Colombia: Venezuela's foreign minister has accused Washington of fomenting violence in Latin America and labelled US Undersecretary of State John Negroponte a criminal, drawing a sharp rejoinder from the US. The United States "is directly responsible" for an "operation... to bring violence to the region," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said at the general assembly meeting of the Organization of American States here. Negroponte, he added, is trying to "insert a wedge of intrigue" between Colombia and Venezuela, adding that the US State Department number two is "a third-rate bureaucrat with a criminal rap sheet" responsible for "disappearances, torture and deaths in Central America and other parts of the world."