Photo: Eastern District Court of NY / Courtesy
NEW YORK.- In addition to revealing millionaire bribes to the newspaper El Universal, Héctor Villarreal-Hernández, former Secretary of Finance in Coahuila, affirmed that Genaro García Luna offered the Pegasus spy system to politicians.
The former Secretary of Public Security of the government of Felipe Calderon invited former Governor Humberto Moreira to one of his offices in Mexico City, known as El Búnker, where Villarreal-Hernández also attended.
“He invited us to a high security and intelligence building to take a tour,” said the 18th witness and the sixth cooperator in the García Luna trial in the Eastern District Court of New York.
He added that the system would serve the states to make real time surveillancelocate a person almost immediately, make recordings, spy on cell phones.
Even during the tour, García Luna offered to demonstrate.
“They gave a person’s phone number and everything was displayed,” he said, referring to messages, photographs, etc.
“Did they buy the technology?” Assistant District Attorney Erin Reid asked. “No,” the witness replied.
Previously, Villarreal-Hernández had recounted the corruption strategy that allowed Moreira and his team to obtain at least $200 million dollars by collecting an irregular type of tax on public works in the state of Coahuila.
Even Moreira had created a kind of communication consultancy for politicians, which included contacts with the media and facilities for tours.
Villarreal Hernández said that Moreira and his team considered that acquiring the Pegasus system was riskysince it was a single company that managed it.
“The company was going to have the information,” even from the governor himself, but they were also concerned that the Ministry of Public Security would also listen to them.
It is not clear if the espionage system is the same as Sergio Villarreal Barragán, alias “El Grande”, revealed that García Luna recommended drug leaders, such as Arturo Beltrán Leyva.
“It was sold by an Israeli,” said “El Grande” in his statement, even saying that Beltrán Leyva had a card that vibrated if a person close to him had a microphone installed.
Villarreal Barragán affirmed that he came to the company’s offices on Insurgentes Avenue in the Mexican capital to pick up purchased equipment.
The witness spoke of that offer by García Luna about the espionage system, shortly before revealing that García Luna paid bribes to the newspaper El Universal to clean up his image after information that he had ties to drug traffickers.