Juan Manuel Santos (Photo: President's Office)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued the Office of the Army’s Inspector General a deadline Tuesday for its recently opened investigation into the military’s use of covert spying technology to monitor opposition politicians in Colombia and delegates to the ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC rebel group, the country’s largest, in Havana, Cuba.

Investigators will have until February 14th to turn in a detailed report to the Office of the President on the results of an investigation Santos indicated “shouldn’t be difficult to perform.”

In a speech before functionaries of the Ministry of Justice and Law, Santos went on to draw a distinction between “illicit” and “licit” intelligence gathering. The president did not specify exactly what that difference consisted of, but did indicate that his primary concern in the investigations in question is “protecting licit intelligence” from the public relations controversy that surrounds cases of overreach.

In the wake of a 15-month investigation published Monday by Colombia’s Semana news outlet, the Colombian military stands accused of using CIA funding and spying technology to monitor and record the digital communications of opposition politicians in Colombia and member of both the FARC and government delegations to ongoing peace talks in Havana, Cuba.

MORE: Santos orders investigation into Colombian Army, CIA wiretapping of Colombia’s peace process

Earlier Wednesday, the Military’s Director of Intelligence was dismissed over the preliminary backlash from the scandal. Calls for the resignations of high-ranking government officials, including Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, have been swirling since the revelations were made public, and former President Alvaro Uribe has been accused by opposition politicians and members of the FARC of playing a role in the wiretapping. 

MORE: Uribe is behind peace talks wiretapping: FARC 


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