Hostile Takeover in Mexico City: Armed Guards From Television Gianttake Over Independent TV Station

January 01, 2003

It may have been the media world’s most hostile takeover. On Dec. 27, Mexico City’s TV Azteca, the world s second biggest Spanish-language programmer, took over by force rival independent TV station, CNI.

According to CNI, 10 armed guards in ski masks from TV Azteca stormed the station’s studio on Dec. 27 and held staff for several hours.

"They retained the IDs of our staff, their addresses were taken, and they were told that their families could be in danger," CNI news editor Manuel Feregrino told the Associated Press.

Since then TV Azteca has broadcast its own programming on CNI.

TV Azteca has denied it did any thing violent or illegal. The station has justified its action on a ruling by the International Court of Arbitration, a branch of the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Organization. TV Azteca claims that this International trade organization’s decision supercedes the decision of the Mexican Courts and is unappealable. ICC official Lorraine Brennan told Democracy Now that ICC arbitration awards are final and binding . If the parties wish to enforce the ICC award in Mexico, they need to comply with the procedures set forward in Mexican law for enforcement.

The Mexican Government has been silent on the takeover.


  • Ciro Gomez Leyva, CNI News Anchor and Vice President. He is a veteran Mexican TV journalist.