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Espionage allegations lead to dismissal of Colombian army head of intelligence

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Espionage allegations lead to dismissal of Colombian army head of intelligence

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Allegations of spying on government officials have led Colombian President Juan Manu El Santos to dismiss his army’s head of intelligence and the director of the army’s technical intelligence centre.

Generals Mauricio Ricardo Zuniga and Oscar Zuluaga were relieved of their posts while an investigation is carried out.

Santos said the alleged espionage was “totally unacceptable.”

“I will investigate and get to the bottom of this situation,” said the President, “to see how far the illicit use of intelligence has gone and who is behind it.”

Zuniga and Zuluaga are alleged to have spied on Colombian officials during their negotiations with Farc rebels at peace talks in Cuba.

They supposedly hired young hackers and experts to monitor the group and intercept mobile phone calls.

Colombia’s government has been in talks with the Farc, the country’s largest left-wing rebel faction, since November 2012.

The president recently stated his hope of signing a peace treaty with them, thus ending a 50-year-old conflict.