Mexico: Federal Commission to Investigate Military Amid Espionage Claims

    Photo: AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Sen. Ricardo Monreal, the leader of the ruling Morena party in Mexico's upper chamber, told reporters on Monday that a federal commission will be installed later this week to investigate claims of abuses by the military, including reports that it used the Pegasus spyware to hack the phone of prominent rights activist Raymundo Ramos.

    • This announcement comes just a few days after Mexico's Pres. Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that the government hasn't spied on anyone, accusing Mexican news outlets of publishing "made up" allegations against him.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Though well-known that Mexico's democracy has been pushed to its limits under the López Obrador government, the confirmed spying on journalists and activists is certainly a new low. Either the president knew about this practice and did nothing to stop it, or he has been an incompetent commander in chief of the increasingly powerful armed forces.

    Narrative B

    The latest allegations that Mexico's military has spied on its citizens are ill-founded fabrications that are intended to undermine the reputation of this institution as well as of López Obrador. While the government has indeed relied on some kind of intelligence technology to investigate and tackle crime, it hasn't engaged in espionage activity.

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