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Trump’s failed Mexico ventures tells a tale

Last updated on October 24, 2017

During the last decade, now US President Donald Trump conducted business in Mexico as an entrepreneur; business transactions that proved unsuccessful.

Since becoming president, Trump has talked about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants to Mexico and said he will build a wall that will span the border between Mexico and the United States.

The conflicts between Trump and Mexico began about a decade ago with the organization of the Miss Universe contest in Mexico as well as the failed construction of a resort in Tijuana and an on-going land battle on the island of Cozumel.

President of the Center for Research for Development AC (CIDAC), Luis Rubio, says it’s possible that Trump was left with some resentment for the problems he had with Mexican businessmen, adding that Mexico must begin to act around this relationship. 

“Mexico has to develop a strategy of how we are going to empathize and how we are going to solve our internal affairs. These are issues that could protect us more as we depend on the United States,” said the president of CIDAC. 

Eric Rojo, former president of the Republican Party in Mexico considered that as an entrepreneur, Trump may have had good and bad business in the country, nevertheless, noted that the president must separate his personal businesses from his current mandate. 

“Trump is going to have to leave his business problems aside and start looking out for the interests of the United States and not for his own, despite his company difficulties which are always going to pursue him,” said Rojo. 

In 2006, Donald Trump began the promotion of what would be condominiums in Punta Bandera in Tijuana, Baja California, a project that would overlook the Pacific Ocean. The location of the condo project was located in Mexico 16 kilometers away from the United States border.

Trump’s project sold several pre-construction units that ranged in price from $300,000 USD to $3 million USD, however, loans for the construction of the project were never approved and the project never went beyond a giant hole in the sand, which led to a series of fraud lawsuits against Donald Trump.

Also in 2006, Trump applied to then island-mayor Gustavo Miguel Ortega Joaquin, of Cozumel in the state of Quintana Roo to build a $3 billion USD island within the island project. The proposed project was to include hotels, commercial plazas, marinas and water channels as well as an airport. It was sold as a sustainable tourism project and proposed in a virgin area in the eastern zone of the island.

Trump’s construction plans would have seen the destruction of masses of mangroves, lagoons, lowlands, wetlands and cenotes. The project, Punta Arrecifes, was denied by conservationists citing a deadly ecological impact for the fragile ecosystem of the island. Guadalupe Alvarez Chulim de Azueta, then-president of the environmental group Cielo, Tierra y Mar or Citymar, referred to Trump’s proposal as a “harmful and predatory project”. To date there is no official word on where the project stands since the entrepreneur has allegedly “advanced a significant amount of money to local and state politicians to move his request.”

In 2007, Trump held the Miss Universe contest in Mexico. The contest ran in the country for three consecutive years before a problem arose with Groupo Promoter MU Mexico, the company with whom he held the contest.

According to Trump’s lawyers, a disagreement over money turned the entire project sour which resulted in Trump filing a lawsuit against Mexican businessman Rodolfo Rosas Moya, in the United States. However, the Arbitrary Court in New York ruled in favor of Rosas, finding Trump’s complaint unconstitutional because Rosas was not bound to anything in the contract signed by Trump and Grupo México MU.

As for building a wall, Trump took the same route in May 2016 when he planned a 13-foot-high 200,000 tonne “sea defense” wall to protect Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg. The plan was scrapped when local residents, businesses and conservationists expressed concern over environmental damage to their local sand dune and wetland habitat.


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