MEXICO.- Photographs of a luxurious residence with controversial ties to an entrenched construction group and reportedly owned by Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto, have emerged online via a very respected investigative news outlet in Mexico, Aristegui Noticias.
The home, which is estimated to be worth upwards of 7 million dollars, is located in one of Mexico City's most exclusive neighborhoods, Lomas de Chapultepec, and is reportedly safeguarded by the presidential guard that is also tasked with securing his private residence, the presidential residence known as "Los Pinos" and the National Palace.
While the home belongs to President Peña Nieto, it is owned by a company which is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, the director of another contracting company that has worked for many years with the Federal government and Mexico City's government, called Grupo Higa. The investigative report goes into great detail about the ties that this construction group has with the President since the time he was Governor of the state of Mexico and during his run for presidency.
Grupo Higa in turn is a subsidiary of Constructora Teya, which is a member of the China Railway Construction consortium a company that was also most recently in the news because of its recent award of a public contract bid to build a high-speed railway from Mexico to Queretaro, a project estimated to cost close to four billion dollars. This company would be the raw material provider for Peña Nieto's landmark construction project, scheduled to complete before he leaves office.
Constructora Teya is the same company that built an expansion to the Presidential Hangar at the International Airport in Mexico City, to accommodate the president's new 600 million dollar presidential airplane, the most expensive and sophisticated in the world. The company is also tied to many other public contracts totaling close to three billion dollars between 2006 and 2011.
The six-bedroom, five-story house has an elevator, gymnasium, underground parking, two service quarters, and quarters for a chofer; a surveillance room, roof garden, pool and library. The home is being labeled "Peña Nieto's White House" because of its all white interiors and white marble flooring. A lighting system changes the color of the residence's walls. The property reportedly connects to another property owned by Angelica Rivera, Mexico's first lady and former soap star.
VIDEO of President Peña Nieto's Private Residence:
According to the investigative report, it was because of the couple's desire to always appear in socialite magazines that the tie between the residence came about. The first lady, Angelica Rivera, appeared in an article in a lifestyle magazine, where she talked about her family and their home. The piece contained photographs of the new residence.
Prior to becoming President, Peña Nieto had worked his way up as a politician. During interviews, he has always declared that he is not rich. His career has evolved primarily in the public sector and he does not own any companies to add to his personal wealth. The report also indicates that Peña Nieto did not disclose this property as required when taking office.