Mexican court to review oil executives' libel case against magazine journalists

The Mexican Supreme Court will review an appeal from oil businessmen against journalists from the magazine Contralínea charged with libel, reported the news agency Notimex.

The businessmen claim they were insulted and had their honor and public image damaged by a report and a cartoon published about alleged irregularities in the bidding process for the state oil company, PEMEX, reported the newspaper El Universal.

The first court said that resolving the matter will give more weight to freedom of expression and information, and less to protection one's public image, according to the Mexican Editorial Organization.

The magazine claims that on four occasions, representatives from the business Grupo Zeta had broken into the publication's offices looking for tax and reporting documents, and that the magazine had also received threats.

Since 2009, journalists Miguel BadilloAna Lilia Pérez, Nancy Flores, and cartoonist David Manrique of the magazine Contralínea faced six civil and one criminal lawsuit from the businesses Zeta Gas, Oceanografía and Blue Marine, according to the website Eje Central. At the beginning of 2011, a judge fined the magazine and, a few months later, another court cleared the journalists of all charges. The plaintiffs, however, filed an appeal to the Supreme Court that will be decided on Jan. 18.