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Mexican Media Scandal Hits Tumultuous Presidential Election

Report reveals history of secretive dealings between presidential frontrunner and predominant broadcaster

Common Dreams staff

Enrique Peña Nieto waves during a rally in Atlacomulco, Mexico. (Mario Vazquez/AFP)

On Wednesday, the Guardian/UK revealed new evidence showing a close relationship between Mexico's presidential frontrunner, Enrique Peña Nieto, and predominant broadcasting company Televisa, ahead of Sunday's presidential elections. According to the Guardian, a secret unit inside of Televisa was assigned to run a covert campaign for Nieto in 2009 among other pro-Nieto activities. The discovery supports accusations that Televisa has systematically promoted Nieto during this year's presidential race.

Nieto is running for PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), which held power in Mexico for 71 years, ending its reign in 2000.

A massive student movement broke out this year protesting both Nieto's candidacy and what students saw as biased news coverage in favor of Nieto. The movement labeled #YoSoy132, or 'I am 132', found widespread success through online sources such as YouTube.

The Guardian's report traces a cache of documents dating back to 2005 that expose Televisa's sale of favorable coverage to a number of politicians, including Peña Nieto.

Televisa denies the allegations.

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The Guardian/UK: Mexican media scandal: secretive Televisa unit promoted PRI candidate

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Members of the "Yosoy 132" (I Am #132) movement demand fair broadcasting and electoral coverage during 90,000 strong protest in Guadalajara city, Mexico on June 10, 2012.

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