The Sanders/Cornelio conflict. The story behind a confrontation.

In recent years Yucatan has become a highly demanded place by both nationals and foreigners. To get an idea, the state of Yucatan in 1990 had 1,363,000 inhabitants. By the year 2000, it already had 1,658,200 people. By the year 2010 1,956,000, and by 2020, 2,321,000. Mérida’s growth has also been constant; by 2022, it is estimated that the capital city will have 1,150,000 inhabitants.

With the arrival of people from other states and other countries, there have been positive changes in the social and cultural structures, but, unfortunately, conflicts that were not so common in our state before are now a constant. It is common now to hear about the confrontations between foreigners and foreigners and between foreigners and Mexicans.

In these pages, we have reported multiple over the years. On this occasion, we investigated in depth the case of two foreigners who accuse a Polish man, with legal residence in the country, married to a Yucatecan woman, of having forcibly removed them from a residence on the Yucatecan coast, according to their accusations with “intimidating tactics.”

The Yucatan Times interviewed those involved: Adam Kowalski and his wife, Gabriela Cornelio, owners of the property, and contacted Janet Sanders to hear each person’s side of the story. Here’s what they told us.

The property was being illegally subleased and advertised in Airbnb by Mrs. Sanders and her partner

 Adam Kowalski and Gabriela Cornelio.
 “Through AirB&B, the couple Sanders/Zamora contacted us to request our property, on the beach, to take for rent. At first, it was for a short time, but then we came to a long-term rental negotiation. A legal document was signed, which indicated among several clauses that the property could not subleased, that it had to be maintained in shape, and a series of rules and regulations that had to be considered at all times. Based on the above, they proceeded with the occupation of the property”.

The property was being subleased and advertised in Airbnb by Mrs. Sanders and her partner (Photo: Airbnb)

 “In the beginning, there was no major problem. The tenants paid in advance, and in general terms, the property was in good use. However, the situation became difficult when our daughter, due to her birthday, decided to gather with her friends at the beach. Since our property was not available, I suggested that she look via AirB&B for another place we could rent to have her birthday gathering. It was our surprise to see our own house listed on the platform as a place to stay”.

Restaurant menu

 “I went to talk to Janet Sanders and Joe Zamora and told them that the contract specifically stated that the property could not be subleased. I saw firsthand that the property was in deplorable conditions, with no maintenance, with one of the water pumps not working. But even worse: my property functioned as lodging and as a restaurant and a bar without operating licenses, land use, and sanitary permits”.

“I told the tenants that I wanted my property back that once the lease was up, they had to leave. Janet Sanders became frantic and argued that she would never go. That this was “their property,” and we could do what we wanted, but they would not leave.

From that point on, the confrontations began. Mrs. Sanders became violent and uncompromising. So we took the legal route and initiated proceedings against Sanders and Zamora”.

 “Multiple legal proceedings were carried out. We presented the required evidence to the judge for the misuse of the property, the incomplete payment of rents, the illegal sale of food and beverages. Because of the before mentioned, the authorities intervened. Together with us, they went to the property with a notary public to give a “Fe de Hechos” in English “Certified Statement of Facts” of the refusal to leave and vacate the property. The proceeding was carried out and legally confirmed the refusal of Janet Sanders and Joe Zamora to vacate the property.

In January, we went to the property to evict those inhabiting it by employing public force. It had been proven to be an illegal occupation. In the course of the diligence, Mrs. Sanders behaved aggressively, even against the Mexican authorities. We discovered she had several bladed weapons in strategic places and toxic chemicals to throw at those trying to do the diligence”.

Mrs. Janet Sanders, in various media as in social networks, has stated the following and Mr. Kowolski and Mrs. Cornelio addressed these affirmations:

 “My house” was viciously, violently, maliciously, maliciously, and illegally attacked and terrorized by Gabriela Cornelio and Adam Kowalski.” – It is not her house. It never was. The house has never been their property. A legal document was signed describing a rental, not a sale or a purchase. Mrs. Sanders and her significant other violated the contract, and for that very reason, the legal agreement was terminated. The house is not theirs.

“We have paid all the expenses, including maintenance, CFE, Telmex, employees, etc.” – That is stipulated in the legal document. Whoever takes any property on lease/rent in this country must bear the expenses arising from there unless otherwise specified in the legal document.

“We have furnished the house with art, furniture, state of the art bar/kitchen/office with all supplies, sound systems, electronics, etc.”. – We gave them the property fully furnished. We gave back everything they claim to have placed in the house.

“Gabriela Cornelio and her lawyer Marco Maya showed up at our house with 20 men to scare us and steal all our belongings.” – There is no such theft, the people who accompanied us were duly accredited, and again, the house does not belong to them.

“Our lawyer spoke to theirs and asked them to make a “good faith offer.”- A lawyer allegedly representing Mrs. Sanders and her partner tried to extort us and asked for 1.2 million pesos to leave the property. We refused to conduct such payment.

This story of conflict continues. The Sanders/Zamora couple has sent letters and communiqués to different mass media, requesting their version be acknowledged as the true one. In a message sent to this media, it was mentioned that Senator Ted Cruz has been involved.

Mrs. Janet Sanders was contacted by a reporter from The Yucatan Times and asked for a one-on-one interview. Her response was several refusals. Finally, she told us that she would send us a written statement with her position on this issue.

There are different reasons why a landlord may need to evict a tenant; either for severe breaches of the contract, for damaging the property, for non-payment, because he /she needs to use their property for personal purposes, or simply because they want to. Mexican law contemplates the above, and both the owner of a property and the tenant have obligations and rights.

There are three different types of notices for cause during the legal action in the process to evict a tenant:

  • The first notice is when a tenant has failed to make a timely rent payment, and his or her accumulated debt is in danger of increasing.
  • The second type of notice is sent to tenants who have failed to comply with one or more clauses of the legal document, such as misusing the premises, causing minor but constant damage, bringing animals into prohibited spaces, smoking in smoke-free areas, or subleasing the property.
  • The third type of notice is an “unconditional eviction notice” and is the strictest of the three types of notices. This notice does not allow tenants to continue to inhabit the property, even if they are interested in making amends.

In Mexico, a legal real estate lease document legalizes the process of renting a property as a dwelling, commercial premises, or for whatever purposes are most convenient to a third party. It stipulates the full details of the lessor, the lessee, and the property to be rented. It also serves as protection for both parties if their rights are jeopardized.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



Comments

comments