San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua charges Colombian man with espionage

MANAGUA – Prosecutors on Thursday accused a Colombian man of obtaining military documents for the Armed Forces of Colombia for more than a year, officials said.

Luis Felipe Ríos was “charged with violating state secrets,” prosecutor Armando Juárez said.

A criminal court admitted the complaint and issued a preventive detention order against the defendant until July 26, when there will be a hearing to determine whether the case is taken to trial.

Nicaraguan Army General Julio Avilés said in a press conference that the Colombian man arrived in the country in late 2010 “posing as a Spanish reporter,” with the purpose of establishing relationships with people who could provide classified military information. He presented himself as a correspondent for a magazine covering security and defense issues.

General Avilés said two Nicaraguan soldiers were also arrested for leaking confidential information: Lt. Amaru Álvarez and Cpt. Leonidas Castillo, who will be tried by a military court.

Nicaraguan officials did not give specific details about the allegedly stolen information.

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