Mexican court acquits five journalists sued for moral damages by former judge

The Mexican Supreme Court acquitted five journalists accused of defaming a judge after reporting about construction irregularities at the new headquarters of the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice, reported the magazine Zócalo.

The decision revokes the 2010 sentence against journalists Eduardo Rey Huchim May, Rubén Lara Léon, and three others of the magazine Emeequis and the newspaper Rumbo de México, who were convicting of damaging the honor of the former president of the federal court, María del Consuelo Villalobos Ortiz.

Villalobos demanded compensation of more than $460,000, challenging the Law of Civil Responsibility for the Protection of the Right to Private Life, Honor, and Self Image in Mexico City that, in her opinion, creates a special privilege for journalists, reported the news agency Reforma.

This ruling is the fourth case in which the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of freedom of expression, which means that "with one more case of this kind, ... a thesis of jurisprudence could be integrated about lawsuits of this type," reported the Program of Freedom of Expression of the Center of Journalism and Public Ethics.

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.