The close relationship between media and politics in Mexico played a fundamental roll on Peña Nieto’s victory on the recent Presidential election. Televisa, Mexico’s biggest media outlet, has provided bias information on favour of Peña Nieto, the PRI Presidential candidate, for years. This time line shows some of the main known facts about the Peña Nieto- Televisa relationship.
“2005 Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI, still a little-known politician, is elected governor of the State of Mexico. The Mexican magazine Proceso publishes a copy of a budget proposal and promotional deal allegedly designed to raise his national profile through extensive advertising and new coverage.
2006 Felipe Calderón of the PAN wins the presidential election by a tiny margin over left wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador who claims he was cheated of victory by fraud and dirty media tricks. The PRI’s candidate, Roberto Madrazo, comes in a poor third.
2009 The PRI does very well in midterm congressional elections. The party’s resounding victory in the State of Mexico consolidates Peña Nieto as an early presidential front runner. Extensive coverage of him onTelevisa fuels allegations of media bias.
2011 Peña Nieto becomes the PRI presidential candidate with polls showing him far in front. López Obrador secures his second presidential candidacy but is far behind. The PAN does not choose its candidate, Josefina Vázquez Mota, until the following February.
11 May 2012 Students at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City protest against Televisa’s alleged support for Peña Nieto’s presidential campaign during a visit to the campus. The protest becomes a movement, Yosoy132, which campaigns against media bias in the election.
7 June 2012 The Guardian publishes a report based on a large cache of documents dating from 2005 that appears to show Televisa sold favourable coverage to many politicians, including Peña Nieto. The computer files also contain evidence of a smear campaign against López Obrador (below).
8 June 2012 The Guardian’s report causes online furore and is picked up by the leftwing press, but is largely ignored by mainstream. Televisa and Peña Nieto deny the allegations. Televisa questions the authenticity of the document and demands an apology.
8 June 2012 The Guardian reveals that the Wikileaks cables indicate that US State Department officials were discussing Televisa’s assumed support of Peña Nieto as early as 2009.
26 June 2012 The Guardian reveals that a new cache of documents and sources indicate that a secretive unit inside Televisa codenamed “Handcock” spearheaded an internet campaign to support Peña Nieto in a 2009 election which paved the way for the presidential candidacy. Peña Nieto’s campaign denies any knowledge of the unit or the campaign in his favour. Televisa refuses to comment on the new allegations and renews its demand for an apology over the original story.”
By Rory Carroll for The Guardian
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