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El Mexicano publishes embarrassing, front-page letter to editor

Paper, whose director is running for Senate for the PRI, said PAN Senate opponent Ernesto Ruffo began corruption in his party

El Mexicano newspaper on Friday published an embarrassing front-page letter to the editor from two National Action Party activists.

On Thursday, the paper's lead story was headlined, "Ruffo Appel began PAN corruption." It was based on an appearance by two National Action Party activists before a journalists' group on Wen es day. The activists, Héctor Castellanos Muñoz and José León Ramos, both Old Guard leaders of the PAN in Tijuana, said the headline and the story was wrong.

Both Castellanos and Ramos have been holier-than-thou PANistas not always known for their discretion and during their appearance Wednesday found tremendous fault with former PAN Mayor Jesús González Reyes (2001-2004), whose troubled administration opened the door for Jorge Hank Rhon to win the Tijuana mayor's post in 2004 for the Institutional Revolutionary Party following 15 years of PAN rule. Castellanos and Ramos both also criticized current PAN city leader Enrique Méndez. Both lamented that there was corruption within the PAN.

ernesto ruffoBut they did not blame Ruffo (left) , a former mayor of Ensenada who became the first opposition elected Eligio Valencia governor in modern Mexican history in 1989, vowing to end PRI corruption in the state. He now is running for Senate against the director of El Mexicano, Eligio Valencia (right) of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Castellanos and Ramos's letter said: "We never pointed to or accused Ernesto Ruffo Appel in the terms the article (we are attempting to clarify) used. At no time during our presentation before the weekly forum of the Tijuana Journalists Association did we accuse Ernesto Ruffo of any type of corruption, nor as the initiator of corruption in the PAN....
"We both attended Ernesto Ruffo's campaign kickoff for the Senate in front of the Miguel F. Martínez school, convinced that Ernesto Ruffo represents the best of the National Action Party's men and women and that his valiant and generous participation opened the doors to democracy in Baja California and in México....

"The current political environment in which Baja Californians find themselves immersed does not escape us, nor does the fact that Señor Eligio Valencia Roque, president of the board and director general of 'El Mexicano' is contending for the Institutional Revolutionary Party against Ernesto Ruffo Appel of the National Action Party to represent Baja California in the Senate ... for which reason we are sending a copy of this to the Federal Electoral Commission so that, following its duties, it might investigate whether this media outlet, instead of providing impartial reporting during the electoral process, has swapped this out for calumnious reporting for the benefit of its director."

El Mexicano has had other reporting problems this year. One of its columnists reported that then-city official David Saúl Guakil, who had sought the PRI Senate nomination, was trying to undermine Valencia with top PRI officials in Mexico City. Guakil also wrote a heated letter to the editor. Guakil now is running the state campaign for PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.

Friday's letter to the editor. Page 1A. Page 4A.
Thursday's story. Page 1A. Page 4A. Story in El Sol de Tijuana.

Story on Guakil and El Mexicano.