Ex-cop and suspected drug trafficker accuses Mexican journalist of asking for money from organized crime

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  • December 2, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Alleged statements by a drug trafficking suspect who was captured in September and is now under witness protection in Mexico has led to a heated back and forth between Proceso magazine and Televisa.

Sergio Villarreal (known as “El Grande”), suspected of connections to the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, accused Proceso journalist Ricardo Ravelo of asking for $50,000 to stop writing about him, Vanguardia reports.

Last week, a Proceso story on Villarreal – an ex federal police officer – said he used his political connections to arrange a meeting with President Felipe Calderón. On Dec. 1, in its nightly news show, Televisa denied that the meeting occurred and reported Villarreal’s accusations against Ravelo. In a later Televisa broadcast, commentators aired the accusations again and argued that the Proceso articles defamed public figures, LaCh.com explains.

In response, Proceso said the accusations were false and part of a smear campaign organized by the government “in alliance with Televisa.” Ravelo made similar statements, SDP reports.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.