MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president has apologized for a 2014 scandal involving a $7 million mansion his wife bought from a firm that won lucrative contracts with his administration.
First Lady Angélica Rivera had purchased the so-called “Casa Blanca,” located in the exclusive Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City, from the HIGA Group, which is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantú. Hinojosa Cantú and HIGA had previously been awarded contracts by Peña Nieto’s government. Later, he was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal.
President Enrique Peña Nieto had reacted crossly at the time to those who criticized the purchase. Rivera later returned the mansion, which she had been buying in installments. She claimed she was using money she earned during her career as an actress.
But on Monday, speaking at the presentation of a new anti-corruption law, Peña Nieto offered “my profound and sincere apology for the offense and indignation I caused.”
He continued to deny all wrongdoing, but said he understood why Mexicans would be angry about the apparent conflict of interest.
Pena Nieto said he was deeply sorry and asked Mexicans for their forgiveness.
Speaking at the presentation of a new anti-corruption law, Peña Nieto offered “my profound and sincere apology for the offense and indignation I caused.”