This past week Mexico became one of the latest countries to learn the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) allegedly spied on the Latin American country’s top elected officials. The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel claims they have obtained classified documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that show the agency intercepted former Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s emails when he was still in office.
The NSA hacked in to a key mail server that was also used by cabinet members and contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability," according to the documents obtained by Spiegel.
Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, says his country is calling for an investigation.
“We have protested in a very strong manner and when [current Mexican President Enrique Peña] and President Obama talked about this they agreed that this was going to be the subject of an investigation and review,” Mora said in an interview on Fusion’s “Open Source with Leon Krauze.”
“Among friends and neighbors and partners this is totally unacceptable but as I said if true this would mean a major breakdown but we will wait until the investigation and review is completed,” Mora went on to say. Mora worked closely with Calderon when he served as Attorney-General from December 2006 to September 2009.
Previously Snowden released documents that alleged the U.S. also intercepted communications from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As a result Rouseff postponed a trip to the U.S. when she learned of the allegations. And German secret service officials are reportedly preparing to travel to Washington to seek explanations of the alleged surveillance on its chancellor.
When asked why Mexico’s response wasn’t as forceful, Mora said he hopes the matter is resolved through diplomatic channels.
“We have said if true this surveillance on private communications of Mexican officials and government is totally unacceptable and illegitimate so we think and hope this will be processed in a correct fashion through diplomatic channels,” Mora went on to say.
Former Mexican President Calderon, had harsher words for the Obama administration.
A day after Germany's Der Spiegel magazine published the NSA surveillance allegations the former president took to Twitter.
"More than personal, it is an assault on the institutions of the country, given that it was done when I was the president," Calderon tweeted in Spanish. "I will be following the steps the Foreign Ministry takes to demand explanations from the United States and the corresponding account of responsibility."
Spiegel contacted the NSA for comment on their report and they provided the following statement:
“We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. As the President said in his speech at the UN General Assembly, we've begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”
Watch the full interview with Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora on “Open Source with Leon Krauze” on Monday night at 10 p.m. on Fusion.