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Mexican president Pena Nieto plagiarized law thesis: Report

Of the 200-page thesis, 28.9 percent was found to be plagiarized, as per the report.

By: Reuters | Mexico City |
August 22, 2016 9:40:09 am
FILE - In this July 22, 2016 file photo, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto speaks during a news conference with President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington. A new poll published Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016 photo by the newspaper Reforma, suggests approval ratings for the Mexican leader have fallen to 23 percent, while 74 percent disapprove of the job he is doing. The level is the lowest since Pena Nieto took office in December 2012, when he got a 42-percent approval rating in the same poll. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto speaks during a news conference. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto plagiarized nearly a third of his 1991 undergraduate law thesis, according to a report published on Sunday by one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists.

Of the 682 paragraphs that made up the 200-page thesis, titled ‘Mexican Presidentialism and Alvaro Obregon,’ 197, or 28.9 percent, were found to be plagiarized, the report said.

The article and accompanying video were published on the website of journalist Carmen Aristegui, whose investigative team revealed in 2014 that Pena Nieto’s wife was in the process of acquiring a luxury home from a government contractor.

The Casa Blanca scandal, as it came to be known, dealt a major blow to the reputation of Pena Nieto, whose poll numbers have recently hit all-time lows over perceptions he and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) have failed to stamp out rampant crime and corruption.

In a statement, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez sought to play down the accusation of plagiarism, instead calling the omissions “style errors.” He added that Pena Nieto met all the requirements needed to graduate as a lawyer from Panamerican University.

In 2015, Aristegui was dismissed by her employer, MVS Radio, after it accused her and her team of offering, without prior authorization, the broadcaster’s name and funding for a new platform for investigative journalism called Mexicoleaks.

Aristegui argued her dismissal was politically motivated.

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