President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador He denied this Tuesday that the Army spies on journalists or opponents through Pegasus software, as documented in the recent “Spy Army” investigation, carried out by non-governmental organizations and the media.
“We, who have been spied on, could not do the same”
“It is not true that journalists or opponents are spied on, we are not the same as the previous ones (governments), it is not true”emphasized the President during his conference “morning” from the National Palace.
López Obrador stated that made the commitment that no one would be spied on, “no opponent”and asked that if there is evidence they be presented to the corresponding authorities.
“I have been reading about this complaint and there are no elements, we would not have why. In addition to being improper, contrary to our principles, our convictions, we, who have been spied on, persecuted for years, could not do the same”he asserted.
“Espía Army” collects the cases of Raymundo Ramos, defender of human rights in Tamaulipas; journalist Ricardo Raphael and a journalist from the Animal Político media outlet, whose mobile phones were seized during the current Mexican administration.
“One of those who complains is Mr. Ricardo Raphael. What would be the point of spying on him? The truth is, he’s not a criminal. I don’t even read his articles and it’s not contempt because it’s predictable. What interest are we going to have in spying on him?” I think it would be a waste of time”, commented the president.
Also, justified that the work of the Army is intelligence.
“They have intelligence work that they carry out, not espionage, which is different”held.
According to the investigation of the association Article 19, together with the media outlets Proceso, Animal Político and Aristegui Noticias, with the support of organizations such as Toronto’s Citizen Lab, the Army would have bought in 2019, already with López Obrador as President, the Pegasus software to spy on journalists and others.
The reports published last Sunday revealed how the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) hid a contract that it entered into in 2019 with the company Comercializadora Antsua, SA de CV, which had the exclusive representation of the Israeli company NSO Group to sell Pegasus in Mexico.
Human rights organizations and victims filed a new complaint on Monday with the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) to clarify the illegal espionage perpetrated with the Pegasus spyware.
In July 2021, an international media investigation uncovered that several countries intervened 50,000 phones with the Pegasus programof which 15,000 cases were in Mexico during the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the highest number.
The investigation revealed that the communications of activists and journalists were tapped; of the then opposition leader and current president, López Obrador, in addition to some of his collaborators and his cardiologist, as well as relatives of the 43 disappeared students in Ayotzinapa.
After these revelations, the president promised that espionage systems would not be contracted in his government, although the “Espionage Army” investigation revealed that the Armed Forces did indeed espionage.
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