Mexico City, February 14, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes a ruling yesterday by the Mexican Supreme Court declaring that the firing of journalist Carmen Aristegui from her morning radio show on broadcaster MVS Noticias in 2015 was illegal. The verdict was first reported on Aristegui’s news website, AristeguiNoticias.
The ruling confirmed a June 2018 verdict from a lower court that determined that Aristegui and her team had not breached contract and were illegally and improperly fired, and signals the end of one of several protracted legal battles between Aristegui and her former employer, according to AristeguiNoticias. The case was widely considered to have been an attempt to censor one of Mexico’s most critical and independent reporters, according to The New York Times.
“In a country with a long history of government pressure and censorship of critical reporters and media outlets, yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of Carmen Aristegui is a welcome victory for press freedom in Mexico,” said CPJ Mexico Representative Jan-Albert Hootsen.
Aristegui, one of Mexico’s most well-known and respected reporters, was fired from the radio show she hosted on MVS Noticias on March 15, 2015, after MVS alleged she had committed a breach of contract, CPJ reported at the time. Fellow journalists and press freedom advocates, however, expressed concern the government of then President Enrique Peña Nieto, who left office on December 1 of last year, pressured MVS to force her out, according to news reports. Several months earlier, Aristegui’s team had revealed a possible conflict of interest involving the president, his then wife Angélica Rivera, and a government contractor over the purchase of a multi-million dollar mansion in Mexico City, CPJ reported at the time; MVS and Peña Nieto denied those allegations.