A row has flared in Mexico after a radio station fired a journalist, who said on air that President Calderon should respond to drinking allegations. Carmen Aristegui said the station was pressured by the presidency to make her apologise, which she refused to do. The president’s office denied any involvement in her sacking.
Officials have said rumours about Mr Calderon do not merit a response and his private secretary said that the president enjoyed good health.
The controversy began last week when a left-wing deputy unfurled a banner in Congress, alleging that Mr Calderon had alcohol problems. Ms Aristegui, who is a well-known radio and TV host, said the accusation was serious and warranted an official response from the presidency.
On Monday she was sacked by MVS Noticias, who said they were terminating her contract because she had violated their code of ethics by “broadcasting rumour as news” and had refused to apologise. The journalist hit back on Wednesday, telling a news conference that MVS Noticias, which is waiting to renew its broadcast licence, had come under official pressure to fire her.
“An act like this is only imaginable in a dictatorship that nobody wants for Mexico: punishing for opining or questioning rulers,” Ms Aristegui said, adding that she had nothing to apologise for.