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To Cover US Deal, Mexico's President Will Sell His Plane

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador flies commercial anyway
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2019 1:14 PM CDT
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador walks off the plane after traveling in economy class aboard a commercial flight from Guadalajara to Mexico City, on March 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador plans to fulfill a 2018 campaign promise to sell the country's presidential plane—though the estimated $150 million won't go to help poor communities as he initially stated. As the BBC reports, funds from the sale of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be spent on efforts to curb illegal immigration following a deal to avoid US tariffs. Asked Wednesday about the cost of the agreement—in which Mexico agreed to do more to stop Central American migrants seeking asylum in the US—Lopez Obrador said, "We have the budget," adding, "it would come out of what we're going to receive from the sale of the luxurious presidential plane."

While Reuters reports Lopez Obrador has introduced "a string of welfare programs for the poor and the elderly," some Mexicans are none too pleased to learn funds from the sale of the plane bought with $218 million of taxpayer dollars will ultimately be spent on non-Mexicans. Others doubt the plane will find a buyer before the agreement expires in 45 days, though Lopez Obrador said he expected a deal to close this week, per the Guardian. The jet has already been up for sale for several months, and is likely getting a little dusty in a California warehouse, as the president has been flying commercial since taking office in December. Mexico is also looking to offload another 60 government-owned planes and 70 helicopters, with Reuters reporting the proceeds will be spent in the same way. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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