How valid is Peña Nieto’s marriage?
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How valid is Peña Nieto’s marriage?

The wedding between Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and actress Angelica Rivera was only made possible through a process of irregularities approved by the Archdiocese of Mexico, according to an investigation conducted by the website Aristegui News.

Information published on the website of the well-known journalist Carmen Aristegui, highlights that the annulment of Rivera’s previous marriage to  television producer Jose Alberto Castro was plagued with issues. Cardinal Norberto Rivera allegedly turned a blind eye.

A report entitled “The secret dossier Peña Nieto Rivera’s wedding ” reports that Cardinal Norberto Rivera dismissed the priest José Luis Salinas Aranda, who married the two celebrities in 2004, for their ‘ sham’ wedding  held on a beach in Acapulco. He argued that Salinas ignored the validity of an earlier wedding was held in Mexico City in 2004.

On February 6, Angelica Rivera explained to Aristegui that the annulment process was initiated on March 11 2009.

Then priest Father Jose de Jesus Aguilar added that the process doesn’t take “a day or two, it is a process that takes a long time.”

Nevertheless, on May 19 the Tribunal of the Archdiocese published a decree annulling the marriage, stating that the ceremony had actually never been valid.

Half truths?

News of Peña Nieto’s dodgy matrimonials have emerged just days prior to Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico, beginning on February 12.

While the Mexican government says there is still no official position on the issue, the Archdiocese of Mexico said that the report “uses half truths to confuse public opinion,” according to a BBC Mundo report.

The controversy over the marriage between the president, 49, and his wife, 46, is nothing new. Mexicans have always speculated that Peña Nieto chose to create an orchestrated romance to coincide with his current presidency.

A long running saga

José Luis Salinas, who died last year, oversaw Rivera’s previous beach marriage and a more intimate ceremony in a church within the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.

Salinas was considered  as the “priest of the Stars” for most famous Mexicans, with a fully-packed wedding calendar throughout the year.

Rivera and Castro divorced in 2008, when months later, Peña Nieto, then governor of Mexico, announced his engagement to the actress.

In May the following year, just two months after starting a process that is often long and complex, the actress obtained the Church decree that the marriage was “null and void”.

Rivera was they able to go ahead and tie the not with Peña Nieto.


A month after the annulment, the Archdiocese of Mexico began an investigation against priest Salinas that determined irregularities.

According to Church authorities, Salinas was responsible for having “simulated the administration of the sacrament and marriage” and was questioned over his failure to produce the correct license. Salinas was subsequently banned and unable to carry on with his job as a priest.

The priest explained that he did not celebrate the marriage on the beach in Acapulco, saying that actually it was a thanksgiving ceremony and a celebration of wedding vows. He added that the real wedding had taken place in the church of Our Lady Fatima where he did attend but did not officiate.

According to Salinas, Rivera’s first marriage had been annulled irregularly, so her marriage with Peña Nieto should not have been possible.

Salinas, who was ill with cancer, wrote a letter to Pope Francisco in September 2013 to tell him about his version of events and request assistance.

The priest passed away last October.

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