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Mexico Said To Seize 3 Hotels

November 24, 1998

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexican authorites have seized three five-star hotels in the Yucatan resort of Cancun, saying they were owned by a major drug cartel, a Mexico City newspaper reported Tuesday.

The newspaper Reforma said the attorney general’s office had seized the Costa Real, Porto Real and Laguna Real hotels, between them worth almost $200 million, and said they were owned by members of a Ciudad Juarez-based drug-smuggling organization. Juarez is across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

The attorney general’s office also is investigating possible ties between the smugglers and several high-ranking officials of Quintana Roo state, Reforma reported.

The newspaper previously has published articles claiming alleged ties between Quintana Roo Gov. Mario Villanueva and drug dealers. It also has accused him of intimidating a U.S. consul.

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