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Chile condemns Washington for reported spying in Latin America


16:34, July 11, 2013

SANTIAGO, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Chile has joined a growing list of countries that have condemned the United States for reportedly spying in Latin America and is demanding answers about the alleged espionage.

Wednesday's move came after Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, recently revealed details about U.S. spying on several countries in Latin America.

Governments in the region expressed outrage and concern after the Brazilian daily O Globo on Sunday cited documents leaked by Snowden that indicated several South American nations were targeted in a U.S. espionage program coded Prism.

"In recent days, there have been published press reports that U.S. intelligence agencies have undertaken the unauthorized gathering of data and interception of communications, affecting the governments, people and companies of many countries including Chile," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

If the revelations are proven to be true, then Santiago "will request the necessary explanations," the ministry said, adding that "Chile cannot but firmly and categorically condemn spying, regardless of its origin, nature and goals."

The Foreign Ministry said Chile rejects any infringement on the privacy of communication networks, adding Santiago will continue to work through international organizations to establish clear guidelines for states and guarantee the rights of citizens while preserving the sovereignty of countries.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said in a statement Sunday that his government has asked for an explanation of the reported American spying through Brazil's embassy in Washington and the U.S. ambassador in Brazil.

The Brazilian daily O Globo reported Sunday that based on information provided by Snowden, the U.S. was covertly gathering Internet and telephone communications in several Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

Snowden, who fled the United States before revealing the American spying program, is said to be marooned in a Moscow airport transit area.

The 30-year-old fugitive arrived at the airport from Hong Kong last month.

Snowden has asked more than 20 countries, including Russia, Germany and Venezuela, for asylum. The leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered to provide Snowden with asylum.

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