Alejandro Gertz Manero: The unknown fortune in Spain of the attorney general of Mexico: four luxury homes valued at more than five million euros

The head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz, in the National Palace, in Mexico City, in a recent image.Mario Jasso/Dark Room

The head of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) of Mexico, Alejandro Gertz, owns four luxury homes in Spain with a market value of more than five million euros (113 million pesos). The official’s assets include a flat in his name in the Los Jerónimos neighborhood, the most expensive and central area of ​​Madrid, and three triplexes (three-story homes) in Ibiza, which the head of the Prosecutor’s Office controls through a company property that he owns, according to an investigation by EL PAÍS.

Gertz’s main property, the Madrid flat, was deeded in December 2013 for one million euros (22 million pesos), 36% less than the average market price of a home in the area, according to real estate sources.

A five-minute walk from the Retiro Park, the green lung of the capital, and seven from the Prado Museum, one of the best art galleries in the world, stands the 233-meter apartment that the high-ranking official has in the heart of Madrid. A stately building with white walls built in 1915 flanked by an old-fashioned doorman houses the house. In it, two halls, two bathrooms, eight rooms, kitchen and pantry are displayed.

The apartment is free of charges and the prosecutor owns 100% of the property, according to a recent document from Madrid’s Property Registry 2. The current market value of this apartment exceeds 2.3 million euros (52 million pesos), according to real estate sources, who put the average price per square meter in the area between 10,000 (227,000 pesos) and 10,500 euros (238,000 pesos). ).

Building in Madrid for the luxury home of the head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz.
Building in Madrid for the luxury home of the head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz.andrea commas

The prosecutor, who since January 2019 has been the head of federal crime investigations in Mexico, acquired his luxurious Madrid property in 2013, when he was rector of the Universidad de las Américas AC in Mexico City. The house was deeded for one million euros (22 million pesos), according to sources close to the transaction. The head of the FGR disbursed 4,291 euros (97,000 pesos) for each square meter, compared to the 6,741 euros (153,000 pesos) on average —36% less— that a flat with the same characteristics cost in the district at that time, according to Knight Frank real estate consultancy. “It was an opportunity, the property belonged to 14 heirs who needed to sell,” says the administrator of Gertz’s real estate in Spain, a veteran businessman who assures this newspaper that the head of the FGR “did not pay any amount in B”.

The same source explains that the prosecutor subjected his central apartment to a comprehensive reform of half a million euros (11 million pesos). A remodeling that contemplated, among other improvements, the change of floor. “We know that he is an elderly man —Gertz is 82 years old— who visits his property very few times a year,” the neighbors agree.

Spanish residence after acquiring a flat

Thanks to the purchase of his luxury apartment in Madrid, Gertz obtained residence in Spain, according to his administrator. The Mexican official took advantage of the so-called Entrepreneurs Law, which in 2013 opened the door for foreigners to obtain a visa and residence permit in Spain in exchange for the purchase of homes worth more than 500,000 euros (11 million pesos). . Since then, the prosecutor has paid in Spain the taxes derived from his properties in the country, according to the same source.

The next destination to break down the real estate assets of Gertz, a lawyer with extensive experience, leads to the bay of Ibiza. The attorney general has three triplexes of 150 meters each on this Balearic island. The houses —with terraces of more than 50 meters— are located three minutes’ walk from the Talamanca beach and the Marina Botafoch port, where the yachts of the island’s fortunes dock.

The current market value of the three homes is close to three million euros (68 million pesos), according to offers of similar properties on portals such as Idealista. EL PAÍS has omitted the exact address of the properties for security reasons.

Unlike the luxurious apartment in Madrid, registered by Gertz in his name in the property registry, the prosecutor controls his three homes on the Balearic island through a real estate company, Feserinvest SL It is a firm without employees that today head of the FGR constituted 990,000 euros (22 million pesos) on June 22, 2018, when he was rector of the Universidad de las Américas AC

Feserinvest SL deeded two of these homes in Ibiza for 400,000 (9 million pesos) and 575,000 euros (13 million pesos) in 2016, when Gertz was a university leader. The third property on the Balearic island was registered for 525,000 euros (11 million pesos) in 2019, when the official was already the head of the FGR.

Like the Madrid property, the three Ibiza apartments were registered at a price below the market average, according to real estate sources in the area. Today, houses in the same urbanization are sold for one million euros (22 million pesos).

The prosecutor’s firm rented in January on the Airbnb accommodation platform one of its three-bedroom, three-bathroom triplexes for six guests “with great views of the port” for 2,634 euros (60,000 pesos) a week.

Block of flats on the seafront of Ibiza that houses the three triplexes of the head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz.
Block of flats on the seafront of Ibiza that houses the three triplexes of the head of the FGR, Alejandro Gertz. Vincent Mari

Feserinvest SL —where Gertz appears as president and owner of 100% of the shares— registered losses of 18,559 euros (422,000 pesos) in 2018, the last year that it reported its sales to the commercial registry, according to the Informa database. And its vice president is a real estate firm that has managed the purchase and manages all its properties in Spain, according to one of its managers. The company also welcomes an Ibizan event organization businesswoman on its board. And to a firm that lacks properties controlled by a real estate businessman that accumulates 19 positions in 10 companies.

With a gross monthly salary of 6,888 euros (156,000 pesos), according to the Official Gazette of the Federation, Gertz has never disclosed details of his assets. Asked about the reason for his secrecy, the highest prosecutor has indicated that he only tries to avoid “possible extortions,” as he told the Univisión network at the end of last year.

Gertz: “Everything is declared”

The senior official assures EL PAÍS through a spokesman that he has not paid money to B in his purchases of real estate in Spain. And he explains why he bought his flat in Madrid so cheaply: “When it was purchased, it was completely abandoned and in its original old state. It can be ratified by the person who sold it, who can be identified, since he had other assets in the property.”

The prosecutor confirms that he obtained Spanish residence after buying his luxury apartment in Madrid in 2013 and maintains that all the deeded amounts coincide with the figures disbursed. He concludes that he declared the properties “to the Mexican authorities.”

Gertz’s four luxury homes in Spain revealed by this newspaper are added to the two exclusive apartments in the US uncovered by Univisión. According to this chain, the prosecutor acquired a house on Fifth Avenue in New York in 2012 for 2.1 million euros (47 million pesos) and another for one million in Santa Monica (California) in 2007, when he was president of the Mexican Federation of Private Institutions of Higher Education, AC (FIMPES). In addition, the Mexican press has reported another Gertz home in Paris, which he would have bought in the name of the university, and a residence in the exclusive Las Lomas neighborhood in Mexico City.

Before landing at the FGR, in January 2019, Gertz held different positions in the organization chart of power. He was Secretary of Security, first of the Federal District and later in the Government of Vicente Fox (2000-2006), and a deputy in Congress. And his position withstood the blows of several crises like a rock. One of them was the one that happened to him in 2001 when he escaped from Joaquín Jail El Chapo Guzmán, head of the Sinaloa cartel. Gertz was then the head of prisons.

investigacion@elpais.es

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