U.S. spied on presidents of Mexico, Brazil, report says
SAO PAULO, Brazil — The U.S. National Security Agency directly targeted the communications of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, according to a Brazilian news report likely to heighten tensions between the United States and Latin America’s two biggest economies.
The report cites Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who obtained documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, contributed to Globo TV’s Sunday night program “Fantastico.”
One of the alleged NSA documents leaked to Greenwald dates from June 2012, a month before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was elected. In it, the candidate talks about who he would select for his Cabinet if elected.
The documents did not reference any specific communications with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but show the methods the NSA allegedly used to track e-mails and mobile phone communications with close advisors.
“It was very clear in the documents that they had already carried out the spying,” Greenwald told “Fantastico,” speaking in Portuguese. “They aren’t talking about something they are planning, they are celebrating their spying successes.”
In response to the report, Brazilian officials summoned U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon on Monday.
Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo told CBN radio: “If it’s confirmed it is very serious because a country cannot passively accept the violation of its sovereignty.”
“Any country that has its sovereignty violated has to react, take a position and use international law to put things in their place,” he added. “And that’s what Brazil will do.”
Cardozo and Brazil’s newly appointed foreign minister scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon.
A spokesman for Mexico’s president declined to comment Monday morning.
There also was no immediate reaction from the White House.
Bilateral relations were already strained by reports that Brazil was one of the countries that had been most-targeted by the NSA spying program.
Rousseff is scheduled to visit U.S. President Barrack Obama in Washington in October.
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