A Scion of Mexico Fights Corruption, and Becomes a Target

“I’m proud of my son and the work he is doing,” he responded.

Even in Mexico, where state pressure is often delivered with a heavy hand, a president openly attempting to silence a member of one of his most trusted constituencies was seen as exceptional, according to the people who recounted the exchange. The president’s office denied the rebuke, saying Mr. Peña Nieto had offered a more general message to the crowd, encouraging it to focus as much on Mexico’s achievements as on the government’s shortcomings.

But the episode was only the latest in a string of attempts to silence Mr. González’s son and his work.

Those attempts include exhaustive government audits and the targeting of Mr. González’s son with advanced spying technology purchased by the Mexican government for the sole purpose of investigating terrorists and organized crime.