Santos claims 1000 of his emails were intercepted, hints to opponents

Posted on Feb 24 2014 - 12:27am by Rico
Juan Manuel Santos using the landline (Photo: President's Office)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Sunday that thousands of his personal emails had been hacked, suggesting political enemies might be trying to influence elections in May in which Santos hopes to be reelected.

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 in his press release stressed the possibility of a political opponent trying to take advantage of the president’s security leaks, 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 a purge the military leadership. According to Santos, he found out about the leaked emails “some time ago.”

MORE: Colombia’s Military Intelligence Chief Dismissed Over Peace Talks Wiretappings

“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.

MORE: Colombia Extends Arrest Warrant For Ex-Spy Chief

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.

MORE: Colombia Rejects NSA Spying, Demands Explanation


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