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Mexican presidency front-runner's image used to promote adultery

posted 6 Jun 2012, 18:30 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jun 2012, 18:31 ]

Controversy in Mexico as image of presidential front-runner is used on a billboard for a website which helps married people arrange affairs.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (JUNE 6, 2012)(REUTERS) - Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto has become the unwitting poster boy for a website promoting adultery.

A new Mexican billboard by, a site that helps married people arrange affairs, shows an apparent image of Pena Nieto with an index finger over his lips in a hushing gesture.

Next to him are the words: "Unfaithful to his family. Faithful and committed to his country."

Pena Nieto, candidate of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has said he fathered two children out of wedlock by different women while married to his first wife.

"When we use the image of the presidential candidate, it's to say that if he had utilized our services, his infidelity would have never been discovered," said Ashley Madison's representative in Mexico, Ricardo Castaneda.

"We believe in freedom of expression, and this is related to freedom of expression. We're not saying anything negative about him. His infidelity was already known, so we don't fear any reprisal. On the contrary, we are using his campaign slogan and we are saying something that he's already accepted. There is even a book about it," he added.

The billboard, mounted above a busy avenue in Mexico City, purports to show the 45-year-old with bright red lipstick on his collar. His campaign had no immediate comment on the advertisement.

Heliodoro Diaz Escarraga, a congressman from Pena Nieto's party, said the ad was defamatory and pointed the finger at Pena Nieto's political rivals.

"It's defamatory; it's abuse against a person, independent of the fact that he's a candidate for the presidency. He's a person, a citizen, someone who has political and human rights which must be respected. They are doing this, without a doubt, with the complicity of his political rivals, including being in financial agreement with them," he said.

Mexico City resident Jorge Salvador Castro Solis said that he believed that the Mexican public shouldn't concern itself with the personal life of Pena Nieto.

"It might even be giving extra publicity to the candidate. It doesn't matter, it's his life. He's with a woman who was also married. I don't know. It shouldn't interest us. The important thing is that the country moves forward," he said.

The billboard was put in the capital this week and others are planned for the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara.

The masthead on the company's website reads "Life is short. Have an affair," and Castaneda said the service has acquired 300,000 users since opening for business in Mexico in November, making it Ashley Madison's fastest growing market.

Pena Nieto, now married to a popular soap opera star, is favourite to win the July 1 presidential election.