04/09/12 – According to El Economista, Juan Marcos Gutiérrez, the spokesman for National Action Party’s (Partido de Acción Nacion, PAN) presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) regarding the allegation that Vázquez Mota’s phone had been wiretapped during a phone call with PAN Congressman Agustín Torres Ibarrola, who also happens to be head of Vázquez Mota’s social media campaign, among other phone calls. At the end of March, when the story broke, Torres and Gutiérrez were not denying that the conversation had occurred; rather, they were condemning those behind the wiretapping. Vázquez Mota has taken a similar stance, neither confirming or denying anything recorded during the call, including whether or not it was actually her voice on the other end, while simultaneously calling for an investigation into the wiretapping and possible editing of the released recording. In an article by Sexenio on March 26, Torres affirmed that they were not making any formal accusations because, according to him, that is what the public ministry was for–to investigate and find those responsible.
During Vázquez Mota’s alleged conversation with Torres, the two are heard joking about the possibility that they were indeed being wiretapped and listened in on by Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna and government spokeswoman Alejandra Sota. According to the Huffington Post, Torres was ” implying that political spying is more important to the government than catching Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, among the world’s most-wanted drug lords.” The content of the recording overheard included, “Since we are being recorded, let’s send a greeting to Alejandra Sota […] Let us both send a greeting to Alejandra Sota and Genaro Garcia Luna […] in case our call is published, they should publish our greetings.”
According to El Mundo de Cordoba, in a follow up interview with the presidential nominee, Vázquez Mota openly accused the PAN’s opposition, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI), of being behind the scandal. She mentioned that this was nothing more than the PRI attempting to divide the PAN before the upcoming national elections in July, adding that the effort had been in vain as there is nothing that can divide her party’s unity. She concluded by arguing that these were common practices of the PRI.
After Vázquez Mota’s statements against the PRI, Luis Videgaray, the campaign manager for PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, denied the accusations and argued that it is irresponsible for the PAN to make such claims without proof. According to Milenio, Peña Nieto was offended by the accusations and he condemned any sort of wiretapping. On March 29, the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR) said the case would be investigated and that they would do everything possible to figure out who is behind the recording and release, but that it would be complicated because it is not easy to find those with wiretapping capabilities.
“PAN presenta denuncia por intervención telefónica.” El Economista. March 26, 2012.
“Panistas denuncian espionaje telefónico ante PGR.” Sexenio. March 26, 2012.
“Presentan denuncia en la PGR por intervención telefónica a Josefina.” Milenio. March 26, 2012.
“Se denunciará espionaje a JVM ante PGR: Torres.” Sexenio. March 26, 2012.
“Acusa Josefina al PRI de espionaje.” El Mundo de Cordoba. March 28, 2012.
“Niega Videgaray responsabilidad del PRI en intervención telefónica.” Frontera. March 28, 2012.
“Se indagará ‘toda línea’ sobre el espionaje a Vázquez Mota.” Milenio. March 29, 2012.