World Bulletin / News Desk
Colombia's army intelligence chief General Mauricio Ricardo Zuniga has been removed from his position after it was revealed that he had spied on government officials during peace talks with Farc rebels in Cuba.
President Juan Manuel Santos dismissed Zuinga and the army's technical intelligence centre director, General Oscar Zuluaga, while a full investigation takes place into allegations that they intercepted the mobile phone calls, according to Semana magazine.
Blaming the tapping of officials' communications on "dark forces", President Santos said "It's not acceptable from any point of view that intelligence is conducted against ordinary citizens and much less against state officials."
Defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzon announced their dismissal after a meeting with the chief prosecutor Eduardo Montealegre. However, calls were also made for the defense minister to resign by leftist congressman Ivan Cepeda.
"Either the government was doing a kind of counterintelligence of its own people or this was an operation by a dissident sector in the military acting against the peace process," Mr Cepeda told AP.
After the Colombian government entered talks with the left-wing rebel group Farc in November 2012 in a bid to end the 50-year-old conflict, President Santos said that he hoped a deal would be reached soon.
An estimated 220,000 people have been killed since the war began in the 1960s, with some three million more people internally displaced.
So far the two sides have only agreed tentatively on two points of a six-point agenda.Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2014, 14:36