September 23, 2023


Bloody property disputes a dark side of Mexico real estate

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — A grisly pre-Christmas killing of two young men and their uncle at an early 1900s house in Mexico City cast attention on the dark side of the capital’s booming real estate market, fed by a lack of legal documents and gangs that illegally seize properties.

Actor Andres Tirado, his musician brother Jorge Tirado and an uncle whose name was not released were found dead Sunday, all with their throats slashed. Prosecutors said the apparent motive was an ownership dispute over the property.

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In another case, a young woman on Tuesday posted a desperate video on social media from a rooftop on the city’s south side in which she can be heard screaming: “Police! Help! They have kidnapped me!”

Police said the woman told them relatives had erected a metal door to prevent her from leaving her home, trapping her inside with four children. Police said a dispute over property ownership was behind the alleged abduction and that an investigation was underway into the illegal takeover of the property.

Authorities have known for years there are armed, violent gangs that specialize in taking over houses. The trend is enabled by the fact that many properties — perhaps as many as one-fifth of homes — have no legal papers or have titles listed in the names of dead people who left no will.

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According to a 2021 report by the city government’s public policy evaluation agency, the percentage of homes in the capital that are occupied by squatters, that have ownership in legal dispute or that had owners who died without a will rose from 10.9% in 2010 to 19.9% in 2020.

Mexico has a costly, inefficient, antiquated and corruption-riddled legal system.

In 2019, Mexico City prosecutors said in some of the 311 active property-seizure cases that year, notary publics, lawyers or real estate firms had falsified papers to force out legitimate owners.

Because it costs so much to have a will drawn up in Mexico, many people do not do so, often leaving those who inherit homes with problems in protecting their rights.

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That appears to have been the case in the killings of the Tirado brothers and their uncle. The elderly brother of the uncle’s wife died recently after a long illness, but his nurse who had cared for him continued to live on the ground floor of the house in the thriving Roma neighborhood, made famous by the Oscar-winning 2018 movie “Roma.”

Prosecutors gave the following account:

The nurse tried to claim the house was hers based on her supposed romantic relationship with the deceased man. The man’s sister moved into the upstairs to prevent the nurse from seizing the home.

The Tirado brothers came to live with their aunt and uncle in August, in part to protect them. The nurse had brought her daughter and son-in-law to live on the ground floor, and the Tirados apparently feared they could become violent.

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What followed was a tense, five-month coexistence, with one family downstairs and one upstairs.

The downstairs family “began to act in such a manner that it progressed to this type of violence,” prosecution spokesman Ulises Lara said.

The nurse, her daughter and son-in-law have been ordered jailed pending trial on kidnapping charges. One of the men who may have carried out the killings — also believed to be related to the nurse — has been arrested on drug charges, but is under investigation in the case.

In other cases, gangs have simply forced their way into a property and kicked the occupants out. The city estimates there are 23 home seizure gangs operating in Mexico City, some of them linked to drug gangs and others to quasi-political groups.

“A problem we have in practically the entire city is the problem of property takeovers,” Mexico City prosecutor Ernestina Godoy said in 2019.

In 2016, for instance, a police operation evicted a violent group of squatters from a house in the upscale Condesa neighborhood that the group had seized years before. After the building was recovered, police found underground bunkers and tunnels dug beneath the structure. Weapons and stolen goods were also recovered.

The building was so badly damaged it had to be torn down, in the midst of rising prices and rents and a housing shortage in the city.


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Tour an Very Colorful Mexico Metropolis Residence Created by a Kelly Wearstler Disciple

Mexico City’s bustling Centro Histórico neighborhood is like an architectural ridiculous quilt. Stitched into its crowded streets, you will obtain Spanish Colonial cathedrals, Artwork Nouveau museums, and the stays of Aztec temples—after all, the metropolis is in fact crafted on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the historical money of the Aztec empire. So, when the L.A.-dependent inside designer Jessica Ayromloo was employed to style and design her friend’s CDMX pied-à-terre, she remembers, “I wished it to compliment what was exterior.”

Her consumer was Carlos Rittner, the longtime president of CR Creative Services, a company that handles warehousing and set up for inside designers. The two had satisfied when Ayromloo was performing at the workplace of Ad100 designer Kelly Wearstler (she introduced her have firm in 2012), and he called on her to renovate an condominium in a 1940s converted workplace setting up into a spot that could host his spouse and children as effectively as a regular stream of artists passing as a result of the artistic cash. (Rittner a short while ago opened Artbug, an L.A. gallery with a emphasis on Latin American artists.) He necessary adequate accommodations for visitors, and only a petite kitchen area. Otherwise, he gave Ayromloo carte blanche saying, “I advised her to do what she would do for herself.”

They ripped out current partitions, additional a handful of visitor baths, and created a putting trapezoidal visitor bed room (“it was inspired by indigenous architecture,” the designer notes of the unconventional shape) in the heart of the condominium. When they experienced stripped issues back to the bones, Ayromloo seemed out the home windows for inspiration. The snakelike molding of a nearby building motivated a very similar wavy motif she used as a type of wainscoting in the residing place. The terra-cotta exterior of a church throughout the street was incorporated into the dizzying tumbling block tiles by Rayito de Sol that wrap flooring and walls, pieced collectively with sheets of cork—a page from the Wearstler playbook, who Ayromloo recalls, “would choose a scarf and convert it into a floor.”

“That’s just what it’s like going for walks around Mexico Town,” describes Ayromloo, who used Comex paints to conjure CDMX’s vibrancy inside. “There are pops of shade everywhere—tiles combined jointly, color-blocked exteriors, there is no true rhyme or cause for it.”

Some furniture—like a 1960s, mosaic-topped eating table and a writing desk painted by David Serrano—came from Downtown, the erstwhile L.A. style and design mecca (the founders have since moved to Mérida, Mexico), which the customer had extended labored with. But the the vast majority was sourced all over Mexico from Trouvé, the blue-chip CDMX classic dealer, antique outlets in close by Puebla, and the sprawling local flea market, La Lagunilla.

“We would go out, get tacos, stroll close to, go to museums, just get influenced,” points out Ayromloo of their intuitive, hyper-neighborhood structure system. “We had a ground approach and ideas, but a ton of moments they would alter or morph based mostly on things we would see with each and every vacation.”

An antique door accented with acid eco-friendly, sourced in Puebla and applied as a headboard, established the color scheme in the most important bed room. In the meantime, salvaged ironwork parts attributed to midcentury style star Arturo Pani located at La Lagunilla were turned into a element of the modular couch. “We would just come across factors and figure out how to use it for another reason,” Ayromloo explains. Scenario in point: Dragon-shaped sconces from the flea sector grew to become shelf brackets, and copper plates grew to become sconces.

These kinds of intelligent specifics and intelligent sourcing brought the pulse of the community into the home. “In the Centro you come to feel the heritage,” describes Rittner, who is delighted to have his minimal piece of it. “There are hundreds of museums and dining places it’s like Disneyland for older people. It feels good to have this wonderful place with a good deal of colour exactly where you wake up and you want to discover the metropolis.”