Mexico City, June 21, 2018 — Banorte, through what was then its US bank subsidiary, provided $2.14 million in lending to Nueva Esperanza, a center that has lately garnered notice for detaining immigrant children aged 10-17 a few miles from the border in Brownsville, Texas.
Banorte was the sole owner of Texas lender Inter National Bank in 2014, when Inter National provided the loan to the landlord of Nueva Esperanza, a Texas company named ChacBak LLC. Chacbak LLC used the proceeds in part to pay back loans totaling $1.2 million it had received from the government-funded operator of Nueva Esperanza, a nonprofit named Southwest Key Programs, Inc.
The facility, named Nueva Esperanza, holds children aged 10-17 who were detained by immigration officers and transferred to the custody of the US Department of Health and Human Services which pays Southwest Key to house them.
The children, up to 295 at a time, are held until the federal government releases them, usually to family or close friends, in a process that has historically averaged about 40 days.
Details of the operation
Southwest Key Programs, one of the nation’s largest operators of centers for detained immigrant children, received its initial Texas permit to operate the center on Jan. 23, 2014.
Nueva Esperanza has been cited for 43 deficiencies by Texas Health and Human Services in the past 3 years.
Banorte was the sole owner of Inter National Bank from 2009 to 2017. Inter National Bank made the $2.14 million loan to ChacBak LLC secured by Nueva Esperanza on August 26, 2014.
Southwest Key, which is almost entirely funded by the federal government, provided ChacBak with $1.2 million in financing on April 1, 2014 to help pay for improvements and to finance ChacBak’s acquisition of neighboring land. Conditions on the $2.14 million loan from Inter National Bank required the repayment of the Southwest Key loans.
ChedrauiLeaks found no evidence at the Cameron County Clerk’s office that the loan has been paid off. Banorte sold Inter National Bank on March 31, 2017.
Chedraui supermarkets CEO Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia has been a Banorte boardmember since April 2015. ChedrauiLeaks has previously reported on unrelated properties linked to Banorte Chairman Carlos Hank Gonzalez in Florida and California.
ChedrauiLeaks.org has made documentation available on its website at: http://chedrauileaks.org/banorte-ninos-migrantes/
ChedrauiLeaks.org is a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers, to investigate the connections between the Chedraui family and other Mexican elites as well as their links to business and property in the United States, the business and political activities of Mexican elites generally, and provide information about the struggle of El Super workers for a better life. ChedrauiLeaks is not stating that any members of the Chedraui family or its businesses had any involvement with the events referenced in this press release.