South American Nations Voice Concern At Spying Allegations

By Newsroom America Staff at 6 Aug 2013

(Newsroom America) -- A group of South American foreign ministers have voiced their concern to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about reported large-scale surveillance programmes.

Mr Ban said UN human rights mechanisms had pointed to important rights and privacy issues at stake in connection with surveillance.

He reiterated the need to safeguard these fundamental rights, according to a readout of the meeting with Foreign Ministers Elías Jaua of Venezuela, who is also President of the regional bloc known as the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Héctor Timerman of Argentina, David Choquehuanca of Bolivia, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, and Luis Almagro of Uruguay.

The ministers also voiced concern about the incidents that resulted in the rerouting of the Bolivian President’s plane last month.

On 2 July, the aircraft carrying Evo Morales was not allowed by several European nations to fly over their airspace on suspicion that United States fugitive Edward Snowden was on board.

Mr Snowden is a former National Security Agency contractor who has been charged with leaking details of several secret mass electronic surveillance programmes to the press.

The Secretary-General reiterated that a Head of State and his or her aircraft enjoy immunity and inviolability.

The question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), the embargo against Cuba, the situation in Haiti, sustainable development and the hemispheric debate on the issue of drugs were also discussed.

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