Televisa denies its trucks were involved in money laundering scandal in Nicaragua

Televisa categorically denied in a press release that six seized trucks bearing the Mexican television network's logo and used to transport $9.2 million in an alleged money laundering case in Nicaragua were registered in the company's name.

Televisa released the statement after the magazine Proceso reported that the vehicles' registration used documents from the broadcaster like telephone bills, statement of assessed value, property tax payments and power of attorney for vehicle transactions. Radio and television reporter Carmen Aristegui revealed that the six trucks' license plates were filed with Televisa's name and address at the Secretary of Transportation and Roads in the capital, Mexico City.

In the statement, the largest Spanish-language television network explained that a copy of the power of attorney for vehicle transactions was illegally used by Raquel Alatorre, one of the 18 criminals impersonating journalists when arrested by Nicaraguan authorities on Aug. 24 for alleged money laundering.

Since the beginning of the scandal, Televisa has denied that the suspects were its employees. However, the Mexican Foreign Ministry did not conduct an independent investigation into whether or not the suspects worked for the television network, according to the website La Quinta Columna.

Televisa newscasts broadcasted statements from the Mexican ambassador to Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan prosecutor to disassociate itself from the suspects but both officias were quoted using information provided by the television network, reported La Quinta Columna. On Thursday, Sept. 20, Televisa television host Joaquín López Dóriga interviewed Mexican prosecutor Marisela Morales who rejected a connection between the case and the network despite the on-going investigation and pending trial of the suspects in Nicaragua, according to Proceso.

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.