EconomyFinancialPegasus Spyware Was Used During AMLO Government, Research Reveals

Pegasus Spyware Was Used During AMLO Government, Research Reveals

As reported during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, in the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador journalists and human rights defenders were also expired, from 2019 to 2021, with the use of Pegasus software, according to an investigation.

that at least three journalists and human rights defenders were spied on with this software, for which information from text messages, calls, emails, messaging applications, contact books, notes, photos, and any file stored in the team.

With this malware – it is added – it was also possible to have access to the passwords stored on the phones of the people being spied on, activate the microphone and the camera remotely and “delete any trace of the infection, becoming almost undetectable”.

According to this investigation, in which Article 19 Mexico and Central America and SocialTIC also participated, with the support of Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto, in collaboration with Aristegui Noticias, Proceso and Animal Politico, evidence was found that the current government operated the Pegasus espionage software on at least three people .

The information was made public through the portal “ ”, where it is recalled that the Israeli company that creates spy software, NSO Group, has stated that it only sells its products to governments.

In the case of Mexico, there is evidence that the López Obrador government “has signed contracts” with companies linked to the sale of Pegasus malware, the investigation warns.

This is the case of Marco Antonio Suárez Cedillo, “who appears as the legal representative of the company Diseños y Proyectos VME, which signed contracts and received payments related to Pegasus from CISEN, the PGR and SEDENA during the past six-year term” and now holds as the legal representative of Comercializadora Antsua, supplier since December 2019 of a service of alleged “lease and technical support of computer equipment”.

Antsua is the firm authorized by NSO Group to offer Pegasus in Mexico. However, the contract is reserved for five years (until 2024 when the six-year term ends) for alleged reasons of national security.

In addition, it is reported that the recent hacking of the Guacamaya group allegedly revealed that Sedena acquired a “Remote Information Monitoring Service” from Comercializadora Antsua, in April 2019, under contract DN-10 SAIT-1075/P/2019. .

“Contrary to the promises of the current president, the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) acquired during this government a remote information monitoring system from the company with exclusive representation to sell Pegasus in Mexico. The evidence also proves that Sedena has systematically lied to various instances to hide the existence of said contract,” the authors state.

After the elements presented, the investigation concludes that the federal government has failed to fulfill its commitment to end illegal espionage in Mexico.

the spied

According to the report, in this six-year term, the human rights defender in Tamaulipas, Renato Ramos Vázquez, who for 20 years has documented serious human rights violations in that entity and is president of the State Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo, was spied on. ; also journalist and analyst Ricardo Raphael and a journalist from the Animal Politico portal.

“These attacks have something in common: they were all spied on with the Pegasus malware during this six-year term, while doing work related to human rights violations committed by the Armed Forces,” the investigation reveals.

In the case of Ramos, it was detected that he suffered spyware attacks on August 8, 2020, September 2, 2020 and September 3 of the same year

“(Ramos) has accompanied at least three major cases involving the Armed Forces: in 2018, the forced disappearance of 56 people in Nuevo Laredo; in 2019, the extrajudicial execution of eight people; and in 2020, the murder of three civilians. during a chase”, it is detailed.

On August 29 – the day he was attacked with Pegasus – the activist had a meeting with personnel from the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena).

In the case of the journalist Ricardo Raphael, espionage by the governments of Peña Nieto and López Obrador was detected, with interventions from May to August 2016 and in this administration on October 30, November 7 and December 27, 2019.

These interventions were related to the information or meetings held on those dates with people related to the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa and the violence in Tamaulipas.

Regarding the attack on the journalist from Animal Politico, it was reported that this occurred “the same day that the digital media published a note related to human rights violations perpetrated by the Armed Forces.”

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