Arturo Escobar

Right of Reply Law in Mexico: Against Citizens, in Favor of Media Moguls

A new law on the right of reply was adopted last month in Mexico after it had hibernated for eight years in the Congress. But hopes that this act would empower citizens were shattered as the “reply process” put forward by this law is likely to be lengthy, legally convoluted and fully under the control of powerful media corporations.

The procedure for exercising the right of reply in the approved law was shaped by the dominant television groups that have consistently lobbied for retaining the power to decide whether or not to rectify facts disseminated in their shows, newscasts or other programs. They won this game and retained their power. This is why many experts and journalists say that the right of reply law favors the interests of mighty media groups (many of them close to political groups) instead of those of the citizens.

So, what does it take for an ordinary Mexican to reply to what they find false or offensive in the media? The answer is a large quantity of both time and, invariably, headaches.