18 | AGO | 2019
Photo: Valente Rosas / EL UNIVERSAL

Government of Veracruz seizes former governor’s “palace”

Horacio Jiménez and Edgar Ávila
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The Attorney General’s Office of Veracruz confiscated the 15-acre ranch know as “El Faunito” valued in 200 million pesos (about US$9.7 million)

Opulence is a word that best describes “El Faunito” (Little Satyr), the 15-acre  ranch where former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, spent most of his leisure time.

The ranch is located in Barranca de San Miguel, in the Fortín-Orizaba federal highway and is really quite impressive.

“El Faunito” is surrounded by an abundant river and filled with fruit trees of various kinds, a couple of tennis courts and a soccer field, a jacuzzi, a zip-line, a large swimming pool, a sauna and artwork from renowned artists such as paintings by Raúl Anguiano, José García Ocejo, Luis Fracchia, Alegre Reyero, Cano y Palomenque as well as sculptures by Pedro Cervantes and paintings by Joan Miró, Leonora Carrington, Fernando Botero, Rufino Tamayo and David Alfaro Siqueiros, all of which have already been seized by the Attorney General of the State to have them authenticated.

A 400-meter pebbled road welcomes visitors to the ranch, who once opted to stay in one of the ten cottages, equipped with proper furniture, air conditioning and internet, while the main house is equipped with fifteen rooms, a wine cellar with over three hundred fine national and international wine brands, as well as with a chapel for fourteen people and a confessional booth.

EL UNIVERSAL had access to the property that was donated to the state government of Veracruz by Juan José Janeiro, one of the men that lent his name to the business interests of former governor Duarte.

Mexican authorities were impressed to have found emblematic documents of the history of Mexico among Duarte’s art collection, such as “The Treaties of Córdoba, documents by which Spain agrees to the Mexican Independence dated August 24, 1821, including a facsimile edition of the Mexican Independence Declaration dated December 28, 1821.

The ranch has been confiscated by the incoming governor of the state of Veracruz, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares, from the National Action Party, and is valuated in over 200 million pesos (about US$9.7 million). As a result, “El Faunito” is currently secured by a heavily armed police force at the orders of the Minister of Public Security, Jaime Téllez and will be auctioned to the highest bidder so as to invest the profit of it sale to the refurbishment of hospitals and clinics that were left undone during Duarte’s office.

Additionally, Yunes Linares announced that he has managed to recover a third part of Las Mesas Ranch in Valle de Bravo, valued in 300 million pesos (US$14.5 million), while the rest of the property is being secured by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR). Properties in Xalapa, Coatepec, Alvarado and other communities in Veracruz have also been seized, along with a 75 million pesos airplane (US$3.6 million) and an 18 million pesos helicopter (US$874,742) plus another 250 million pesos (US$12 million) in additional property and cash which will become part of a public trust, chaired by a person designated by the local congress, to continue with the refurbishment efforts of healthcare facilities and to assist children in marginalized areas.


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