Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, who was recently fired by MVS Radio after a conflict emerged following an expose involving President Enrique Peña Nieto and his wife aired by her team, said her former employer tried to persuade her not to release the story.
Last year, Aristegui and her team revealed that Peña Nieto's wife, former Actress Angelica Rivero, purchased a luxurious house owned by a major government contractor, Grupo Higa, which obtained massive contracts under Peña Nieto’s watch as governor, and then again as president. That revelation, dubbed “the white house scandal,” prompted accusations of corruption for the beleaguered Mexican president and his administration.
Subsequent reports revealed that the country’s Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, also bought a holiday home from Grupo Higa.
In an interview with the magazine Proceso, Aristegui said that there was a request for her to not put out the story on MVS, where Aristegui hosted a four-hour news radio show – the most listened to in Mexico. The famed journalist also added that the story led to a “tense and complex situation” between both parties. “Not in an imposing or imperative tone, more an attempt for me to 'show understanding,’” she said.
Meanwhile, MVS released a statement Sunday saying that Aristegui's accusations are false, the communications company fired the acclaimed journalist last week after rejecting what they called an “ultimatum” given by Aristegui.
The journalist was demanding the rehiring of two of her colleagues who were accused of using the name of Noticias MVS when announcing the launch of the website Mexicoleaks, a new experiment in free speech created by independent media organizations in order to share information to denounce and investigate official corruption.
Aristegui has invited the Vargas family, who owns MVS Communications, to sit down with her Monday to discuss this situation and has offered to continue working with them in order to keep doing journalism and to keep serving Mexican society.
The journalist has also said that her dismissal could only have come with Peña Nieto's blessing.