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Journalist in Baja California Sur was the target of spying


Alejandro Patron is one of the best known news reporters in Baja California Sur, covering street events. For this reason he is known as "El Reportero Urbano" (The Urban Reporter).


His coverage of violent events has made him grow in followers on Facebook, where he reached up to almost 300 thousand at the times when the cities of La Paz and Los Cabos witnessed clashes and settling of scores between criminals in 2017.


In October 2017, his nephew was kidnapped and killed. He did not dare investigate the murder nor the potential link to his reporting. Several months later, his Facebook page, followed at that point by 280 000 people, was deleted.


Today, Patrón publishes videos on a new Facebook page. He is forced to wear a bulletproof vest when he goes out to report.


Now society identifies him very well. It gives coverage to complaints and social problems and also the facts of violence. There is a concern with Alejandro Patron from "Forbidden Stories", a journalistic organization based in France.


Alejandro Patron was selected for surveillance with the Pegasus spyware in 2016. Forbidden Stories was unable to analyze the phone to confirm the infection.


Mexican authorities did not answer Forbidden Stories’ questions on the surveillance of journalists. NSO Group did not answer Forbidden Stories’ questions on specific targets but said it “will continue to investigate all credible claims of misuse and take appropriate action based on the results of these investigations.”


THE JOURNALISM IN MEXICO TODAY

A recent report by Article 19, a freedom of expression pressure advocacy group, suggests President López Obrador faces a huge task.


According to the report, 99% of attacks against journalists have gone unpunished and state actors were "directly or indirectly" involved in at least half of the cases documented in 2017.


The director of Article 19 for Mexico and Central America, Ana Cristina Ruelas, thinks that so far the actions Amlo's government has taken are merely "symbolic".

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