Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mexico turns up heat on U.S. over PRISM surveillance

PRI senate leader calls for "collaboration, not spying"

Guadalajara -
Mexico's Permanent Congressional Committee (PCC) condemned the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program today, calling it a "violation of national sovereignty as well as a threat to the security of the Mexican people and their right to the protection and integrity of personal information."

The PCC is a multi-partisan commission which speaks for the senate and the house of deputies when the chambers are in recess, and has other constitutionally imposed duties.

The PCC urged Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto to demand a "prompt explanation" from the United States about NSA electronic snooping operations, and insisted on an "immediate end" to them.

Sen. Jorge Luis Preciado, leader of the center right National Action Party (PAN) delegation in the upper house, complained that the Peña Nieto administration's response to the PRISM revelations "has been weak from the beginning." Sen. Silvano Aureoles, leader of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), agreed, calling such surveillance programs a "recurrent tactic of U.S. administrations."

Both senate leaders said they were pleased with today's announcement from Mexico's foreign ministry, which "energetically condemns any deviation from international relations evidencing bi-lateral respect and based upon adherence to the rule of law and diplomatic norms."

It was the strongest statement yet by Mexico's PRI government on PRISM, which has generated intense controversy throughout Latin America since Edward Snowden solicited asylum 10 days ago.

Brazil and Colombia, both targets of the NSA operation, have also demanded an explanation from Washington. Brazilian newspaper says NSA intercepted millions of phone calls and emails. Their responses may have put pressure on Peña Nieto's government to do likewise.

Today Mexico's chancery said it had been in contact with U.S. authorities from the moment PRISM's existence was revealed by Snowden in early June. "We have demanded a full explanation through diplomatic channels, and we now attentively await the information requested for careful analysis."

Sen. Emilio Gamboa, floor leader of the center left Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which holds Mexico's presidency, said "friendship between Mexico and the United States will not be advanced by spying, but by collaborating (on security matters)."

Last week Mexico's foreign ministry issued a statement denouncing the forced grounding in Vienna of Bolivian president Evo Moarles as he returned to La Paz from a Moscow summit. Several European nations suspected Snowden was aboard the presidential jet. Mexico solidly backs Bolivia.

July 11 - U.S. carried out electronic spying in Mexico with help of American contractor - and maybe of Mexico
July 10 - Peña Nieto: American espionage "totally unacceptable"
July 7 - Edward Snowden: Washington's massive miscalculation

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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