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Peña Nieto Government Accused of Spying on Journalists, Human Rights Advocates in Mexico

LADB Article ID: 80329
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-06-28
By: Carlos Navarro

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration was put on the defensive by allegations that the federal government engaged in espionage against journalists, human rights advocates, and some business leaders. A report published in The New York Times in June said the Peña Nieto government used specialized spyware to monitor the cellular conversations of dozens of critics of the administration. The suspected targets of espionage include the prominent journalists Carlos Loret de Mola and Carmen Aristegui, human rights advocate Mario Patrón of the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (PRODH), anti-corruption crusaders Salvador Camarena and Daniel Lizárraga, and Juan Pardinas and Alexandra Zapata of the business organization Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (IMCO). According to the report, the government used a spyware program called Pegasus to access the cell phones of 88 individuals. The Israeli-based NSO Group, which developed the spyware, said Pegasus is sold exclusively to governments under an agreement that the program be used only to target terrorists and criminal organizations. At least three Mexican federal agencies acquired the spyware, The Times reported.

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