Leaks imperil U.S.-Brazil relationship
MEXICO CITY — Revelations of a U.S. spy program that allegedly allows digital surveillance of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico have drawn cries of indignation and anger in both nations, but the fallout may be strongest for U.S.-Brazil relations.
At stake is whether Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will cancel a planned state visit to Washington in October, the first offered by President Obama this year or will take action on digital security that may affect U.S. companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
Brazil's O Globo television network reported on Sunday night that the National Security Agency had spied on the emails, telephone calls and text messages of Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. The report was based on documents obtained by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, from Edward Snowden, a fugitive former NSA contractor who's living in Moscow.
O Globo's “Fantastico” program displayed an NSA document dated June 2012 that contained email sent by Pena Nieto, who was a presidential candidate at the time, discussing whom he might name to his cabinet once elected. The network displayed a separate document that revealed communication patterns between Rousseff and her top advisers.
The revelations drew expressions of indignation in Brazil and Mexico.
Rousseff held an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday, and her foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, summoned U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon for the second time since early July.
At a joint news conference on Monday in Brasilia with Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo, Figueiredo called the actions “an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty” and said Brazil expected a written explanation from the White House by the end of the week.
For its part, Mexico's Foreign Secretariat said it “rejects and categorically condemns any act of espionage against Mexican citizens in violation of international law.” Mexico also summoned the U.S. ambassador, Anthony Wayne, but no meeting has yet taken place, as Wayne was out of the country.
Outrage seemed deeper and more widespread in Brazil than in Mexico.
One former Mexican ambassador, Andres Rozental, said he expected little fallout: “I don't think this is a major event for Mexico and Mexico-U.S. relations.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sheep yields almost half its weight in fleece
- French investigators confirm airplane wing part is from Flight 370
- Ayatollah: Iran won’t settle for ‘suspension’
- Migrant-laden train makes unexpected stop
- ‘Super giant’ natural gas field found off Egypt in Mediterranean Sea
- Temple in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra bombed by ISIS terrorists
- Dozens of Venezuelans shot by police amid crime crackdown
- Hungary stands firm, keeps migrants from trains
- Guatemalan congress swears in new president