MEXICO CITY — If you missed the opportunity to win Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s house in a raffle held by the Mexican government last year, don’t worry — there are more narco-properties available. Mexico’s national lottery is back again on June 28, at the bargain basement starting price of just 200 pesos, or $10, and is offering properties and lots seized from drug traffickers and corrupt politicians.
This year's lottery is headlined by a gaudy mansion in an affluent suburb of Mexico City once owned by infamous cartel kingpin, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, aka “El Señor de los Cielos”, or the Lord of the Skies in English. Located in the Jardines del Pedregal de San Ángel neighborhood, the nine bedroom house is valued at nearly $4.5 million and comes with a wide variety of accessories including a wine cellar and bar, an indoor pool, multiple jacuzzis, and a children’s playhouse in the backyard. It also has a large parking lot for at least 20 of your vehicles and includes on site living accommodations for your security guards, with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchenette and a living room.
The luxury property was once owned by Carrillo Fuentes, the former leader of the Juarez Cartel and arguably the most powerful Mexican drug lord of the 1990s. During his reign, Carrillo Fuentes earned the nickname “Lord of the Skies” because he owned and operated an entire fleet of planes that trafficked drugs into the U.S. Although he reportedly died in 1997 during a botched plastic surgery operation, Carrillo Fuentes remains an infamous figure in Mexican narco lore, with many choosing to believe that he actually faked his own death and still lives free under an assumed identity. While most narco experts dismiss the theory, Carrillo Fuentes’ life and rise to power have become mythologized in numerous songs, movies and TV series, most recently featuring in Season 3 of Narcos: Mexico.
The raffle is the second organized by Mexico’s aptly named Give Back to the People What’s Been Stolen Institute. The Lord of the Skies’ mansion was one of many properties included in the September 2021 raffle, although nobody drew the lucky numbers for that property at the time. But maybe this time, someone will get lucky.
Along with the mansion, the raffle will also include over 100 vacant lots along the beach in the pacific state of Sinaloa. The lots were owned by former Sinaloa state governor, Alfredo Toledo Corro, who served from 1981 to 1986. It’s been alleged that Toledo Corro accepted bribes during that period from former Guadalajara Cartel founder Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. The properties had reportedly been illegally sold by Toledo Corro to Mexico’s tourism institute and were later seized by the federal government. The 100 waterfront lots are located on the espíritu beach, along with another 100 lots inland, with values differing between $43,000 to $69,000.
But for non-Mexicans wanting to join the lottery, there’s a hitch. Only Mexican citizens will be allowed to own any asset on the beach, so foreigners who win those lots will be paid out in cash instead.
Still, $10 for a chance to win a Mexico City mansion or the cash value of a beachside lot isn’t a bad option for raffle enthusiasts around the world.