezuela

Asociación de Prensa Internacional en Colombia (International Press Association of Colombia, APIC)

The post Why are we under surveillance? Questions for President Iván Duque’s government and the Colombian Army appeared first on IFEX.

Source: MEDIA FEED

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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