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Former informant suing US for abandoning her

WASHINGTON — A former confidential informant working for the United States in Colombia contends in a lawsuit that the US government abandoned her when she got into legal trouble for her undercover operations and she wound up spending three years in a Colombian jail.

Astrid Hurtado is seeking $15 million in damages.

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Hurtado, 52, worked as an informant for ‘‘El Dorado Task Force,’’ a unit established by the then-US Customs Service to investigate money laundering. Her job was to impersonate a money launderer in Colombia and provide information to the United States. In return, she received a percentage of money seized. Hurtado said she was paid around $120,000 for her work from 1998 to 2000.

She said she was arrested in Colombia in 2003 for the work she had been doing for the US government. According to her lawsuit, it wasn’t until four months later that the US Embassy in Colombia sent a letter confirming that Hurtado was an active informant, but a Colombian judge ruled the letter was inadmissible.

US government officials declined to discuss the case.

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