US extradites ex-intel chief back to Colombia

US immigration officials said Monday that the former head of Colombia's defunct DAS intelligence service has been extradited to his home country to face charges of psychologically torturing a journalist.

AFP| Last Updated: Apr 25, 2017, 12:33 PM IST

Columbia: US immigration officials said Monday that the former head of Colombia's defunct DAS intelligence service has been extradited to his home country to face charges of psychologically torturing a journalist.

Enrique Ariza Rivas, 49, was sent to Colombia at Bogota`s request, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Rivas and other DAS officials are accused of aggravated psychological torture against a journalist and other related crimes with illegal wiretapping, the ICE statement read.

"As this removal makes clear, ICE is working closely with its foreign counterparts to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable," said Marc Moore, the Miami director of the office that handles removals.

Colombian courts want Ariza for his alleged responsibility in the psychological torture of journalist Claudia Juliete Duque and her underage daughter.
The journalist, who had to be protected by bodyguards until she sought refuge in Spain, has accused the DAS of spying on her between 2001 and 2008, and threatening to murder her and rape her daughter when she was 10. 

The origin of the harassment: Duque`s investigation of the murder of journalist and humorist Jaime Garzon in 1999, in which he denounced DAS involvement in crime. 

The DAS, reporting to the president`s office, was involved under Alvaro Uribe`s government in scandals for infiltration of paramilitary militias and illegal wiretapping of Supreme Court justices, opponents and journalists investigating these links. 

Amid all the scandals, the intelligence agency was dissolved by the current president, Juan Manuel Santos, in 2011.