In this article posted Tuesday Sept. 6, the Daily Beast website explores how a failed business deal and lawsuit involving property in Playa del Carmen could be behind much of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ire toward Mexico:
Long before Donald Trump was playing at statecraft in Mexico, he was in dabbling in a different kind of diplomacy in Mexico: pageant diplomacy. And he was just as terrible at that.
It was a legal case that forms the backdrop to Trump’s views on Mexico, and how that country is taking advantage of the United States. He had been screwed in a business deal, and he never forgot it.
Years ago, Trump had signed a business agreement with businessman Pedro Rodriguez worth millions, in order to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Mexico City in 2007. While Rodriguez paid him a fraction of the cost up front, Yucatecan businessman Rodolfo Rosas Moya’s properties were apparently put up in a trust as collateral for the rest.
But Trump claims that he didn’t get paid according to the agreement, and subsequent court action has failed to yield the millions of dollars he believes he’s owed.
Mexican newspapers report that Trump’s beef with Rosas Moya focuses on 25 empty lots in a plush part of Playa del Carmen. Trump even reportedly won an arbitration against Rosas Moya in Mexico in 2012—but didn’t make any progress on recouping the lost cash.
Trump believes that he is owed some $12 million from the agreement, according to a 2015 Bloomberg report. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
His Mexican legal troubles seemed to anger him deeply—and in a tweetstorm last year he explicitly expanded his personal irritation with the Mexican legal system to implicate Mexicans more broadly.
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