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

07/20/2021

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.

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The Approval of the Education Reform, Teachers’ protests and NSA Spying of Enrique Peña Nieto – Weekly News Summary: September 6

coffee-by-flikr-user-samrevel1The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

This week the press largely covered the approval of the Education Reform in the midst of the teachers’ protests. Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly passed a reform of the notoriously dysfunctional public school system early Wednesday, handing President Enrique Pena Nieto an important victory in his push to remake some of his country’s worst-run institutions.

The New York Times noted that despite being considered a major step toward instituting evaluations of public schoolteachers and ending their practice of buying and inheriting their posts, analysts allege violent protests by teachers had led Congress to include provisions in the new legislation that might undermine the overhaul. The pressure resulted in concessions that “diluted key aspects” of the original plan like the provision that mandatory evaluations would remain confidential.

Continue reading “The Approval of the Education Reform, Teachers’ protests and NSA Spying of Enrique Peña Nieto – Weekly News Summary: September 6”

Elections, Espionage and Obesity in Mexico – Weekly News Summary: July 12

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…        

Last Sunday’s local elections in Mexico dominated the headlines this week. The aftermath of the process has seen widespread confusion, with rival parties claiming cheating strategies against each other throughout the country. Overall, election results are expected to define and strengthen the attitude of the opposition parties and their strategy to contribute to Mr. Peña Nieto’s reform agenda, as the parties prepare to negotiate energy and fiscal reforms. The most closely watched election was Baja California, a northwestern state where the PAN has governed since 1989. With almost all the votes counted, a PAN-PRD alliance represented by Francisco “Kiko” Vega held the advantage early on Monday. However, Mexican election officials ordered a recount citing a glitch in the vote-counting system.

The Economist labeled the Pact for Mexico the ‘political workhorse’ in Mexican politics, highlighting the fact that none of the opposition parties appear ready to abandon the pact just yet. Both the PAN and PRD hope to use the alliance to negotiate political reforms that would weaken the PRI in some of its regional strongholds. The Economist also pointed out that now that the electoral process is over, President Peña Nieto is likely to face a hard choice between maintaining the Pact intact or going against the Left to reform Mexico’s energy sector. If it comes to that, the British weekly argues he should ditch the Pact to prevent it from becoming an obstacle to reform.

Continue reading “Elections, Espionage and Obesity in Mexico – Weekly News Summary: July 12”

US allies Mexico, Chile and Brazil seek spying answers

hand on mouseBBC News, 7/11/2013

US allies Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile have joined other Latin American nations in demanding answers from Washington over spying allegations.

Brazilian media reported earlier this week that the US had seized web traffic and phone calls across the region.Spying targets included oil and energy firms, Venezuela’s military purchases and information on Mexico’s drug wars. The reports, based on leaks by fugitive Edward Snowden, said the US ran a “data-collection base” in Brasilia. The O Globo newspaper said the US facility in the Brazilian capital was part of a network of 16 such bases maintained by the National Security Agency (NSA) around the world to intercept transmissions from foreign satellites.

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Mexico seeks ‘broad information’ on reported US spying

Statue of Liberty HorizAFP, 7/10/2013

Mexico has asked the United States to provide “broad information” about a report that it was among Latin American nations targeted by US electronic espionage, the foreign ministry said Tuesday. The Brazilian newspaper O Globo, citing documents leaked by fugitive former US intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden, reported that the National Security Agency lifted data related to energy and drugs in neighboring Mexico.

“Following the information published today, the Mexican government reiterated to the US government, through diplomatic channels, its demand for broad information on this matter,” a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP. The newspaper reported that another key US ally in the region, Colombia, was the NSA’s other main target of espionage over the past five years after Brazil and Mexico.

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Caller thought to be Mexico presidential candidate mocks government team for tapping her phone

The Washington Post, 3/26/12

A top campaign worker for presidential aspirant Josefina Vazquez Mota filed a criminal complaint Monday asking for an investigation into an illegally made recording in which a woman said to be the candidate mocks the government for tapping her phone.

In a recording posted by a Mexican political news website, the caller is discussing campaign strategy with an aide when she suddenly sends a “warm hello” to the head of Mexico’s federal police, “who is recording us instead of recording El Chapo.”

The caller jokes that both Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna and government spokeswoman Alejandra Sota are tapping or infiltrating her calls, implying that political spying is more important to the government than catching Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, among the world’s most-wanted drug lords.

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Vázquez Mota accusses García Luna of political espionage [In Spanish]

Proceso, 3/26/2012

An audioscandal involving Josefina Vázquez Mota, the presidential candidate for the National Action Party (PAN), has been extensively commented in social media this morning. The recorded phrases allegedly present Vázquez Mota speaking with Agustín Torres (the man responsible for the social platform in her presidential campaign), denouncing Genaro García Luna and Alejandra Sota of telephone espionage. García Luna is currently the Secretary of Public Security in the federal cabinet and Sota is the spokesperson of the presidency at Los Pinos.

During a collective interview that was part of a roundtable of political analysis hosted by Noticias MVS, Vázquez Mota chose not to listen to that tape arguing ‘lack of time’ and was rather evasive in her responses to the questions posed by Denisse Dresser, Sergio Aguayo, and Lorenzo Meyer.

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