Consorcio Oaxaca lawyer Yésica Sánchez Maya was targeted with Pegasus spyware

Published by Brent Patterson on

Yésica Sánchez Maya is a lawyer and human rights defender with Consorcio Oaxaca, an organization PBI-Mexico began accompanying in March 2016.

On July 29, PBI-Mexico tweeted: “The @espacioOSC points out that in #México, the acts of espionage revealed by #PegasusProject.”

The PBI-Mexico tweet then links to this statement from the Espacio OSC that highlights: “At least 109 human rights defenders and 25 journalists were infected by the Pegasus malware during the last six-year period.”

The Espacio OSC statement notes: “We stand in solidarity with the victims and their families, among whom is the member of the Management Team of Consorcio Oaxaca, Yesica Sánchez Maya, as well as the Director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, Abel Barrera and the lawyer Vidulfo Rosales, who are also part of the Espacio OSC, as well as the other defenders and journalists subject to attempts at espionage.” The Comité Cerezo has stated that it believes it was also a target of Pegasus.

PBI-Mexico has stated that Consorcio Oaxaca has made notable contributions in accompanying and organizing against gender-based violence in Oaxaca. It further highlights that in 2017, Consorcio Oaxaca launched the Femicidal Violence in Oaxaca website that documents gender-based violence cases in the state.

The Guardian has explained: “Pegasus is a malware [sold by the Israeli company NSO Group] that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.”

It adds: “The [Mexican] defence ministry was the first to acquire the spyware in 2011. Other Mexican agencies that bought and/or operated Pegasus include the attorney general’s office and the national security intelligence service (CISEN). Several state security forces are also believed to have access to the spyware.”

The Espacio OSC statement highlights: “There is an urgent need to clarify its illegal use and protect human rights defenders and journalists.”

The PBI-Mexico tweet.

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