Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico. /AFP.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied on Friday that his government was spying on activists after reports that the military intervened in communications of human rights defenders claimed to be.
At his usual morning press conference, the left-wing president said, “It’s not espionage, we have to conduct an investigation, and it’s very important that the government’s intelligence agencies conduct an investigation.” We argue that there is,” he said.
The president thus responded to questions from the press regarding reports that the Army had spied on Tamaulipas (Northeast) human rights defender Raymundo Ramos.
Lopez Obrador argued that espionage rather aimed at “learning about the movements and operations of organized crime”.
“Nothing else is clear. We are not spying on anyone. This is not the time for neoliberal governments. We promised here not to spy on our opponents,” he added. .
Lopez Obrador said Ramos was accused by colleagues in the press of “alleged ties to the Tamaulipas criminal group.”
Last October, Lopez Obrador rejected accusations that his government was spying on opponents after leaking official files that the military tapped the phones of at least three people.
At the time, several news outlets announced that a group of hackers identified as Guacamaya had extracted information from the Army’s database. It said the organization used Israel’s Pegasus software during the current government, contrary to what Lopez Obrador said in 2021.
Those targets included journalists, media columnists and human rights activists whose phones were hacked between at least 2020 and 2021, according to research by the Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D) and Animal Político media. There is a possibility. Aristogui Noticias and the magazine Proceso.
Complaints about misuse of Pegasus in Mexico date back to 2017, when Mexico was ruled by President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).