The United States will continue to support programs that contribute to peace in Colombia, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday while visiting the South American country.
Kerry was speaking at the high performance center in Bogota, where he met with former military victims of the armed conflict.
“The US Government will do everything possible, everything in our power to support this program and other programs, and ultimately achieve peace in Colombia,” said the secretary of state.
Kerry is meeting with foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin and President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday afternoon, for talks regarding bilateral trade, security and the war on drugs.
Colombia is one of Washington’s closest US allies in the region and has received billions to finance the war against left-wing guerrilla groups, right-wing paramilitaries and other drug trafficking organizations.
Following reports from Brazilian newspaper O Globo however, Colombia has been the third largest priority for espionage in Latin America by the NSA, relations between the two nations have been strained.
President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday said that he is seeking clarification from the US government as to whether intelligence gathering operations in Colombia overstepped the countries joint operations against drug trafficking and rebel groups.
“We have conducted joint intelligence operations, using technical intelligence to fight common enemies, including drug trafficking and terrorism,” explained Santos.
“We are at this time in conversations to see if that was everything that was done, or if some other type of espionage occurred,” added the head of state.
Following talks with Santos, the secretary of state will travel to Brazil, another top spying destination, on Tuesday.
- EE.UU. apoyará programas que contribuyan a la paz en Colombia (Caracol Radio)