Madrid, 20 July. (European Press) –
Fifty people close to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, including his wife and children, were spied on using the Israeli Pegasus program, as revealed by an investigation conducted by dozens of media outlets in cooperation with Amnesty International. .
According to newspaper “El Financiero”, “the records include the phone numbers of his wife, three children, as well as his assistants, a doctor, former drivers and the manager of his baseball team.”
The list accessed by 16 media involved in the Pegasus project, including the British Guardian, includes 15,000 people in Mexico who would have been considered “of interest” between 2016 and 2017, during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Mexico was also the first country in the world to buy Pegasus from NSO. The Department of Defense was the first to acquire the program in 2011. Other agencies that have purchased or have worked with Pegasus include the Attorney General’s Office (now the Attorney General’s Office), and the National Intelligence Center (Cisen).
Thus, the investigation now shows that dozens of public figures and political figures at the national or local level of the Morena government party were also the target of espionage, including the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum.
But the Guardian clarified on Sunday that the appearance of phone numbers on the list does not necessarily mean that the devices have been “hacked”.
In this sense, several private conversations about Lopez Obrador, including one between his son Andres Manuel Lopez Beltran and Yedkol Polivinsky, Morena’s general secretary in 2017, were leaked to the press.
However, NSO confirmed that it was doing an in-depth review of the history of its potential customers – governments in general – and denied there was “malicious” use of the software.
In the list of phones that have been spied on with Pegasus by governments, for example, the wife and fiancé of dissident Saudi journalist Yamal Jashogi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The list also includes journalists from CNN, The Associated Press, The Voice of America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Le Monde, the Financial Times or Al Jazeera.
The investigation is being carried out by the Paris media consortium Forbidden Stories, which ensures that evidence is obtained from the phones themselves through forensic analysis conducted by Amnesty International’s security laboratory.