Grilled beef (cake)
Life imitates art: Roberto Palazuelos has made a career out of playing the yuppie scumbags in telenovelas, but at 45, is a bit over the hill for soap opera villainy, so seems to be pursuing his calling in real life. Taking a cue perhaps from Dolly Parton, who traded on her wholesome image (and fond memories of her mammaries) to market her own resort complex, “Dollywood”, Palazuelos — who dubbed himself El Diamonte Negro — supposedly a reference to his tall dark and handsome schtick — has been pushing his own Yucatán resort complex, El Diamonte.
While advertised as an “eco-resort”, the property intrudes into Parque Nacional Tulum and — in theory — has been scheduled for eventual expropriation ever since the area was declared an ecological reserve back in 1981. That the original sale to Palazeulos in 2000 by an elderly Mayan couple was in itself irregular, hasn’t stopped Palazuelos from continuing to develop the property. Back and forth lawsuits flowed, along with raw sewage from the inadequate plumbing at the unfinished “eco-resort” which was closed by court order in 2008. Leading Palazuelos — in the best traditions of TV villians —to go to then regional director of National Commission for Protected Areas (somewhat the equivalent of the U.S. National Parks Service) — and drop the hint that “somebody” would put a bullet in said regional director’s head.
Which, coupled with his reported admiration of Ronald Reagan, and deciding he was qualified to speak on gay adoptions (he was against them) somehow meant Palanzeulos appeared to be an ideal PRI candidate to run for Presidente Municipal of Tulum last year. Though, for some reason, selling yourself as the local business executive fending off unreasonable federal mandates, just didn’t fly with the local party. Maybe it wasn’t his year… his big political advantage is a friendship with Enrique Peña Nieto (they move in the same social circles, EPN being married to a telenovela diva). Which, he appears to believe, is reason enough to claim the court order expropriating the property doesn’t apply to him.
And make not-so.veiled threats against President Calderón. And threatening to run for office again.
It’s not so weird that a “dancer and model” was arrested in Mexico City as part of an extortion ring. What was weird is that there are tanning salons in Mexico City, which is where Armando González, aka “El Muñeco” (the boy toy) was picked up Wednesday by federal authorities on suspicion that he was the lookout for payoffs to the extortion ring. One assumes he dressed inconspicuously…