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'Guardian' Publishes More Allegations Of Collusion In Mexican Presidential Race

Student protesters stage a demonstration front of Mexico's Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in Mexico City.
John Moore
Getty Images
Student protesters stage a demonstration front of Mexico's Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Two big pieces of news in Mexico's presidential race today:

-- A new poll finds that the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto has maintained a big lead over his rivals Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota. The election is this Sunday and a few polls before this one showed Obrador had narrowed the gap.

The big picture here is that PRI has not been in power since 2000, when it was ousted after 71 years of controlling the country. Peña Nieto has always been the favorite but back in May he was booed by a group of university students. His party claimed the hecklers were paid activists and that launched a popular online movement that's come to be known as the #Yosoy132 (#Iam132). It's been referred to as some as the Mexican Spring in reference to the Arab uprisings.

-- The other news is that British paper The Guardian published a second report that alleges collusion between Peña Nieto and Televisa, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the world.

The Guardian, which bases its report on leaked internal documents, says the broadcaster made videos intended to be spread on the Internet that lauded Peña Nieto and disparaged his opponents. Earlier this month, The Guardian uncovered documents that said Peña Nieto's party paid the broadcaster millions for favorable coverage "in its flagship news and entertainment shows and used the same programs to smear a popular left wing leader..."

Televisa, by the way, has been one of those the #Yosoy132 movement has targeted.

Televisa has vehemently denied the charges.

Reuters has a bit more on the poll:

"Most polls show Peña Nieto, a 45-year-old ex-governor from Mexico's most populous state, with a double-digit lead over his rivals.

"But the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who narrowly lost the last election in 2006 to President Felipe Calderon, says the surveys are biased against him."

NPR's Carrie Kahn filed a profile of Peña Nieto for All Things Considered today.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.