Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico auctions drug lords' properties to fund poor communities

A woman bids during an auction of seized properties from drug traffickers and others, in Mexico City, Mexico on 23 June 2019. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Profits from the auction were much lower than predicted

Luxurious properties seized from drug cartel leaders have been sold at auction in Mexico City.

Houses with swimming pools and escape tunnels, a large ranch and an apartment where a cartel leader was killed were all up for sale.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel López Obrador had pledged that profits from the auction would go towards those affected by drug gang violence.

But only nine of the 27 properties on offer actually sold.

According to Mexican media, the auction raised 56.6m pesos ($3m; £2.3m) of the 167m pesos predicted.

Mr López Obrador said that the money would help poor and marginalised communities in the violent state of Guerrero.

At the end of May, a similar auction raised $1.5m (£117m) by selling the homes and cars of criminals, including at least one former politician. A Lamborghini was among the items on sale.

Authorities said many more auctions would take place over the coming months.

Mr López Obrador, who was elected last year, has also promised to sell his presidential plane to fund efforts to curb illegal migration.

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Media captionFive things you need to know about Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or "Amlo"

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