Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued the Army a deadline Wednesday for its recently opened investigation into the military’s use of covert spying technology to spy on delegates to the ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC rebel group.
Investigators of the Army’s Inspector General’s Office will have until February 14th to turn in a detailed report to the Office of the President on the results of an investigation Santos indicated “shouldn’t be difficult to perform.”
In a speech before Justice Ministry officials, Santos went on to draw a distinction between “illicit” and “licit” intelligence gathering. The president did not specify exactly what that difference consisted of, but did indicate that his primary concern in the investigations in question is “protecting licit intelligence” from the public relations controversy that surrounds cases of overreach.
In the wake of a 15-month investigation published Monday by magazine Semana, the Colombian military stands accused of using CIA funding and spying technology to monitor and record the digital communications of opposition politicians in Colombia and member of both the FARC and government delegations to ongoing peace talks in Havana, Cuba.
Earlier Wednesday, the Military’s Director of Intelligence was dismissed over the preliminary backlash from the scandal. Calls for the resignations of high-ranking government officials, including Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, have been swirling since the revelations were made public, and former President Alvaro Uribe has been accused by opposition politicians and members of the FARC of playing a role in the wiretapping.
- Copy of President Santos’ speech (President’s Office)
- Santos Gives Ultimatium for Results of New Wiretapping (Kienyke)
- Army to Clarify Wiretapping by Febuary 15th (Semana)
- The Houses are Completely Legal: Santos (Terra)