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Mexico to auction off seized luxury goods to help poor

May 22, 2019
FILE - In this April 29, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador attends a ceremony at the Military Airbase Number 1 in Santa Lucia, on the outskirts of Mexico City. López Obrador said on Monday, May 20, 2019 that the government is ending tax forgiveness, which for years had been a gift to the country’s biggest taxpayers. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador hasn’t just moved out of the luxurious president’s residence, he’s using it to auction off seized luxury goods to raise money for poor communities.

After he took office Dec. 1, López Obrador stayed in his middle-class condominium and turned the Los Pinos residence into a museum and cultural venue.

But on Sunday, the sprawling compound will host the first of several auctions of seized luxury goods, including a 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago, with an estimated worth about $73,000. If that’s too expensive, there is a 2014 Mercedes Benz ML63 at about $20,000.

There are also, interestingly, lots of bullet-proof cars up for bid. Proceeds will go to two of Mexico’s poorest townships, Santo Reyes Yucuná and Santa María Sanir in Oaxaca state.

López Obrador’s new Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People will continue with auctions of real estate and jewelry, most confiscated from criminals or in tax cases.

Some of the seized properties have been loaned out for use by non-governmental groups but will eventually be sold in other auctions to raise money.

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