Former PAN mayor embezzled $100 million from San Miguel de Allende

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As municipal president of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (2015-2018), Ricardo Villarreal García sold a property owned by the city council, located in the Garambullos subdivision – one of the largest capital gains in the city – at a price of only 10 percent of its real value, with a loss to the treasury of about 100 million pesos.

The above is stated in a complaint of facts that Pablo González Sierra, legal representative of the city council, currently headed by Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco, presented to the prosecutor’s offices of Specialized Investigation in Crimes of Public Servants and General of the State on October 2.

The complaint is against Villarreal García, current federal deputy for the National Action Party, and Osvaldo García Arteaga, former director of social and human development of the municipality of San Miguel de Allende, who gave approval for the process of alienation of the property, on January 9, 2018, and whoever is responsible.

In an interview, González Sierra explained that the acquisition of the 9,237 square meter property was presumably carried out through a legal entity named Aquacap de México, SA de CV, whose owners and partners are actually names. This company was established only five days after Villarreal García’s administration began.

In September 2018, Aquacap paid 8 million 313 thousand 939 pesos for the land when, according to the property valuation report prepared by María Rocío Ponce Vázquez, engineer and master in valuation sciences, the commercial and real value was 109 million 455 thousand 410 pesos. Currently the property is worth 140 million 505 thousand pesos.

According to the complaint, on December 14, 1999, the company Gazabo SA de CV, represented at that time by Federico Gama Barletli, donated to the municipal government the property called Parque 1, which was a fraction of the Las Colinas property, of 9 thousand 237 square meters, located in the Garambullos subdivision.

This exclusive residential development is located in a privileged area, the Las Colonias hill, which borders the El Obraje dam, with El Charco del Ingenio, a civil association that has under its care one of the most important botanical gardens in the world, and consequently protected natural area.

In 2018, municipal officials of San Miguel de Allende endorsed the request of an individual and approved in a city council session the decommissioning of the property and its sale to the Aguapac company, in an allegedly illicit, criminal and widely unfavorable manner for the treasury to illegally favor said private purchaser, since they sold at a ridiculous price a municipal asset that cost at least 13 times its value, is stated in the complaint.

It is possible, it is asserted, that it could have been the same municipal public officials who sold land belonging to the people of San Miguel to their detriment.

On February 18, 2018, the city council agreed (10 votes to one) to decommission the 9,237 square meter property in the Garambullos subdivision and authorized its sale to Aquacap, represented by its partner and shareholder José Antonio Ávila Gómez.

In public deed 17047, dated September 27, 2018, before notary public 12, Manuel García, the sale of said property was formalized for 8 million 313 thousand 939 pesos.

Jesús Gonzalo González, interim mayor, appeared on behalf of the municipality; Pável Alejandro Hernández Gómez, trustee of the city council, and on the other hand José Antonio Ávila Gómez, representative of Aquacap. The public deed was registered in the Public Property Registry with royal folio R3*57045.

In the deed, the data was hidden regarding the date on which the deposit was made (8 million 313 thousand 939 pesos) to the municipality’s account, but above all, the identification of the account from which the money payment was made was hidden, is accused in the complaint.

The city council of San Miguel de Allende asked the authorities to investigate the origin of the economic resources that the Aquacap company had during, before and after September 28, 2018, since it is feasible to establish that they are not legal. Furthermore, he pointed out, it is highly probable that the partners and owners of the company are only front men or front partners.

He also demanded an expert valuation report of the property as of February 2018 (date of the city council agreement) and September 2018 (date of the public deed and payment of the property price).

According to the evaluation report of the 9,237 square meter property made by expert María Rocío Ponce Vázquez, it did not have a value of 900 pesos per square meter, as it was falsely acquired and paid for, but rather 11,848 pesos per square meter.

On January 15, 2018, María Verona Azucena Guerrero Arana, director of cadastre and property of San Miguel de Allende, declared the decommissioning and sale of the land appropriate. On January 9, Osvaldo García Arteaga, director of social and human development, and on January 17, Luis Manuel Orozco Arroyo, in charge of the general legal direction, reached the same conclusion.

They all do it with letters addressed to Abelardo Quero Insunza. On January 26, in his capacity as director of urban development and territorial planning, he sent a letter to Pável Alejandro Hernández Gómez to notify him of the technical opinion of that department, which approved the decommissioning of the property and its sale to individuals.

Then the finance, heritage and public account commission prepared a two-page opinion in which, repeating the arguments for the disaffection and sale of the property owned by the municipality, it approved them and sent it to the town council secretary, Jesús Gonzalo González Ramírez.

Until June 2022, the administration of PRI member Miguel Trejo Pureco had filed 28 criminal complaints against Villarreal García, current federal deputy, with the Attorney General’s Office for Anti-Corruption or Specialized Investigation of Crimes of Public Servants, which are being processed.

Regarding the creation of the Aquacap company, according to public deed 29,946, registered before notary public 171, Juan José A. Barragán Abascal, based in Mexico City, in October 2015 it was established in the general data that the Partners are employees and have their domicile in Tultitlán, State of Mexico.

The partners José Antonio Ávila Gómez and Leonardo Ávila Alcantar, father and son, claimed to live on lot 59 of condominium 18 of the Las Torres subdivision, a humble social housing.

Aquacap indicated that its share capital will be 50 thousand pesos and the partners (father and son) will have a 50 percent participation, with 25 thousand shares each.

As can be seen, the high and lofty objectives of the Aguacap legal entity (a construction company of buildings, bridges, roads and houses, as well as a developer of streets, avenues, etc.) should be in accordance with the high economic and social conditions of its partners, but that is not the case, it is stated in the complaint.

For all of the above, the city council of San Miguel de Allende requests that an agent of the Public Ministry accredits the social and economic solvency of the partners, requesting reports from the various authorities, both from the Tax Administration Service of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit as well as the Public Property Registry of San Miguel de Allende and Tultitlán, State of Mexico, to verify their economic and legal traffic.

There are good reasons to think that Mr. José Antonio Ávila Gómez could have died in August 2021, so he should request reports from the civil registry of Tultitlán to verify that circumstance, he points out.

From the above information, it can be seen as probable that it is impossible for José Antonio Ávila Gómez and Leonardo Ávila Alcantar to be the owners and proprietors of Aquacap and that said company has purchased and acquired a property worth almost 8 and a half million pesos, because it is impossible who have lawfully acquired, earned or obtained that amount of money by September 18, 2018, the complaint concludes.

Source: La Jornada