02/14/2011— Carmen Aristegui, one of Mexico’s most easily recognizable journalists, was fired after bringing up the subject of President Felipe Calderon’s supposed problem with alcohol. The question has been long time rumored and private speculation of Calderon’s problem even made lawmakers post a banner in Congress displaying the words, “Would you let a drunk drive your car? No, Right? So why would you let one drive your country?” Aristegui urged the President to address the rumor, during her radio show with the radio station MVS. Within a week of this statement airing, Aristegui was fired and she claims the Mexican government pressured the radio station for her head. She also states that MVS radio station’s license was up for a new renewal which played a factor in her release from the station. President Calderon’s personal secretary, Roberto Gil, has said that the President was in no way involved with Aristegui’s dismissal and defended the President’s state of health saying that his ” high rate of public appearances proved that he was healthy.”
After the controversy that was stirred with Aristegui’s dismissal, the question of just how much of a hand the Mexican government has in media censorship was brought up. Sergio Aguayo, a top Mexican political analyst, said that “government censorship of the media is still widely practiced,” and pointed out that now it is more subtle. It has also come up that journalists have started to censor themselves so that they will not have to deal with a call from the government telling them they have strayed too far out-of-bounds and deal the effects of this disobedience. The government also has the “power to award licenses to radio or TV stations which has become part of the string of power that presidents use, to give favors to those who work with them or to show their anger against journalists or politicians that are overly critical.”
Holman, John. “Mexican Media’s Balancing Act.” Aljazeera.com. February 13, 2011.