Mérida, Yucatán, (July 21, 2021).- In June 2017 the federal government faced a scandal for alleged espionage through the Israeli Pegasus system, against journalists such as Carmen Aristegui and Carlos Loret de Mola, as well as citizen activists.
Although the Government of Yucatán denied it at the time, according to local media, presumably the administration of the PRI Rolando Zapata Bello (2012-2018) had used a type of software known as Galileo, a system acquired from the Italian company Hacking Team, which is supposedly used for purposes of espionage to individuals, politicians and to attack the media and journalists.
It is known that Galileo is capable of tapping into telephone conversations, such as the one leaked in those days by Jesús Pérez Ballote, president of the PAN municipal committee in Mérida, who was involved in fabricated allegations of the acid damage scandal in the streets of Mérida.
Bunker at Gonzalo Guerrero
When it became known that the government of Yucatán was a client of the Hacking Team company, it was published that its Galileo operations center was in property number 339 on Calle 6 (between 3-A and 3-B) in Merida’s Gonzalo Guerrero neighborhood.
According to a press release issued in July 2015, Galileo is capable of intercepting emails and electronic files, as well as remotely activating cameras and microphones to observe people and activities and listen to private conversations.
When this happens, intimacy disappears and broad social sectors remain under the comprehensive social control of a minority.
Espionage of individuals and against newspapers
This spying equipment is so sophisticated that the Italian company itself presents it as “a stealth investigative device, aimed at government law enforcement agents (through) aggressive security technology, spyware, a Trojan horse, a surveillance tool, an attack tool, a terminal control tool. In other words, it is a computer control tool ”.
Sold to spy on criminals
Located in Milan, the company “Hacking Team” proposes its product “to law enforcement corporations” and promotes it as a “proactive defense solution”. It also has offices in Annapolis, Maryland (United States), and Singapore.
Hacking Team ”claims that it does not sell its software to countries that violate human rights and that its products are used in 30 countries on five continents.
At the time, three revealing documents were released on the acquisition of Galileo:
-The first shows the order form with folio 021.2014, in which Elite By Carga S.A. de C.V., an intermediary company, buys the “Galileo” system from Hacking Team for an amount of 396,109 euros.
-In the second it appears that this order, with folio 021.2014, was sent by the Hacking Team company to Yucatán.
-The third reveals that the Government of the State of Yucatán was on the list of the Italian company as an active client and with a scheduled date to receive system maintenance on October 11, 2015.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom