Pressure from student protests prompts Mexican TV stations to nationally broadcast presidential debate

Succumbing to pressure from the Mexican student movement “Yo Soy 132,”, or "I am 132," the president of the TV station Televisa, Emilio Azcárraga, agreed to nationally broadcast the next presidential debate, reported Noticias MVS. Then, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, president of the second largest TV station, TV Azteca, announced that it, too, would nationally televise the debate, according to El Informador.

On May 6, Televisa and TV Azteca refused to change their regular programming to be able to nationally broadcast the first presidential debate, which could only be seen on limited coverage TV channels, reported El Financiero. Because of this, college students protested to the Federal Electoral Institute, the Interior Ministry, and the Televisa headquarters in Mexico City to demand the national transmission of the debate that will take place on June 10. The electoral authority said that the national broadcast of a debate is not currently required by law, reported Televisa.

The students of the Yo Soy 132 movement said that access to the debate is necessary so that citizens can make informed voting decisions in the election that will take place on July 1.

On Tuesday, May 29, the members of this movement released a statement in which they stated their main objective of defending freedom of expression and the right to information in Mexico. They also demanded news media transparency during news coverage, as well as more competition for the Mexican TV duopoly.