Colombia asks Kerry to explain NSA spying


BOGOTA — Secretary of State John F. Kerry faced questions about National Security Agency spying here Monday as the government of Colombia asked for an explanation of reports that the United States has collected telephone and e-mail data in this hemisphere.

Similar questions are likely to arise in Brazil, which Kerry will visit Tuesday as part of his first trip to South America as secretary.

Last month, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper said that most Latin American countries, with a special focus on Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, had been targets of surveillance that included military affairs and what the article called “commercial secrets.”

The newspaper said the revelations, which the United States has not publicly addressed, were based on documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. O Globo cited leaked documents that it said indicated surveillance of the oil industry in Mexico and Brazil, as well as counter-narcotics and counterterrorism operations in Colombia.

Brazil has called private U.S. explanations “insufficient.” Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota has said his government will ask the United..

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