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Frontman for disgraced Mexican governor handled $7m property portfolio

Further details emerge about activities of Moisés Mansur and his links to Javier Duarte

Moisés Mansur Cysneiros, the Mexican businessman accused of acting as a frontman for Javier Duarte, the disgraced former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz who is now on the run, managed an extensive business portfolio worth at least $7.2 million that included properties in Mexico, Spain and the United States, EL PAÍS has learned.

Javier Duarte, former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz.
Javier Duarte, former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz.

The Mexican authorities allege Mansur is part of a complex network of more than 30 companies and proxies set up by Duarte, who disappeared on October 15 after being accused of embezzling some $26 million during his tenure as the ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) governor of Veracruz, where he left a public debt of $837 million.

Mansur arrived in Spain in 2010, introducing himself as a wealthy Mexican businessman in search of a suitable home. Duarte, for his part, was familiar with Madrid from his student days, when he took a graduate course at the Ortega y Gasset Foundation.

The first accusations against Duarte were made in 2013

Prosecutors have built a case that links Mansur and Duarte: the former named the latter as the principle beneficiary of his will and also gave a credit card to Duarte’s wife, Karime Macías, who studied at Madrid’s Complutense University.

In 2014, Cysneiros purchased a luxury home in one of Madrid’s most desirable neighborhoods. The 403-square-meter apartment was bought for €4.2 million through a holding company called Worfolk Solutions, an EL PAÍS investigation has discovered.

Mansur is alleged to have spent a total of $5.5 million on properties between 2006 and 2014, including homes in Houston and Miami.

Furthermore, he managed at least five companies between 2001 and 2010, among them Ideas Corporativas, which between 2011 and 2013 paid around $500,000 in taxes in Mexico after declaring profits of some $1.6 million. He is also believed to have run a company that managed hotels and bars.

Moisés Mansur Cysneiros’ 2011 tax return. ampliar foto
Moisés Mansur Cysneiros’ 2011 tax return.

Mansur paid $412,000 in taxes in Mexico in 2014, corresponding to declared income of $1.4 million.

In 2010 he ran an accounting firm called Asamblea Logística, as well as an engineering firm, the latter with another man accused of acting as a front man for Duarte, José Juan Janeiro Rodríguez. The two also managed another company together, Corporativo Sosose.

Mansur’s wife, Ana Gabriela Peralta Villareal, was also a shareholder in Asamblea Logística in 2010.

On July 29, Mexican prosecutors sent the Spanish Justice Ministry a request for assistance, asking authorities here to investigate a complaint filed by a Mexican politician regarding Duarte’s alleged use of frontmen to acquire property in Spain.

The complaint, to which EL PAÍS has had access, was filed by Miguel Ángel Yunes, a deputy for Mexico’s National Action Party (PAN) who names 36 individuals he suspects could be acting as go-betweens for Duarte. The Mexican authorities are offering a reward of $700,000 for any leads as to Duarte’s whereabouts.

Mansur is accused of being part of a network of companies and proxies set up by Duarte

The Duarte scandal is another blow to the credibility of the PRI and President Enrique Peña Nieto. The former governor took over running Veracruz, a traditional PRI stronghold, in 2010. The state soon subsided into violence, with widespread disappearances, murders of women, and harassment and killings of journalists. For the first time in some 80 years, the PRI lost control of Veracruz in elections earlier this year.

Peña Nieto returned the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to the presidency in 2012 partly on an anti-corruption platform. Peña Nieto hailed Duarte as a representative of the new generation of PRI leaders, suggesting he was even presidential material. The PRI has responded to Duarte’s alleged crimes by stripping him of his membership.

The first accusations against Duarte were made a year later, when the PAN brought a criminal complaint against Duarte, accusing him and other officials of unlawful use of public funds.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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