The Americas

Mexican President Pena Nieto accused of plagiarizing thesis

FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto opens the 36th session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City. A Mexican news outlet published Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, a report alleging that Pena Nieto’s thesis for his law degree was heavily plagiarized. Aristegui Noticias says 29 percent of the thesis was material lifted from other works. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

FILE - In this May 24, 2016 file photo, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto opens the 36th session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City. A Mexican news outlet published Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, a report alleging that Pena Nieto‚Äôs thesis for his law degree was heavily plagiarized. Aristegui Noticias says 29 percent of the thesis was material lifted from other works. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Mexican news outlet has published a report alleging that President Enrique Pena Nieto's thesis for his law degree included extensive plagiarism.

Aristegui Noticias says 29 percent of the thesis was material lifted from other works. Among other sources, it allegedly copied word-for-word and without citation 20 paragraphs from a book written by former President Miguel de la Madrid.

Aristegui says its report is based on academics' analysis of the thesis that the news outlet then corroborated.

A spokesman for Pena Nieto said late Sunday that the president completed all requirements for his law degree. He also downplayed the relevance of an academic work from 25 years ago.

A national newspaper poll this month put Pena Nieto's approval rating at 23 percent, its lowest level since he took office.