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Mexico Metropolis prosecutors accused of asking for cellphone information of distinguished politicians

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MEXICO CITY — An opposition candidate for the mayorship of Mexico Metropolis accused town prosecutor’s workplace of getting filed a request for his cellphone information and people of different distinguished politicians Thursday.

The allegation is the newest suggestion that metropolis prosecutors have abused their energy for political ends. The prosecutors workplace “categorically denied” the accusations Thursday.

Town is ruled by the Morena occasion of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who pledged to finish political espionage in Mexico however apparently has not finished so.

The case, first reported by The New York Instances, entails Santiago Taboada, the borough chief of a rich a part of town. Taboada plans to run for mayor in 2024.

He mentioned the cellphone document request constituted “political persecution.”

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“Now greater than ever, the political persecution I’ve been topic to for months has been uncovered,” Taboada wrote in his social media accounts.

Metropolis prosecutors allegedly requested a personal cellphone firm to show over cellphone and textual content information for Taboada and over a dozen different politicians as a part of supposed investigations. The phone firm didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon whether or not it did so.

Prosecutors’ spokesman Ulises Lara mentioned Thursday “this workplace doesn’t spy on political figures,” however he didn’t deny the existence of paperwork that Taboada says have been uncovered in a lawsuit.

As an alternative, Lara mentioned the requests had been “falsified” and that the case had been referred for investigation to Mexico’s equal of an inner affairs workplace — suggesting that somebody contained in the prosecutors workplace or another authorities worker had certainly truly filed the cellphone document requests.

In Mexico, prosecutors could make pressing requests for cellphone information in {cases} of emergency, however should finally get a court docket order. There is no such thing as a proof that was finished, and Lara mentioned there are not any open felony {cases} or investigations of these whose information have been sought.

The problem is a delicate one for López Obrador, who himself was subjected to authorities surveillance within the Nineteen Seventies and 80s.

Whereas he claims the federal government now not does home spying, in April, press freedom teams mentioned the federal government apparently continued to make use of Pegasus spyware and adware to contaminate telephones of human rights activists as lately as late 2022.

It might not be the primary time metropolis prosecutors have appeared to make use of the regulation for political ends.

In August, metropolis prosecutors took the intense and strange step of getting marines to accompany them throughout state traces and arrest Uriel Carmona, the legal professional basic of the neighboring state of Morelos, and spirit him again to the capital.

Courts later dominated Carmona’s arrest was improper and ordered him freed. Prosecutors in Mexico are allowed to behave solely withing their states, until they get permission from one other state.

Mexico Metropolis prosecutors mentioned Carmona was arrested on expenses of obstructing the investigation into the 2022 killing of a Mexico Metropolis lady whose physique was discovered dumped simply over the state line in Morelos.

However Carmona says he’s the sufferer of a political conspiracy involving former soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco, the governor of Morelos state. Carmona mentioned López Obrador ordered his arrest as a result of his workplace was investigating Blanco’s alleged ties to drug traffickers.

Blanco, a political ally of López Obrador, has denied any hyperlinks to drug traffickers after a 3-year-old picture surfaced displaying him posing with three males recognized as native drug gang leaders.

Earlier this yr, metropolis prosecutors arrested an opposition-party metropolis council member on expenses of corruption. However metropolis prosecutors have did not jail or convict anybody for the Might 2021 collapse of an elevated part of a metropolis subway line that killed 26 folks and injured almost 100.

That case was embarrassing as a result of each the earlier mayor who constructed the subway line, and former mayor Claudia Sheinbaum — whose administration apparently did not detect the issue or correctly preserve the tracks — belong to the president’s Morena occasion. Sheinbaum is now the occasion’s 2024 presidential candidate.

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