Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Sunday that thousands of his personal emails had been hacked, suggesting political enemies might be trying to influence presidential elections in May.
At least two of these alleged emails had earlier been leaked to newspaper El Tiempo and columnist Daniel Coronell of Semana. The latter published parts of the intercepted private communication of the president.
In the published emails, Santos was negotiating the price of art and, in the other, reportedly talking about wiring money abroad to pay his daughter’s university fee.
Santos said private emails from family members had also been intercepted.
While Santos stressed the possibility of a political opponent trying to take advantage of the president’s security leaks in the press release published by his office Sunday, Coronell said the head of state was “in denial” about an ongoing scandal evolving around a bulk of alleged interceptions carried out by a covert Military Intelligence unit that forced Santos to purge top Army leadership. According to Santos, he found out about the leaked emails “some time ago.”
“What is out of sight is that there is an entire military sector that works against the president and reports to someone who isn’t its actual boss,” claimed the journalist.
According to El Tiempo, Santos’ digital security was last checked in 2010 by the DAS, the state intelligence agency that was later dismantled by Santos over a wiretapping scandal implicating the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe, similar to the one leading Colombian media’s headline’s over the past few days.
Santos called the revealed emails and the alleged leaking of more than a thousand others “serious, unheard of and unacceptable” and said he had “requested the corresponding investigations.”
Anonymous Presidential Office officials told El Tiempo that a thorough revision of security protocol had been initiated when the head of state found out about the leak.
Apart from the DAS and the alleged Military Intelligence wiretapping scandals, tensions rose briefly with the United States last year, when reports came out about US intelligence agency NSA’s spying activity in Colombia.
- Correo electrónico del presidente Santos fue ‘chuzado’ (El Tiempo)
- El presidente espiado (Semana)
- Comunicado (President’s Office)