Hopes of a Lamborghini police car have been dashed.
Police in the Mexican city of Guanajuato was criticized after deciding to add a number of high-end vehicles and sports cars seized from criminals to their fleet. Perhaps as a recruiting tool to enlist prospective gearhead officers, or maybe as a way to show the public what happens to a car collection acquired through a life of crime. The criticisms mainly stemmed from the fact that the department was planning to use funds seized from criminals for the expensive maintenance the sports cars need, money that could have gone to better causes.
The Mexican government apparently agrees, according to Reuters, because it plans to auction off cars that it has seized from cartels, gangsters, and corrupt politicians to fund programs for the poor. The auction, run under the government’s new Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People (IRSGP), has been called the "Robin Hood” program since it takes money from rich criminals and politicians who leeched from the people and returns it to the community.
Currently, there are 82 seized vehicles up for sale including a 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago, a 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe, a 1951 Volkswagen Beetle, and a Ford F-150 Shelby. Other cars include Corvettes, Mustangs, Hummers, Mercedes, Porsches, Camaros, Jaguars, Jeeps, and more average cars like a Fiat 500 and a Smart ForTwo. The first auction is set for Sunday and has a total minimum price of $1.5 million, with the Murcielago boasting a reserve price of $77,300, the 1965 Mustang going for a minimum of $6,700, the C7 Corvette available for $35,500, the Shelby F-150 starting at $63,900, and the classic Beetle fetching no less than $13,300.
The program is good press for Mexico’s new president Lopez Obrador, who took office this past December and has promised to fight the country’s rampant corruption problem. Things are apparently so bad that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that Mexico lost between 5-9% of its annual GDP to corruption.
The proceeds of this particular auction will go to two municipalities in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, one of the poorest in the country. Subsequent auctions, including one that will offload three seized homes worth around $7 million and another that will sell seized jewelry, will benefit a youth drug rehabilitation program and impoverished mountain communities in the state of Guerrero. The head of Mexico’s IRSGP, Ricardo Rodriguez, spoke to attendants at a news conference, saying, "Before, this worked like a reverse Robin Hood ... taking from the people and giving to the corrupt. Not anymore.”
We’re just glad that Mexico has found a way to use cool cars to help society and simultaneously give deserving enthusiasts a shot at driving their dream rides.