Updated, 9:42 a.m., Sept. 21: Political and civic leaders in Mexico are reportedly calling for an investigation into their first lady’s use of a Miami condo owned by a Grupo Pierdant.
Following a report in the Guardian that first lady Angelica Rivera has been living in a luxury Key Biscayne condo owned by a Mexican contractor, the country’s two largest opposition parties have requested an investigation into Rivera’s condo, for which the contractor has been paying taxes, and the unit one floor up, owned by Grupo Pierdant. Rivera has reportedly been using them as one.
“It reignites the discussion over the links that the President and his wife have with businessmen, particularly the type of relation that they could have with someone who pays your property taxes,” Eduardo Bohorquez, head of nongovernmental organization Transparency International’s Mexico chapter, told the Wall Street Journal.
The contractor, Grupo Pierdant, paid $2.05 million using an LLC for unit 404 at Ocean Tower One in 2010. Rivera owns unit 304, which she bought in 2005 for $1.775 million.
In the U.S., Pierdant is known for DecoBikes, a bike sharing company in Miami and San Diego that he co-founded.
Rivera and her husband, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have been involved in similar allegations in their home country. In recent years, Rivera bought the $7 million Casa Blanca estate from another government contractor, Grupo Higa. Although she said she bought the lavish white mansion with her own money, Rivera later returned the property and the president made a public apology.
Officials are now drawing parallels between the two. [WSJ] – Katherine Kallergis
Note: The Guardian has removed the original article from its website and added a correction, saying that Ricardo Pierdant’s companies have not “obtained any contracts with the Mexican government nor have they participated in any such contracting processes.”