Engineer Arrested for Wiretapping Opponents of Former Mexico City Mayor

The administration of Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City from 2012 to 2018, is under intense scrutiny following the arrest of a seventh person believed to have enabled espionage and corruption through the use of electronic surveillance technology. Police working for the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México, FGJCDMX) arrested a computer engineer named as Jorge Manuel ‘N’ (pictured) on charges of belonging to a conspiracy to illegally wiretap phone calls and intercept messages and emails involving prominent political figures and journalists. N was previously employed by the Mayor’s administration. Capital México shared a short video of N’s arrest and transfer to prison which you can watch below.

Investigations into Mancera’s mayoral regime began soon after he left office. They have been dubbed the ‘Sterling’ case after the name of the street which housed the so-called ‘Executive Directorate for Strategic Studies’, a team that illegally gathered intelligence under the direction of Mancera and his right-hand man, Hector Serrano Cortes. The espionage technology used by the team allegedly included an Engage GI2 IMSI-catcher, as supplied by Verint. Mexican human rights association R3D reports that the Sterling team had obtained secret recordings of public figures including both political opponents and members of Mancera’s own administration. They also say the Sterling team was guilty of spamming mobile phone users and gathered intelligence to identify empty properties which were expropriated and later sold for profit.

Six other members of the alleged Sterling conspiracy have previously been arrested. They are:

  • Gustavo ‘N’, former General Coordinator of Policies in the Attorney General’s Office;
  • Arturo ‘N’, former Deputy Director of the Government Secretariat of Mexico City;
  • Nicolás ‘N’, former Head of Digital Evidence Collection for the Government Secretariat;
  • José Roberto ‘N’, former Intelligence Command of the Investigation Police;
  • Jesús ‘N’, a former member of the Investigation Police; and
  • Daniel Alejandro ‘N’, an employee of a mobile comms provider.
Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.