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Cablegate: Authorities Arrest Venezuelan Telesur

VZCZCXYZ0033
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0637 3251529
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211529Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0888
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 8443
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV LIMA 4502
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5162
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 3776
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 010637

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV PHUM VE CO
SUBJECT: AUTHORITIES ARREST VENEZUELAN TELESUR
CORRESPONDENT FOR TERRORISM


1. (U) On November 19, immigration authorities from the
Department of Administrative Security (DAS) detained Freddy
Munoz Altamiranda on suspicion of terrorism and rebellion, as
he attempted to enter the country through El Dorado Airport.
Munoz, a Colombian citizen, is an international correspondent
for Venezuelan television station Telesur. The Prosecutor
General's Office in Barranquilla is charging Munoz with
having planted and activated explosives in an electric
substation, a department store, and a supermarket. In
addition, the Prosecutor General's Office alleges Munoz
manufactured an explosive that accidentally killed a
co-conspirator, alias Moises. The incidents took place in or
around Cartagena in 2002 and 2003.

2. (SBU) A report by the Prosecutor General's Office states
Freddy Munoz (alias Jorge Eliecer) allegedly belonged to the
37th Front of the FARC. The Prosecutor General's Office
opened the investigation into Munoz in August 2006, derived
from a Colombian Navy intelligence report. The arrest
warrant, issued November 10, is based in part on witness
testimony. The Director of the Prosecutor General's Office
in Barranquilla said he expected Munoz to arrive in that city
for arraignment on November 20.

3. (U) The Colombian Foundation for Freedom of Press quoted
Munoz from his place of reclusion, stating, "The free press
is once more threatened by those who use coercion, fear, lies
to force its submission."
WOOD

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