Monday, April 2, 2012

Phones & Polls - Time for the Mexican Tap Dance

The frequency in Mexico of wiretapping politicians' telephones and leaking what's said would make even a British tabloid editor envious. The compressed, three-month presidential campaign leading to July 1 doesn't kick off till Friday, yet already a wiretap scandal is unfolding.

Political commentator Raymundo Riva Palacio calls the drumbeat of leaked wiretaps a "perverse factor in Mexican politics."

In the latest case, the ruling party's candidate, allegedly speaking to an aide on the phone, mocks two top functionaries in her party, among them President Felipe Calderon's highly influential security chief, for her suspicion that they listen in on calls.

In this instance, as in nearly every case of apparent illegal eavesdropping, politicians have greeted the leak with condemnations and demands for a criminal probe. But no successful prosecutions for illegal wiretapping have occurred in recent years. (more)