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Monday 27th of April 2009
April 28, 2005

Azteca TV alleges irregularities in CitiGroup deal


by Brian Turner
Azteca TV alleges irregularities in CitiGroup deal

In Mexico, a TV network has produced a documentary alleging that the 2001 acquisition of the bank Grupo Financiero Banamex by Citigroup was beset by financial irregularities and government wrongdoing.

Now TV Azteca, Mexico’s second largest broadcaster, is accusing the country’s finance minister of trying to prevent the program from airing by threatening action against TV Azteca for violation of securities laws.

TV Azteca’s head of news and public affairs, Jorge Mendoza, was allegedly called to the finance minister’s office on Tuesday and given a written demand to refrain from airing the program; if it did not comply, he was told, the attorney general would be asked to take action against the broadcaster.

The documentary aired Tuesday night. Banamex has called the charges made by the documentary “false and baseless.” Wednesday, TV Azteca’s news anchor accused the finance minister of attacking freedom of speech. TV Azteca has filed formal charges in the dispute.

Meanwhile, the owner of TV Azteca, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, is already investigation in Mexico over alleged wrongdoing in relation to his mobile phone company, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has already brought charges against him in that case.

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