March 16, 2015 / 6:10 AM / 5 years ago

Mexico's MVS fires leading journalist who exposed presidential scandal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - One of Mexico’s most prominent journalists, whose team revealed a conflict-of-interest scandal ensnaring President Enrique Pena Nieto last year, has been fired, her employer MVS Radio said on Sunday.

Journalist Carmen Aristegui attends the presentation of a book at a hotel in Leon in this March 24, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo/Files

Late last year, reporter Carmen Aristegui exposed that Pena Nieto’s wife, Angelica Rivera, was in the process of acquiring a luxury house from a government contractor that won millions of dollars in state business.

It later emerged that both Pena Nieto and his finance minister had also purchased houses from government contractors.

The revelations damaged Pena Nieto’s reputation, compounding a deep political crisis triggered by his government’s handling of a probe into the disappearance and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers in September.

Last week, MVS Radio and Aristegui publicly locked horns over a brand-new platform for investigative journalism called Mexicoleaks.

The company contended that Aristegui and her team offered MVS’s name and funding for Mexicoleaks without authorization.

MVS subsequently fired two of her star investigative reporters due to “loss of confidence”, prompting Aristegui to insist that reinstatement of her reporters was an “absolute condition”.

“Instead of firing them, we should be giving them prizes,” Aristegui said on her morning radio show.

The events have inspired a torrent of Tweets supporting Aristegui under the hashtag #EndefensadeAristegui (in defense of Aristegui).

In its statement on Sunday, MVS Radio said “as a company, we can’t accept conditions and ultimatums from our collaborators.”

Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Additional reporting by Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Simon Gardner

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