Mexican apex court declines to hear radio station-scribe dispute

Mexico City, June 4 (IANS) Mexico’s Supreme Court has declined to hear a dispute between fired investigative journalist Carmen Aristegui and media conglomerate MVS Comunicaciones and instead sent the case back to a lower tribunal, sources with the country’s highest court told Spanish news agency Efe.

On May 28, the Supreme Court instructed a district court for administrative matters not to rule on a complaint filed by the news talk show host against her March 15 dismissal by MVS Radio, thereby allowing it time to determine whether or not it would take up the case.

That lower court had earlier approved Aristegui’s request for an injunction against her dismissal.

As part of that decision, the media group was ordered to hold talks with the journalist and pay Aristegui’s salary from the date in which it terminated her contract until a final decision is handed down in her wrongful dismissal lawsuit or her contract expires.

But when MVS rejected the proposals offered by the assigned mediator, Jose Woldenberg, Aristegui responded by trying to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Sources with the apex court, however, told Efe Wednesday that none of the justices decided to bring the case under its jurisdiction, and therefore it will be sent back to the lower court.

They said if the injunction was upheld, the case would proceed but if it was overturned on appeal the case would end with a legal victory for MVS.

MVS Radio fired its star reporter on March 15 in the wake of the dismissal a week earlier of two members of her investigative reporting team.

It said in a statement released that day that Aristegui was fired after she issued an ultimatum to rehire the two journalists, who had used MVS Radio’s logo, without permission, in connection with their participation in MexicoLeaks, an online platform that allows citizens to securely and anonymously upload documents related to officials’ corrupt practices.

Aristegui’s dismissal by MVS Radio — where she had worked for more than six years — came roughly four months after she revealed first lady Angelica Rivera’s purchase of a luxury home known as Casa Blanca (White House) from a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, which won several government contracts during Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2005-2011 tenure as governor of the central state of Mexico and has continued to do so since he assumed the presidency in 2012.

The report, published on November 9 on the journalist’s Aristegui Noticias portal and the following day on MVS Radio’s website, touched off a wave of criticism that prompted Rivera to announce the sale of her stake in the property, which she was in the process of acquiring, and Peña Nieto to fully disclose his assets.

In March, Aristegui, who also hosts a programme on CNN’s Spanish-language service, accused the news network of trying to suppress her report on the first lady’s luxury home purchase.

MVS fired back by saying that the journalist discussed the Casa Blanca story for hundreds of hours on her MVS radio show, adding that Aristegui also used MVS’s “technical, human and financial” resources in putting together the report.


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