September 21, 1:04 p.m.: On September 16, The Guardian retracted allegations that Ricardo Pierdant was up for contracts in Mexico. It also removed the story. In an apology to Ricardo Pierdant, the publication wrote: “On 9 and 12 August, we published stories that alleged, wrongly, that Ricardo Pierdant and his businesses had a potential conflict of interest, because the First Lady of Mexico, Angelica Rivera, had occasional access to a luxury apartment that he owns in Miami, while at the same time we said, his companies were expected to be tendering for lucrative Mexican government contracts. While it is not disputed that, in 2014, Mr Pierdant paid the 2013 Property Tax due on an apartment owned by Mrs Rivera, nor that he and the President are long time personal friends, we accept that none of Mr Pierdant’s companies have obtained any contracts with the Mexican government nor have they participated in any such contracting processes.”
Just two years ago, Angelica Rivera and Enrique Peña Nieto were embroiled in La Casa Blanca scandal. It became public knowledge that the government awarded the same Mexican construction company that built and owned her $7 million mansion a $3.7 billion contract to build Mexico’s first high-speed rail. (The government eventually rescinded the contract.) When it came to setting the record straight, this challenged La Gaviota to put out her best telenovela performance. Unfortunately for her, she failed.
Now, The Guardian is reporting that La Gaviota has done it again. According to the publication, Mexico’s first lady is allegedly using a $2.05 million apartment in swanky Key Biscayne. It belongs to Grupo Pierdant – a contractor that may end up running Mexico’s ports. She uses an additional apartment in Key Biscayne also tied to Pierdant. The Guardian goes as far as calling it “an unorthodox relationship” between La Gaviota and the company.
In the wake of her Casa Blanca scandal, Angelica revealed that she bought Ocean Tower One’s unit No. 304 in 2005 and lived in the Florida property for less than a year. But she conveniently left out any mention of Pierdant, which bought the adjoining 404 in 2009. “Since then [Pierdant’s founder Ricardo Pierdant] appears to have let the first lady use the property as an addition to her other apartment, in effect allowing them to be managed as a single unit,” the publication wrote. “The properties share the same phone number. A woman who answered in Spanish, and identified herself only as Maria, said packages for Rivera could be sent to either property.” In March 2014, the company paid the property tax on both 304 and 404.
EPN’s people refused to comment on the matter, but I’ll have my popcorn ready just in case.