News / Americas

    Mexico Orders Investigation Into US Spying

    Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Mexican U.N. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 22, 2013.
    Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Mexican U.N. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 22, 2013.
    VOA News
    Mexico is investigating allegations that the United States spied on President Enrique Pena Nieto before his election and on his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
     
    Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says he ordered the investigation to see whether such spying took place and whether any Mexican officials were complicit.

    Speaking in Geneva, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade said U.S. President Barack Obama has promised Pena Nieto an investigation into Mexico's concerns as part of a broader examination of U.S. intelligence gathering.
     
    Meade said he will summon the U.S. ambassador "to stress firmly ... the probe promised by President Obama needs to be opened and broadened."
             
    The German weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency began snooping on Mexican officials' emails beginning in May 2010.
     
    Der Spiegel said the information came from a secret document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is living in Russia.
     
    Meade, who is in Geneva for the U.N. Human Rights Council's review of Mexico's human rights record, called such alleged spying "an abuse of trust,'' and said his government will insist that those who authorized it "be sanctioned appropriately.''
     
    Asked whether Mexico might curtail intelligence cooperation on counter-narcotics or counterterrorism because of the revelations, Meade said, "We will be awaiting for the response before deciding whether any additional action is warranted."
     
    Firestorm abroad

    The reports of NSA spying have started a firestorm abroad. In Paris, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius used a Tuesday meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to demand a full explanation of the latest reports in the French newspaper Le Monde about the NSA's spying program.
     
    Later, U.S. Intelligence Director James Clapper issued a statement saying the Le Monde reports "contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding U.S. foreign intelligence activities... The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million 'recordings of French citizens’ telephone data' is false."
     
    Clapper said the United States collects intelligence of the type gathered by all nations to protect itself, its interests and its allies from threats including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
     
    The White House said the United States is not conducting a specific investigation into claims related to Mexico, but rather is examining Mexico's concerns as part of a previously announced review into how the U.S. gathers intelligence.
     
    Obama mentioned the wide-ranging review last month at the U.N. General Assembly, in responding to concerns from other allies.  Officials say that review is aimed at ensuring a balance between security and privacy concerns.

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