Colombia demands answers on U.S. spying as Latin America seethes
By Helen Murphy
Wed Jul 10, 2013
(Reuters) – Colombia called for answers from Washington on Wednesday after revelations the United States had spied on the Andean nation, its closest military ally in Latin America, as anger mounted in the region over U.S. intelligence gathering.
Colombia’s foreign ministry said it “registered with concern” reports of an “unauthorized data collection program” in a brief statement overnight, and asked that the U.S. government give an account of its actions through its Bogota embassy.
“In rejecting the acts of espionage that violate people’s rights to privacy as well as the international conventions on telecommunication, Colombia requests the corresponding explanations from the United States government through its ambassador to Colombia,” the foreign ministry said.
A leading Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday that the U.S. National Security Agency targeted most Latin American countries with spying programs that monitored Internet traffic, especially in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.
Other countries around the region have used tougher language in condemning what some have called a violation of their sovereignty and a trampling of individuals’ rights to privacy.
“Chile cannot but firmly and categorically condemn spying practices, whatever their origin, nature and objectives,” its foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, adding it would seek to verify the allegations.