Center Prodh

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center

The possible espionage of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts confirms the need for an Independent Panel in the investigation

  • Espionage against the GIEI is especially grave as Mexico promised to grant them diplomatic immunity.


Mexico City, July 10, 2017. Today a report by Citizen Lab was made public through The New York Times, which confirmed that the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) named by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to provide technical assistance in the Ayotzinapa case was the target of an attack of Pegasus spyware. In light of these revelations, the organizations that developed and supported the report #GobiernoEspía express the following:


  1. The verification of new espionage attempts confirms that the use of Pegasus formed part of a broad operation of illegal espionage that should be investigated. Not only were journalists, human rights defenders, and anticorruption activists spied on, but also we now know that political party leaders and even members of an international mechanism providing technical assistance were also targeted.


  1. The case of the GIEI, confirmed by Citizen Lab, is especially grave considering that Mexico itself invited the group to come to the country and provide international assistance in the Ayotzinapa case, through an agreement that assured them diplomatic immunity as a group formally designated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)[1]. Thus, the espionage against them has serious implications, and reinforces the need for an international panel to supervise the investigation, as members of the IACHR themselves have indicated.


  1. The severity of this revelation corroborates the relevance of the two basic requests we have made: first, to create additional and extraordinary mechanisms to ensure independence in the investigation, like the intervention of an Independent Panel of Experts, that includes the participation of international human rights mechanisms. Second, the government agencies that could have acquired the spyware Pegasus from NSO or similar vendors of spyware services should reveal, as soon as possible, all the contracts and other documents related to the purchasing of the Pegasus technology.


Those of us who have reported this crime have shown our complete willingness to collaborate with the investigation; however, without these basic requirements, there is no guarantee that the conditions necessary for a serious investigation of the espionage will be exist.


[1] Cfr. Addendum of November 12, 2014 of the Framework Agreement for the Incorporation of Technical Assistance, second clause: […] the State will guarantee the privileges and immunities necessary for the Interdisciplinary Group of Experts to perform their functions in line with applicable international law […]. See:

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