On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he will create a “ Robin Hood” institute to return the ill-gotten wealth seized from corrupt politicians and criminals to the people.

His administration is drawing up a bill to create an independent “Robin Hood” institute “against the corrupt ” that would put confiscated goods such as real estate, jewelry, and luxury cars into the public’s hands, the President said during his daily news conference.

“Let’s quickly return to the people everything that’s been stolen,” he said.

For example, the institute could assign seized homes to municipalities and use them as schools , hospitals , or elderly care centers , he said. Assets seized by the government tend to be ransacked or require expensive upkeep, he noted.

He did not estimate the value of the assets or offer details on how they would be given back to the people .

A 2017 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) noted that recent studies estimated that Mexico lost between 5% and 9% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to corruption annually.

Since taking office in December, President López Obrador has implemented a string of welfare programs for the poor , the elderly , and students but cut salaries for high-ranking officials and says he is saving public money by eliminating corruption .

López Obrador

has shunned the often luxurious trappings of Mexico’s wealthy elites , choosing to fly coach , eating at cheap restaurants , and driving through the city in his Volkswagen Jetta.

Immediately upon taking office, he opened the official residence , known as Los Pinos , to the public and put his predecessor’s presidential plane up for sale.


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