At least five apartments that belonged to two officials involved in the investigation into real estate corruption in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office will be assigned to families affected after the earthquake on September 19, 2017, in Mexico City.
This was announced by the head of Government, Martí Batres, this week. “It is part of the properties that have been handed over by former officials of the Benito Juárez mayor’s office who recognized their guilt in the acts of corruption of the so-called Benito Juárez real estate cartel. These five apartments, along with other properties worth more than 80 million pesos, have been delivered to the Attorney General’s Office as part of the process of repairing the damage caused by these acts of corruption,” he explained at a press conference.
The departments belonged to Luis Vizcaíno, former Legal Director of the Benito Juárez mayor’s office, and Nicias Aridjis, general director of Works and Urban Development; sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively, for illicit enrichment. Both officials reached an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office to hand them over as part of the reparation for the damage, in the corruption case in which they have pleaded guilty. “The properties were delivered by the former officials, the law allows the possibility of there being an agreement to repair the damage, there was recognition of responsibility for illicit enrichment. It concludes one of their processes, but they are subject to two more processes at the moment,” explained the Mexico City prosecutor, Ernestina Godoy.
The Prosecutor’s Office will deliver the homes to the capital’s Reconstruction Commission, a department that will be in charge of assigning them to their new owners. The properties are valued between four and six and a half million pesos and are located on 329 Petén Street, in the Narvarte neighborhood.
The Government of Mexico City has indicated that the selection of candidates to receive the new homes will be carried out in accordance with the processes established for reconstruction and several agencies will participate. “The assignment will be worked on with the Reconstruction Commission, there we have an instance where the Head of Government works directly, the Housing Institute, Finance, the Construction Safety Institute and other areas on the issue of satisfaction of the needs of the victims, in that context we are going to determine who it is delivered to,” explained Batres.
So far, the Mexico City Reconstruction Commission has delivered 15,265 homes out of a total of almost 23,000 that were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, that is, close to 70%. Six years after the tragedy, 5,517 houses or apartments are still under construction and work on another 1,262 is expected to begin shortly, according to official figures.
The real estate scandal in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office uncovered the corrupt plot of a group of officials who for 15 years illicitly enriched themselves with the price of housing. The controversy was such that it ended up affecting the entire leadership of the National Action Party (PAN) in the capital.
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