In the electoral campaign for the State of Mexico, Alfredo del, the PRI candidate, published an unfortunate spot. With headphones on his ears and hidden in a Gesell camera, he spied on the citizens to know what they thought of him and his party. Today we know that this was not just a terrible marketing error by the PRI.
Mexico has become synonymous with violence against the press. But the body of a reporter killed in a pool of blood is not the only way to illustrate the danger that journalists in this country run. This morning a group of informants and human rights defenders has denounced a systematic surveillance operation orchestrated by the administration of Enrique Pena Nieto.
To what kind of democracy does a schizophrenic government aspire that one day condemns violence against communicators and the other spies on them to find out their secrets?
The investigation, carried out by The New York Times and integrated into the report Government spy of the Network in Defense of Digital Rights, documents 88 cases in which it was attempted to infect mobile phones with malware. It is naive to think that only critical journalists are subject to espionage.
It shows that the son of Carmen Aristegui herself, a minor, has also been the object of attempts to infect this software to steal personal information. This may be only the tip of the iceberg. The school of political espionage created by the PRI in the 50s and perfected by this same regime in the 70s works under a single principle: there is no information about it.
That tradition of dirty play has made the Secretary of the Interior, who controls the intelligence apparatus, a natural candidate in the presidential relay. The information to which the Minister of the Interior has access makes him a solid candidate in a campaign.
This is the case of Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who is considered one of the strong men of the PRI heading to the president next year. Today, the Mexican secretary and government must clarify, explain and convince public opinion of the role they played or not in this scandal.
In 2006 showed the Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, spied on citizens seeking illicit or treason against communism. The secrets of the citizens have value for the rulers. What has been announced this morning in Mexico is not the product of any fiction and would have to be inadmissible in a full democracy of the 21st century. A democracy that can not exist without a free press that demands the power, any kind of power, to render accounts.