Colombia’s head of army intelligence has been furloughed as part of an investigation into whether his office compiled a database containing the emails of hundreds of journalists, diplomats and peace negotiators.
Weekly magazine Semana revealed the list of potential spying targets over the weekend.
The army’s central command said Tuesday it had yet to turn up evidence such a list even exists. Still, as a precautionary measure it ordered Gen. Mauricio Forero to take vacation while an investigation continues.
The allegations even if unsubstantiated are being taken seriously because Colombia’s military has a history of spying on regular citizens. Earlier this year President Juan Manuel Santos ordered a probe into domestic spying after it was revealed the army had intercepted the communications of government representatives at talks with the FARC rebels.