Monday, September 2, 2013

Guardian journalist: U.S. spied on Enrique Peña Nieto before he was elected

It's not nice to read the president's private communications

Guadalajara -
On the same day president Enrique Peña Nieto delivered his first state of the nation address to Mexico, the American journalist who revealed details of the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM electronic surveillance program three months ago reported that Peña Nieto was a target of NSA spying before he was elected July 1, 2012.

Peña Nieto's email account was tapped into and some communications were read, according to a story published today in Brazil and being carried at this hour by Spanish press sources in Mexico.

Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who fled to Moscow and was eventually granted one year asylum by Russia, was the primary source for Glenn Greenwald, a U.S.-trained attorney turned journalist who writes for The Guardian, a British newspaper. Snowden allegedly furnished Greenwald with thousands of documents detailing the NSA operation, which was authorized pursuant to secret search warrants issued by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Greenwald lives in and writes from Rio de Janeiro.

Greenwald told the Brazilian media source O Globo that he has documents from June 2012 proving his allegations. Enrique Peña Nieto won the four way presidential contest on July 1.

On July 8 O Globo reported that NSA had intercepted millions of phone calls and emails within Brazil over a period of years. That story angered officials in Brasilia, who have demanded an explanation.

Three days later, the Mexican press reported that NSA or other U.S. agencies have been carrying out electronic spying in Mexico at least since 2007, with the help of American and local contractors - and possibly with the full knowledge of Mexico. Their stories suggested that former National Action Party president Felipe Calderón may have authorized such as part of the 2007 Mérida Initiative.

As the PRISM controversy simmered in Latin America and elsewhere, president Peña Nieto called American espionage "totally unacceptable." Now it appears that he may have been a personal target of the program. Some in Washington remain suspicious that he is not fully committed to Mexico's 81 month old drug war, in which the U.S. has invested over a billion and a half dollars during the last six years. Sen. Patrick Leahy blocks $95M in Mérida Initiative funds.

Peña Nieto's government, busy with today's official report to the nation, has not yet responded to Greenwald's accusations. Peña Nieto delivers his first state of the union address.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the story.

According to Greenwald, the NSA worked with Brazilian telecommunications providers to intercept electronic data in that country. There are similar suspicions about NSA's spying program in Mexico.

Greenwald's stories about PRISM first appeared in The Guardian in May. By the end of the month he had identified Edward Snowden as his source, at Snowden's request.

In June 2012, The Guardian reported that president Peña Nieto's campaign team had been paying Mexican media giant Televisa for years in return for favorable political coverage. The articles, written by another reporter, alleged that the payoffs began when Peña Nieto was still governor of the State of Mexico. His presidential campaign, as well as Televisa, denounced the reports and called them lies. Those stories are below.

Sept. 2 - Mexico roars back over U.S. spying on Peña Nieto
Sept. 4 - Enrique Peña Nieto will speak directly to Barack Obama about NSA spying in Mexico
Oct. 21 - Der Spiegel: NSA broke into Mexican presidential email accounts for years
Oct. 21 - Desde 2010, Presidencia era espiada por EU

Edward Snowden - NSA PRISM program
July 7 - Edward Snowden: Washington's massive miscalculation
July 13 - A message from Moscow

Televisa - Peña Nieto 2012 presidential campaign
June 12 - U.S. diplomats troubled by Televisa-Peña Nieto links in 2009, charges The Guardian
June 8 - Televisa Responds to The Guardian
June 8 - U.K.'s The Guardian alleges Televisa-Peña Nieto deal

"Living in Mexico is like living next door to the biggest drug addict in town" - Felipe Calderón Hinojosa
"I know, Felipe, I know . . . and they even read our email, too."

© 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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