News & Opinion | June 28, 2019 9:55 am

Mexican Cartel Leaders’ Properties and Possessions Seized and Sold at Auction

Why wouldn't you want to live at a narco kingpin's old house?

Escape tunnel found in drug cartel leader's former house
Escape tunnel found in drug cartel leader's former house (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
AP

Twenty-seven luxurious properties formerly owned by drug-cartel leaders were put up for auction on Sunday in Mexico City, but only nine have sold. According to Mexican media, the auction raised 56.6m pesos ($3m; £2.3m) of the 167m pesos predicted.

These properties included houses with swimming pools and escape tunnels, a ranch surrounded by acres of land, and a number of extravagant apartments. According to Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador, each estate was seized from a drug-trafficking member and all proceeds will be given to those affected by drug gang violence.

The apartments auctioned on Sunday include one formerly owned by a cartel leader who was killed there and disposed of by his brothers. “[Buyers] will know that in addition to acquiring a good, they will also be doing good, that is, they will be helping those who need support because of the situation of poverty and marginalization they suffer,” López Obrador said Friday.

In late May, Mexican authorities held a similar event that raised $1.5 million from the sales of a Lamborghini and other possessions seized from criminals. This project, and the auction of drug-trafficking members’ properties, is one of many similar events López Obrador is organizing.

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