Mexico’s president came under pressure on Friday to fully disclose his financial assets following a Reuters report on Thursday that he had misrepresented the circumstances under which he acquired a property in a lakeside retreat near Mexico City.
Opposition lawmakers from left and right called on President Enrique Pena Nieto to detail all of his properties, saying he had undermined his own efforts to battle corruption.
Meanwhile, legal experts and two former government officials tasked with overseeing public servants, said the assertion by Pena Nieto’s office that the plot of land was donated by his father was inaccurate, if, as the public registry document seen by Reuters stated, he was named as sole purchaser.
“He is falsifying,” said Elizabeth Yanez, a lawmaker from the center-right opposition National Action Party (PAN) and a member of the transparency committee in Mexico’s lower house.
An official at the president’s office declined to comment on the objections to how the property was described in the official document.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto misrepresented to authorities the circumstances under which he acquired one of his properties, public documents reviewed by Reuters show, a discrepancy that could add to the controversy surrounding his personal finances.
According to an official asset declaration first made in 2013, Pena Nieto stated that he acquired the property through a “donation” or gift from his father. Pena Nieto has since updated and ratified this declaration twice.
Under a public information request, Reuters reviewed documents showing that Pena Nieto actually purchased the property in question – a 1,000 square meter piece of land in the town of Valle de Bravo – in 1988 from a third party. He paid 11.2 million pesos, equivalent to around $5,000 at the time, the registry shows. His wealth declaration lists the property as being valued at just 11,200 “old” pesos, the equivalent to around $5 at the time.
The declaration lists eight other real estate properties, five of which are also listed as donations. Reuters couldn’t determine if those five properties, which include houses and land, are accurately characterized.
San Diego Union-Tribune -The past five years have left Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe high and dry. The semiarid Valle has fallen well below its already paltry 8 to 10 inches annual average rainfall since 2010.
The drought has juiced the Valle de Guadalupe’s wine industry into survival mode, with owners and growers trying everything they can — from old-fashioned farming techniques to innovative technology to buying up land outside the Valle — to keep the grapes growing and the wine flowing.
CSM – Dozens of volunteers in Monterrey this week were intent on hawking Mexico’s newest model in political candidates: the independent.nThe gubernatorial race in Nuevo León is heating up, with the first non-affiliated candidate, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, aka “El Bronco,” posing a formidable threat to the incumbent Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Global Voices – In May 1911, the town of Torreón, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, was the scene of bloody and almost forgotten events when 303 Chinese citizens, half the Chinese population of the town back then, were killed during the height of the Mexican Revolution.
Yucatan Times – Russia’s deputy minister of energy, Anton Inyutsu, said government intends to boost cooperation with Mexico’s energy sector and warned that sustainable development is a priority these days.
Reuters – Shares in OHL Mexico fell on Thursday, hurt by a recent series of leaked recordings of individuals, alleged to be OHL Mexico officials, discussing overcharging for public works and making a hotel payment for a state government official.
Univision – U.S. courts indicted a total of nine members of FIFA and five leaders of sports marketing companies accused of exchanging tens of millions in bribes. Twelve of the 14 defendants are of Latin and Caribbean origin.
El Economista – The peso fell for the third straight day against the dollar and closed at 15.3365 per dollar. The Mexican currency depreciated after the release of economic indicators in the United States.
No one disputes that the current U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is crowded, outdated and needs to be replaced. So four years ago the State Department bought a 15 acre plot in a former industrial district for $120 million.
But there was a catch: the site had housed a Colgate-Palmolive factory for decades, which left behind hazardous waste. Colgate has been cleaning the site but it’s been three and a half years and it’s still not ready for construction.
It is an embassy that was supposed to cost $577 million to build, but the construction estimate has gone up by one third — and the State Department hasn’t even broken ground yet.
“It’s a bit of a fiasco,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
Latin Post – Mexico heads to the Copa America as a guest with hopes of finally pulling off its first ever victory in the tournament. With the Gold Cup also taking place this summer, many expected the team to send a B-squad to compete, but to the surprise of many, the squad heading to Chile is actually filled with veterans capable of making a deep run.
AP – A judge in Mexico has freed four men accused of lobbing grenades into a crowd celebrating Mexico’s independence day in 2008, killing eight people. The judge declared the men innocent, ruling that three of them had been tortured into signing confessions.