Colombia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday rejected the alleged spying in the South American country by US intelligence agency NSA.
“The national government with concern registers information of some international media about the existence of program of a data collection and unauthorized interception of personal communication in Colombia, conducted by the United States’ National Security Agency,” the Ministry said on its website.
In the brief press statement, the Ministry rejected ” the acts of espionage that violate the right to privacy of individuals, and of international conventions on telecommunications.”
The Colombian government said it had asked the US ambassador to Bogota, Michael McKinley, to provide explanations regarding the allegedly unauthorized wiretapping by the NSA in Colombia.
The press statement followed fierce criticism by the opposition. Socialist Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo, one of the government’s fiercest critics, called the spying “a shameful act” and said “the silence of President [Juan Manuel] Santos lays bare the level of submission we have come to.”
Other South American countries, including Brazil, Venezuela and Peru similarly rejected the alleged spying and called for regional bodies to urgently meet and discuss the matter.
On Tuesday, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that Colombia, the US’ closest ally in the region, was one of the NSA’s main surveillance targets. According to the Brazilian paper, the NSA monitored drug trafficking in the South American country and tracked movements by Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC.