The United States needs to verify whether or not The Washington Post falsely claimed that U.S. security aid was used in illegal wiretapping, Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said Monday.
“The government of the United States today has a moral and ethical duty to the Colombian government, the Colombian society, and that is to say whether or not the Washington Post is right,” the vice president said according to El Espectador.
The Washington Post claimed Saturday that U.S. cash, equipment and training were supplied to the Colombian intelligence agency DAS to carry out illegal wiretapping and smear campaigns against opponents of the administration of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
“DAS units depended on U.S.-supplied computers, wiretapping devices, cameras and mobile phone interception systems, as well as rent for safe houses and petty cash for gasoline,” The Washington Post reported a former DAS official said.
The American newspaper based its accusations on “law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Post and interviews with prosecutors and former Colombian intelligence officials.”
Six high-level former DAS officials have confessed to the wiretapping, and Uribe is currently under investigation by a congressional commission.
Nonetheless, Uribe has denied that U.S. resources funded illegal wiretapping.
The newspaper’s statements “manipulate facts and distort reality, harming the image of a government that dismantled the paramilitary structures in Colombia and extradited their main kingpins to the United States,” Uribe said in a public letter to The Washington Post.