The Nobel Women’s Initiative has released a statement in response to the New York Times exposé revealing that spyware sold to the Mexican government – which was intended to monitor drug cartels, terrorists, and criminals – has been misused to monitor human rights defenders and other civil society actors. This software is able to infiltrate smartphones to monitor a person’s cyber life, turning an individual’s cell phone into a direct surveillance tool.
Some of the targets of this spyware include lawyers and activists that work with Centro Prodh. Centro Prodh is a Mexican organization that seeks to promote and defend human rights. The Nobel Women’s Initiative has worked with Centro Prodh, seeking justice for the survivors in Atenco (2006) and the missing students from Ayotzinapa (2014). The Nobel Women’s Initiative will continue to work with Centro Prodh, and its allies, to defend Mexican activists and journalists against the gross human rights abuses perpetrated by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative calls on the Mexican government and President Peña Nieto to immediately end all cyber and other surveillance of activists, journalists, and lawyers.