aristegui car
Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui gestures to supporters after speaking with journalists outside MVS radio station in Mexico City March 16, 2015. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Carmen Aristegui, a leading Mexican journalist, who was fired by MVS Radio after her investigation uncovered a presidential scandal, said on Thursday that she believed President Enrique Peña Nieto backed her dismissal.

Speaking to reporters, Aristegui urged her former employer to rehire her and two of her colleagues dismissed last week after a dispute over their support for media site MexicoLeaks, Reuters reported. The reporters were part of an investigative team, led by Aristegui, which uncovered a conflict of interest involving Peña Nieto and his wife who had bought or used homes owned by a major government contractor.

She said she believed that the move by her employer was sparked by the scandal. When asked if she suspected Peña Nieto’s office of playing a role in the move, the 51-year-old reportedly said: "It looks that way because I can't imagine something of this magnitude without at least some kind of consent from the highest presidential power."

MVS said the reporters had improperly represented themselves on MexicoLeaks, alleging that they implied that MVS supported the website. Aristegui demanded their reinstatement, sparking a public feud with her employer that ended with her dismissal on Sunday.

MVS Radio spokesman Felipe Choa told reporters that the company had no plans to reinstate her. "Our relationship has ended. We wish you well," he said.

The use of a seemingly minor trademark violation to pursue dismissals has triggered criticism and protests. An online petition supporting Aristegui had already garnered 100,000 signatures by the time Aristegui held her last show on Friday, the Guardian reported.

On Monday, hundreds gathered outside MVS Radio’s headquarters to protest the dismissal, carrying signs that alleged government censorship and called for a boycott of MVS.