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LatinNews Daily - 15 March 2021

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In brief: Mexican government auctions off five aircraft

* Mexico’s Instituto para Devolverle al Pueblo lo Robado (Indep), the government agency set up in 2019 with the remit of “returning to the people stolen money” recovered from corruption or drug trafficking organisations (DTOs), among other things, has announced that it has sold five aircraft (four helicopters and one aeroplane) belonging to the Mexican air force for M$89.9m (US$4.3m), 53% more than their exit value. According to a government press release, the government received 17 sealed offers. Indep’s director general, Ernesto Prieto Ortega, said the government was selling off these aircraft, which were acquired under previous administrations, as “they are expendable” and “generate expensive maintenance costs that could be used for other purposes.” He said that Indep was complying with instructions of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, adding that the government body is aware of “the importance of Mexico having an austere, efficient and honest government,” and that “there cannot be a rich government with poor people.”