Colombia demands explanation on NSA spying allegations

BOGOTA Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:30am EDT

Related Topics

Photo

Under the Iron Dome

Sirens sound as rockets land deep inside Israel.  Slideshow 

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia expressed concern early on Wednesday after revelations the United States had spied on the Andean nation, its closest military ally in Latin America, and called for an explanation.

In a brief statement at midnight, Colombia's foreign ministry said it "registered its concern" that there had been an "unauthorized data collection program" and asked that the U.S. government give an account of its actions through its embassy in Bogota.

A leading Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted most Latin American countries with spying programs that monitored Internet traffic, especially in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.

Citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor, O Globo newspaper said the NSA programs went beyond military affairs in the region to what it termed "commercial secrets," including oil and energy.

Colombia is considered a top military and diplomatic ally in the region following a decade of joint operations against Marxist rebels and drug trafficking gangs that have caused harm to both countries' economies.

"In rejecting the acts of espionage that violate people's rights and intimacy as well as the international conventions on telecommunication, Colombia requests the corresponding explanations from the United States government through its ambassador to Colombia," the foreign ministry said in the statement.

Regional leaders called for a tough response to the alleged espionage that O Globo said included a satellite monitoring stations based in Brazil's capital.

Snowden is thought to be negotiating his exit from a transit area in a Moscow airport's international area. He has been offered asylum in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

(Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Vicki Allen)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
NokiaFans wrote:
even drug lord countries like Colombia dares to question the US government. US has indeed lost its leadership position in the world community.

Jul 10, 2013 7:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Laster wrote:
At some point doesn’t the unauthorized collection of data, you know without prior permission, constitute…theft?

Jul 10, 2013 7:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dd606 wrote:
Yes, the Colombian government was completely unaware of the fact that the US participates in spying, like virtually every other nation on the planet. This was a complete and utter shock to them. In other news… Apparently, they were also unaware that something called a “coca plant” can be used to create a drug called: Cocaine… When informed of this, Colombia’s foreign ministry responded… “For real though?”

Jul 10, 2013 2:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.