Mexican President Vicente Fox Needs To "Walk the Talk" in Protecting Property Owner's Rights In Mexico City

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Â?Americans beware of investing or owning commercial property in Mexico City as corruption and impunity runs rapid under FoxÂ?s eyes,Â? said Boris Gerson, partner, Inmobiliaria Valle de los Pinos.

“After reading President Vicente Fox’s state of the union address and commitment to Mexico, I hope he walks his talk,” said Boris Gerson, partner, Inmobiliaria Valley de los Pinos. He is a commercial property investment developer who is fighting to repossess his property and close down a popular bazaar market called “Bazar Perinorte”(http://www.bazarperinorte.com.mx) in Mexico City. “Bazar Perinorte is in shambles and the current bazar and its infrastructure (water, power and structural safety) do not comply with any of the regulations and codes. The best solution is to create a cooperative market where 400 vendors co-own one lot of land in a condominium structure.”

Gerson describes the situation as out of control and only the federal government can do something about it. “Many local merchants want to keep the status quo, which only favors chaos and black market businesses, include mainly piracy of brand names, prostitution and drug dealing,” he said “Law enforcement agencies do not want to enforce the law.”

“The shape of the present bazar is a paradise to smuggle or re-circulate any illegal merchandise that lands in the Justice Center. The location of such a popular market is at walking distance of the court building of Tlalnepantla. There are also mysterious big trucks that deliver ‘goods’ at night, while most merchants bring their merchandise in small vans during the day time,” Gerson added.

Gerson has also lost faith in the NAFTA agreement signed by Mexico, United States and Canada allowing free trade. “How can a foreign company be comfortable doing business in a country where the private property and the civil rights of its own citizens are not only neglected but ignored in favor of crooked interests?,” he said. “What can be expected from NAFTA under such an example of bonding within the most corrupt layers of society with officers from the judicial system and government officials who work as gangs that violate the legal rights of private property?”

Gerson and his partners rented a piece of land to two private investors Salvador Espinoza Vargas and Rodolfo Robles Sánchez with the aim to create a popular market, better known as “bazar.” The market is a sort of flea market consisting of small stores or booths with vendors of all sorts that young people or middle and popular classes prefer to malls.

“The market reminds residents of the traditional Mexican market and in getting good quality products lower prices,” explained Gerson.

“After the first three years of paying rent, Vargas and Sanchez stopped making payments. We went to court** to collect back rents and ultimately to evict the tenants and recuperate the property.”

Gerson spent 10 years in court battles, which began in the civil courts and later in the penal courts. (Sentencia, Juzjado, #4 Civil Case, DTO.JUD.DE, Tlalnepantla, Mexico, Oct 12, 1994.

All cases have been won by Gerson and his partners. “The courts have issued orders of eviction which have not been enforced by the government because it would be against their own interest to evict themselves from our property.”

(**Notarized legal notice, sworn statement, hechos registrada ante el notario publico Nathaniel Ruiz Zapata en el acta 30337, volmen 777, folio 51, Dec 20, 2002 and all legal court cases and officials documents posted at:http://www.bazarperinorte.com.mx)

Gerson explained how three years ago one of the fraudulent investors and his colleagues pretended to give back the land with everything settled.

“But instead they created an insider group of merchants known as the ‘Asociacion de Locatarios de Bazar Perinorte’ with stores inside the market that took over the place with the help of the corrupt official,” he said. "The group has been collecting illegal rent and fees for the last 10 years since the litigation of the case Bazar Perinorte started, which continues today.”

“A clear case of fraud,” Gerson explained. “The new group has been imposing its law with the support of the Subprocuraduría de Justicia del Estado de México based in Tlalnepantla and one local leader Axel García, who’s a triggerman to the governor Arturo Montiel. Axel Garcia is doing this in exchange for the services the governor gives him by using his teamsters for political purposes, like the recent riots he held against the state leader of the PRI Isidro Pastor.”

Recent summer elections have seen the party's power erode since Vicente Fox's stunning presidential victory July 2nd that booted the PRI from power after seven decades. The PRI, which lost the presidency for the first time in seven years in 2000, struggled to retain the governorship in the oil-rich state of Veracruz, according to official and reported results on Monday.

Gerson said the only way to correct the problem to this black market of thugs in Mexico is to rebuild. “We are trying to convince all parties that the only solution is to make a new architectural project of the bazar that complies with all the regulations established for this kind of business in terms of civil protection and urban development," he said. "We are being stonewalled.”

Gerson also noted that his partners and employees have been threatened. (Jan. 29, 2003, table #8, presento una denucia el 29 de enero de 2003 police investigation and request for the district attorney to open a penal case against the crime of Kidnapping, attempted murder, assault and battery).

“They (gangs) have tried to bribe our employees to switch allegiances, some have and some have remained loyal because they believe in the civil rights of private citizens and they also know if we don’t stop these crooks here they and their families are next. Every time we have tried to enter inside our property our life has been jeopardized including the life of some members of the judiciary power.”

When his company has tried to enter its property the local leadership has been assisted by people of the zone of Tepito, publicly known as the main source of smuggling merchandise distributed through the metropolitan areas, who have acted as outside gangs that arrive to assist the permanence of the local gangs.

President Fox in his state of the union address said, “Democracy's challenges can always be overcome with more Democracy. Democracy is México's destiny.” Gerson said he should start with places like Mexico City and beyond to bring Democracy back to its own people.

For interviews, images and more information contact George McQuade at MAYO Communications, 818.340.5300 or visit (http://www.bazarperinorte.com.mx).

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George S. Mc Quade III
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