Like many wealthy and influential people of Latin America, Alejandra Barrales of Mexico owned real estate in Miami. A reporter for Univision television discovered that she owns an apartment in Miami worth approximately $990,000. She admitted her ownership of the apartment when confronted by the Spanish-language network.
 
Alejandra Barrales, a former flight attendant on a Mexican airlines, is the leader of Mexico’s biggest leftist political organization, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). She has had a long trajectory of involvement in labor organizing and had not been known for any business pursuits that might explain her luxurious residence in Florida. She purchased the apartment in 2015, and gave a down-payment of $693,000 over a seven-month period. She told Univision, “The money with which the security was paid was made over various times, various payments. It came out of my savings account, my personal account.”
 
Barrales said that she had not hidden the purchase of the apartment from the media or her constituents, but later released a public statement saying that “in recent days, it has come to my attention that there is an inaccuracy about the information.”
 
Documents at the county registrar in Miami-Dade County show that Barrales paid for the apartment with her down-payment and a loan of $297,000 from Eastern National Bank. 
 
When Barrales made the payment in 2015, she was serving in Mexico’s Senate. She claims that she saved money from per diem payments she received for serving in the Senate. The down-payment for her apartment exceeded her per diem payments.
 
In 2015, Barrales informed the Mexican Senate of the purchase of the property with a financial statement that was not made public. She showed that document to Univision during its report. However, she did not include that property in a “3 de 3” financial declaration she released upon becoming the leader of the leftist party. The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, which is one of the two organizations that received the “3 de 3” declaration, told Univision that while Barrales declared that owns “Albama Transportes,” she did not mention her mortgage and home in Miami, nor a business there. 
 
The apartment in Miami has two bedrooms, a view of the sea, and its own space for a boat. The apartment building where Barrales' property is located boasts 24-hour security, jacuzzies, tennis courts, and access to the sea.
 
When Barrales claimed in an interview with Univision that the apartment was not necessarily her property because it is owned by a partnership, the network pointed out that she is the owner of 99 percent of the company to which she was referring. She claimed that she purchased the apartment as an investment property that she intends to rent. “I’m a mom,” Barrales said, “I have to find the way to create an inheritance for my daughter.” She shifted the blame for her embarrassment to the “3 de 3” declaration formats. Barrales has several properties in Mexico, and reported that she earns approximately $329,000 in public money. 


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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