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Change to Mexican law leaves critical journalists at risk of steep fines

Carmen Aristegui, a critical Mexican journalist who is facing defamation charges
Carmen Aristegui, a critical Mexican journalist who is facing defamation charges

REUTERS/Henry Romero

The following is an excerpt of a CPJ blog post by Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ Mexico Correspondent:

Sergio Aguayo, one of Mexico's most prominent political commentators, said he was taken by surprise when he heard he was being sued for "moral damages." The plaintiff, Humberto Moreira, is a former governor who faced allegations that he severely mishandled the state's finances, was involved in graft and corruption, and had ties to organized crime. He has always denied allegations against him, both when in office and after he resigned to become the president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

The focus of the case, which was filed on June 30, is a column that Aguayo wrote for the newspaper, Reforma, on January 20, in which he described Moreira as "a politician that released the stench of corruption." The column was published five days after Moreira's arrest in Madrid on suspicion of money laundering. The former governor denied the charge and was released by the Spanish authorities without charge, due to lack of evidence.

Read the full story on CPJ's blog.

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