Uruguayan journalist says his cell phone was intercepted after reporting on military

An Uruguayan journalist said his cell phone was intercepted, as he noted that his contacts had been receiving calls from unknown persons coming from his phone number, reported the digital newspaper El Espectador on Sunday, March 31.

Javier Bonilla said he believed the cell phone intervention stemmed from an article he wrote about the Uruguayan armed forces for the German magazine "Tecnologia Militar" that the Defense Ministry said was "offensive," according to the site Clases de Periodismo. The journalist also had received phone calls from the president's office pressuring him to lay off the criticisms.

After the story was published, the Defense Ministry sent a letter to the editor of the German magazine demanding to know the name of the article's author in order to sue him, reported the Uruguayan weekly Búsqueda.

Bonilla explained to his telephone company that he did not use his cell phone to make the calls that his contacts said they received. The company responded that the cell phone could have been intercepted, but the company did not have the necessary equipment to investigate, according to El Espectador.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.