MEXICO.- Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's wife, Angelica Rivera, announced that she would sell the rights to her luxurious home located in one of Mexico City's most exclusive neighborhoods, in order to avoid being the target of speculation and "defamation".
"Today, I am addressing all Mexicans, because you have the right to know the truth. I have nothing to hide. As a citizen, although not employed as a public servant, I feel the responsibility to explain, step by step, everything there is to know about the house that has been questioned by various media outlets", said Angelica Rivera in a recorded speech posted on her website this week.
Rivera indicated that she began her career at the age of 15 years old, and has worked for the past 25 years for Televisa, one of Mexico's main public networks.
According to the terms of the last contract that was signed in 2004 with Televisa, in 2008 she was given use of a house located in the exclusive area called Lomas de Chapultepec, the title of which was transferred to her on December 14th, 2010 as payment to the actress to exclusively work for the network.
Later on, on January 12, 2012, she signed a purchase agreement with a real estate company for a house built under her guidance and with an architect of her choice on property adjacent to her first home.
She indicated that the total cost of the new property was 54 million pesos (approximately four million dollars), to be paid over the period of eight years at an interest rate of 9%.
The first lady stated that to this day, she has paid 14.3 million pesos (approximately 1.06 million dollars), "an amount that equates to approximately 30% of the total due", and as such the property continues under the ownership of the real estate company until such time that I pay off the balance.
"I have decided to sell the rights of this purchase agreement, because I don't want this to continue to be an excuse to offend and defame my family. Today I am here to defend my integrity, the integrity of my children, and that of my husband", said Rivera.
President Peña Nieto había had previously announced that his wife would be personally addressing the "unfounded accusations" about the property in question, and that it had become the object of "countless versions and falsities" without any basis of truth.
Aristegui Noticias, a well-respected investigative journalist in Mexico, conducted the investigation that uncovered the home, which is estimated to be worth approximately seven million dollars and was constructed between 2010 and 2012 by a company called Higa. Details of the report and the private mansion were originally reported here less than two weeks ago.
VIDEO: "Angélica Rivera de Peña offers explanation about her mansion"
After the report was aired, a scandal soon erupted and inflamed the reaction of a country that was already reeling over the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 missing students of a teacher training academy located in Guerrero. The news was released while Peña Nieto and the first lady were in China as part of a
G20 summit, which fostered further criticism.
When questioned on the topic, Peña Nieto indicated that the topic concerned him but that he could not comment on a report that has been "orchestrated to destabilize and opposed the project put forth for the country" that he leads.