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Iran Press TV

Colombia: US must clarify espionage acts

Iran Press TV

Fri Aug 9, 2013 6:32AM GMT

Colombia is seeking clarification by the United States over its controversial global spying programs, which were leaked by American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday that he is demanding clarification on whether the US intelligence-gathering in Colombia has exceeded the joint operations by the countries against drug traffickers and illegal armed groups.

Santos said that Bogota and Washington have had joint intelligence operations "using technical intelligence to fight common enemies, including drug-trafficking (and) terrorism."

However, the Colombian president stated during the 20-minute interview that officials from both countries were "in conversations to see if that was everything that was done or if some other type of espionage occurred."

The 61-year-old president made the comments ahead of a visit to Colombia by US Secretary of State John Kerry, which begins on Sunday.

In addition to Colombia, Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said on Thursday at a news conference in the city of Rio de Janeiro that Brasilia would raise the issue of US spying on Brazilian companies and individuals when Kerry visits the country.

Last month, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that based on documents provided by former technical contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA), Snowden, Brazil was a major target of Washington's data collection.

The report added that Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela are other countries in the region that were targeted by the NSA, which sought to gather information about topics including energy, oil and military purchases.

On July 10, Bogota had said in a brief communiqué that it would demand explanations from the US on the subject.

MR/HSN



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