Spanish version

New York Times Investigation

Mexican government spied on journalists and political opponents with ‘Pegasus’, just like Martinelli’s government

It's the same type of software bought during Ricardo Martinelli’s government to spy on political opponents, a case for which he currently faces extradition to Panama.

Spanish version

Temas:

Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico.
Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico. AP/Archivo

An investigation by The New York Times revealed that at least 3 Mexican Federal Agencies have targeted journalists, human right activists and political opponents using Pegasus, an Israeli software.

It’s the same software Ricardo Martinelli’s government bought for $8 million dollars. According to an investigation led by the Public Ministry, Pegasus was used in Panama to spy on close to 150 political opponents of his administration.

Former President Ricardo Martinelli faces extradition to Panama from Miami, the city where he's being held since June 12th.

“The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students, a highly respected academic who helped write an anti-corruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most influential journalists and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police. The spying even swept up family members, including a teenage boy. Since 2011, at least three Mexican federal agencies have purchased about $80 million worth of spyware created by an Israeli cyberarms manufacturer.”, The New York Times investigation reveals.

According to the article, the software is manufactured by NSO Group, the same Company that sold the equipment to Panama.

“According to dozens of messages examined by The New York Times and independent forensic analysts, the software has been used against some of the government’s most outspoken critics and their families, in what many view as an unprecedented effort to thwart the fight against the corruption infecting every limb of Mexican society.”, the article continues.

Mexican Government officials have denied spying on journalists or political opponents. 

The Mexican Government released the following statement: “As in any democratic government, to combat crime and threats against national security the Mexican government carries out intelligence operations. The government categorically denies that any of its members engages in surveillance or communications operations against defenders of human rights, journalists, anti-corruption activists or any other person without prior judicial authorization”.

Read the full New York Times story here

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