The Guardian reveals Mexican TV station's information manipulation to favor presidential candidate

The British newspaper The Guardian said it had documents that proved that a Mexican presidential candidate bought favorable coverage on the most important TV station in the country, Televisa.

This newspaper said that it has dozens of documents in its power proving that Televisa manipulated information to favor the current PRI presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto. According to The Guardian, the documents include a price list from Televisa to boost the image of Peña Nieto during his period as governor of the State of Mexico, as well as attack the leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was mayor of Mexico City and a presidential candidate in 2006.

The newspaper acknowledged that it wasn't possible to determine the authenticity of the documents that were handed in by a former employee of Televisa, but the names, dates, and mentioned events coincide with the events that happened, reported La Jornada.

On the other hand, the candidate discredited the journalistic work of the most respected newspaper of the United Kingdom, saying that the information was old and already used by the opposing party, Democratic Revolutionary Party, reported Sin Embargo.

In May, the Mexican newspaper Reforma disclosed receipts that proved alleged payments made to journalists by the politician from the party that governed Mexico for 71 years, PRI. These payments included the famous Televisa news anchor, Joaquín López Dóriga. The radio station Radio Fórmula and the candidate said that the payments were sponsorships that preceded the journalistic commentaries.

According to the British newspaper, one of the documents it holds is a PowerPoint presentation that explicitly mentions the goal of guaranteeing López Obrador's loss in the 2006 presidential elections. The newspaper also said that the majority of the documents were filed under the name Yéssica de Lamadrid, who worked in a company affiliated with Televisa and was Enrique Peña Nieto's lover, reported the news site Animal Político.

After The Guardian's publication, Grupo Televisa sent a letter in which it emphatically denied that the documents were authentic.

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.