‘Shameful’: Mexican president decries alleged NSO spying


Source: Al Jazeera

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday called “shameful” the alleged government-ordered spying several years ago that may have targeted him and his close allies and added that his government did not spy on anyone.

British newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday that at least 50 people close to Lopez Obrador, among many others, were potentially targeted by the previous administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto after it purchased Pegasus spying software from Israel-based NSO Group.


Fifty people linked to Mexico’s president among potential targets of NSO clients


Source: The Guardian

At least 50 people linked to Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador – including his wife, children, aides and doctor – were included in a leaked list of numbers selected by government clients of the Israeli spyware company NSO Group before his election.

Politicians from every party, as well as journalists, lawyers, activists, prosecutors, diplomats, teachers, judges, doctors and academics, were also among more than 15,000 individuals selected as possible targets for surveillance between 2016 and 2017, according to an investigation by a collaboration of international media outlets including the Guardian.


The unknown winners of Mexico’s energy reform


Source: El País

It was a perfect opportunity. When Mexico opened its market to allow private companies to produce and sell energy for the first time in decades, two US executives suddenly found themselves in a privileged position. Mexico would be buying significant amounts of natural gas from its northern neighbor and the person in charge of negotiating the contracts was someone they knew well: an ex-colleague from more than 15 years earlier, with whom they’d worked with in another recently liberalized market.

The contracts were awarded under Guillermo Turrent, ex director of CFEI, who had worked with a high-ranking executive and the founder of Whitewater at Royal Dutch Shell in San Diego, California during 2000 and 2001. Details of their employment and behavior while at Shell is documented by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), where a case remains open that examines the company’s purported overcharging of the state of California for electricity in the negotiation of a long-term contract. During that time, just a year after opening its market to private competition, California suffered an electricity crisis that included widespread blackouts that affected millions of residents and caused record price increases for power that almost bankrupted the state government.


Mexico takes aim at former Pemex CEO in fight against graft

5/27/2019 – Reuters

By Anthony Esposito

http___com.ft.imagepublish.upp-prod-us.s3.amazonawsMexico’s Finance Ministry said on Monday it had blocked the bank accounts of the former chief executive of state oil firm Pemex, one of ex-President Enrique Pena Nieto’s closest advisers, for allegedly carrying out “illegal” financial operations.

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‘El Chapo’ Paid Ex-Mexican President $100 Million Bribe: Trial Witness

1/16/2019 – The New York Times

ZKAMZiyrgF0Rpob3dsJiqRQmB4rAIAGA.jpgBy The Associated Press

(Reuters) – Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman once paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, an ex-Guzman associate testified on Tuesday that he previously told U.S. authorities.

Alex Cifuentes, who has described himself as Guzman’s onetime right-hand man, discussed the alleged bribe under cross-examination by Jeffrey Lichtman, one of Guzman’s lawyers, in Brooklyn federal court. Asked if he told authorities in 2016 that Guzman arranged the bribe, he answered, “That’s right.”

Reuters could not immediately reach Pena Nieto or his former spokesman for comment. He has previously denied taking bribes.

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Mexico’s Obrador Threatens Probes If Airport Isn’t Halted in July

04/18/2018 Bloomberg

amloMexico’s left-wing front-runner wants a $13 billion airport project halted immediately should he win election in July, threatening officials with legal action if they wait until he assumes power in December, according to his pick for transportation minister.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will ask President Enrique Pena Nieto to suspend the project in July to allow for the incoming administration to carry out audits on the airport’s construction and finances, said Javier Jimenez Espriu. Moreover, contractors can’t expect cancellation fees if the project is scuttled.

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Mexican senators call on Peña Nieto to halt cooperation with US after Trump attacks

04/04/2018 The Hill

HE_Enrique_Peña_Nieto,_President_of_Mexico_(9085212846)Mexican senators are calling on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to halt the nation’s cooperation with the U.S. on various issues after President Trump went on the attack against the country.

Mexico senators unanimously approved a nonbinding statement Wednesday that says the government should suspend joint efforts “in the fight against transnational organized crime” until Trump exhibits “civility and respect that the people of Mexico deserve,” The Associated Press reported.

The statement from the Mexican senators also rails against Trump for his “baseless and offensive comments about Mexico and Mexicans.”

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Kushner meets with top officials in Mexico amid strained relations

03/07/2018 The Washington Post

jared_kushner_croppedPresident Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and other top officials here Wednesday amid fresh strains over possible steel and aluminum tariffs and the ongoing feud about a border wall.

Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, has been the designated point person for the United States’ relationship with Mexico since the 2016 presidential campaign. But ties have become more complicated in recent weeks, given that the White House recently downgraded Kushner’s security clearance, raising questions about how effective he might be in a meeting with a head of state or whether there are key issues he might not be informed about.

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Trump Plans to Meet With Pena Nieto in Coming Weeks, Mexico Says

02/14/2018 Bloomberg

PenaNietoU.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto plan to meet in the coming weeks to review advances in the relationship between the nations and discuss pending issues, according to Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

The meeting comes after months of sometimes contentious talks to renegotiate the Nafta trade deal and Trump’s insistence that America’s southern neighbor pay for a border wall, a demand Mexico rejects. Pena Nieto’s party also faces a tough challenge to hang onto the presidency in a July vote, with his chosen candidate, former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, running third in most polls. Pena Nieto isn’t eligible for reelection.

Mexico president’s rating hits new low after Trump victory

11/20/16 Reuters

images-1Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s approval rating has slumped to a new low since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency last week, in part due to his invitation of the real estate tycoon to Mexico during the campaign, a poll showed on Sunday.

The survey by polling firm Buendia & Laredo for newspaper El Universal said approval of Pena Nieto’s performance had fallen to 25 percent from 29 percent in July, hurt by discontent about the economy, rising violence and failure to battle corruption.

Pena Nieto’s six-year term concludes at the end of November 2018, and opinion polls show his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) faces an uphill battle to retain power after the next presidential election, scheduled for July 2018.

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