Already reeling from corruption scandals and a declining security situation, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico was accused on Sunday of plagiarizing nearly a third of his law school thesis, according to a report by an investigative journalist.
The journalist, Carmen Aristegui, has reported on several articles that have contributed to the president’s declining public approval ratings, including the disclosure in 2014 of his wife’s questionable real estate dealings with major government contractors.
Ms. Aristegui lost her job in 2015 after her reporting on the Mexico City mansion built for the president’s wife, Angélica Rivera, by a firm that had received hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts. Since then, Ms. Aristegui has been publishing her work on her own website.
Her latest article, published on the websitearisteguinoticias.com, cited a report by a group of specialists and academics who reviewed Mr. Peña Nieto’s roughly 200-page thesis on the Mexican presidency, which he submitted in 1991 and wrote while studying for his degree at the Panamerican University from 1984 to 1989.
The report says that the young Mr. Peña Nieto appropriated the work of at least 10 authors without attribution, including parts that were apparently taken from the work of a former president of Mexico.
Mr. Peña Nieto’s spokesman, Eduardo Sanchez, issued a brief statement on Monday characterizing any similarities between the president’s thesis and earlier work as “style errors,” such as forgetting to quote passages correctly or cite original authors mentioned in the bibliography.