Civil society suspends participation in Open Government Alliance work due to new cases of espionage



  • Given the revelations from #EjércitoEspía, civil society organizations have decided not to continue open government work in the federal order until illegal espionage is resolved and trust is restored .
  • It is essential that actions that reduce civic space and citizen participation cease.

Mexico City, October 25, 2022. On October 2, the organizations R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales, ARTICLE 19 México y Centroamérica and SocialTIC, in collaboration with Animal Político, Aristegui Noticias and Proceso, published the #EjercitoEspia investigation in which three new cases of espionage against human rights defenders and journalists in this administration.

Given these facts, the organizations that make up the Nucleus of Civil Society Organizations (NOSC) express our concern and our rejection of what has happened and we consider that there are no minimum conditions of trust. to co-create a fifth action plan under the Open Government Alliance (AGA).

These events demonstrate, as in 2017, the existence of illegal behaviors that seriously erode civic space and undermine trust in building a common agenda. Until solving illegal espionage in Mexico is taken seriously and forcefully, there will be no minimum conditions of trust to generate an open government context with which to co-create a next course of action. .

In addition, we announce that we will implement the Open Government Partnership institutional mechanisms such as the Rapid Response Policy, Deeming Dialogue Conditions Violated, and the values ​​and principles that govern the Alliance.

These facts are in addition to what happened under the previous administration. In 2017, it was revealed that different Mexican government offices were using the illegal surveillance of three prominent researchers and health advocates in Mexico, who were part of institutions that collaborated with civil society and the government as part of the Open Government Alliance. This case was called #GovernmentSpy. These actions led to the suspension of the Core of Civil Society Organizations (NOSC) participation in the Tripartite Technical Secretariat and the Open Government Partnership (AGA) Third Action Plan that year.

The reasons that led us to make this decision at that time were that the current administration had made a commitment not to carry out espionage actions against the civilian population, as well as the creation of a commitment in the fourth action plan in 2019, which aimed to put in place “From democratic controls to the intervention of private communications”. This commitment, three years after its creation, has not generated significant progress in the implementation of controls to avoid the repetition of interventions.

illegal, it has only been possible for the moment to establish a dynamic of dialogue with the authorities in charge of the matter. Moreover, when an executive response was requested for the new cases, the findings of the investigation were dismissed and the victims were delegitimized.

We reiterate the call for the recognition of the facts, the realization of diligent, independent and exhaustive investigations to clarify the interventions of illegal communications against the victims.

We emphasize that this decision will not stop the work of the core of civil society organizations to develop an open government program, whose main objective is to create the conditions necessary for open government in Mexico to develop in spaces of trust and participation, but above all that promotes collaboration between civil society and the government for the resolution of public problems.

However, we emphasize that an open government agenda cannot be built in a context of illegal surveillance and discrediting of civil society organizations, human rights defenders and journalists.

CORDIALLY

CORE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS OF THE ALLIANCE FOR OPEN GOVERNMENT IN MEXICO

Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America; Natural cause, CA; EQUIS Justice for Women; Fundar, Center for Analysis and Research; GESOC, AC Development Agency; Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, AC; Mexico rates; Citizen Observatory of Security, Justice and Legality, AC; NGO Citizen Monitor for Accountability; AC SocialTIC; Mexican transparency.

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