Argentina’s Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) has called for an investigation into former Argentine president Mauricio Macri for allegedly spying on more than 400 journalists, a source said on Sunday.
Dozens of foreign journalists, including several representing Agence France-Presse, appeared on a list of people to be investigated in relation to the G20 and WTO summits held in Buenos Aires in the past few years.
“The complaint was lodged on Friday and tomorrow [Monday] all the evidence will be presented,” the official source said on condition of anonymity.
About 100 academics, businesspeople and prominent figures from civil society also appeared on the list.
The documents relating to the case were found in three dossiers labeled “2017,” “G20 Journalists” and “Miscellaneous,” in a safe in the office of the AFI’s former director of counterintelligence.
Buenos Aires hosted the 11th WTO ministerial conference in 2017 and the 13th G20 summit a year later.
“The investigation into the journalists was straightforward. They dug up information from social media and that way built an ideological and political profile,” the source said.
The complaint was lodged by Cristina Caamano, who has been tasked by Argentine President Alberto Fernandez to carry out an audit of AFI as part of a reorganization process.
According to the complaint, the profile information included “political preferences, social media posts, sympathy for feminist groups, or political and/or cultural content among others.”
The comments included whether or not “they were critical of the current government” of Macri, who held office from 2015 until last year, or showed “affinity for Peronism” or if they “signed a petition for legalized abortion.”
Each profile was marked in either green, yellow or red, supposedly an indication aimed at assisting the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the accreditation processes for the events.
Caamano has asked for an investigation to be opened against former AFI director Gustavo Arribas and his deputy Silvina Majdalani, as well as Macri as the person “responsible for setting strategic guidelines and the objectives of national intelligence policy.”
The complaint states that the background checks on journalists were “neither ordered nor authorized by any magistrate.”
The foreign correspondents association hit out at Macri for the “inadmissible” investigations, while two Argentine press unions also blasted the former administration.
Macri is already under investigation for spying during his presidency on allies and opponents.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies