Corruption
Murky ties between King Juan Carlos of Spain and infamous Mexican former President Salinas are coming to light
The case of a real estate development in a Mexican beach under the scrutiny of the Spanish courts. The creation of the Ibero-American Summit.

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday returned to the fray against Spain's King Emeritus, Juan Carlos de Borbón, over accusations of alleged corruption that the former monarch faces in Spain.

"I regret what is happening in Spain, that it is not being reported and nothing is being said. The Spanish people, a hard-working and honest people, now have to bear the shame that, even on the instructions and recommendation of a judge, the King, who abdicated his power and the Crown, had to be investigated and exonerated in a special court," the president said, while criticizing the Spanish media for not reporting on the investigation.

Behind the Mexican president's attack is hidden, once again, the figure of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), one of the most infamous former Mexican presidents of recent times, who is suspected of election fraud and massive corruption, and who is also credited with the brutal economic crisis that Mexico experienced in 1995 and which dragged down several Latin American countries. The former president has a friendship with King Juan Carlos that resulted in various investments by Spanish companies in Mexico, but which AMLO points out in a business deal in Quintana Roo.

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King Emeritus Juan Carlos of Spain.

During the Salinas de Gortari administration, Spanish construction company OHL arrived in Mexico, a firm closely linked to the Spanish monarchy that began to venture into the Caribbean with hotels, and later would have multi-million dollar public projects under President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), who, like Salinas, also belongs to the PRI party.

According to the Madrid correspondent for Mexican newspaper La Jornada, in the case file appears a tourist development in Playa del Carmen for which Juan Carlos would have charged a hefty commission at a tax haven.

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The location of the hotel project, the southern state of Quintana Roo, reinforces López Obrador's hypothesis. Salinas de Gortari had a close relationship with then-PRI governor Martín Borge and with the man who promoted the investment, then Secretary of Tourism Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, who himself had been governor of the state and who years later would return as Enrique Peña Nieto's Secretary of Energy, possibly at Salinas' request.

The relationship between the former president Salinas and King Juan Carlos was also shared with OHL's founder, Juan Manuel Villar Mir, a friend of both figures and the builder of an empire that, in the era of López Obrador, now faces significant financial problems.

Beyond this case, it was in the Salinas administration that Spanish companies began to disembark in Mexico, an event in which the Crown had significant influence.

Juan Carlos and Salinas met in 1989 when then Mexican president visited Spain. In a meeting at the Zarzuela Palace, they devised what would later become the Ibero-American Summit. Salinas often recounts that the King wanted the first summit to be held in Madrid, but it was he who convinced him to hold it in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1991.

There, a friendship would begin, in which former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, with whom Salinas also has a good relationship, appears. 

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