After saying he wanted to build a wall on the United States-Mexico border and, generally, pissing off immigrants to the U.S. from across Latin America, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is looking south — to build business in Colombia.
Trump, along with Italian real estate mogul Alessandro Proto, recently made a $100 million offer to buy noted football club Atlético Nacional of Medellín, Colombia, according to a news release from Proto’s multinational real estate group Proto Enterprises. Trump and Proto reportedly sent in the formal offer to Atlético Nacional’s president Carlos de la Cuesta last Wednesday.
“We are ready to invest in the club and bring it to the ranks of the world’s best,” the Proto Enterprises statement said. “Now we are awaiting a response from the club’s ownership.”
Colombia’s Spanish-language newspaper El País reported that any potential deal was still very much in doubt. According to the paper, the club’s press officer denied that the team was up for sale and said de la Cuesta laughed when he heard the news that Trump and Proto were interested in his club.
Trump’s latest potential business venture in Latin America comes nearly two months after he caused a worldwide reaction when he made remarks suggesting that the majority of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S. brought drugs and crime along with them. Then he expanded on his views.
“It’s coming from more than Mexico,” he said in the July 16 speech. “It’s coming from all over South and Latin America.”
Those comments ended up creating a tidal wave of backlash among Latinos. Two of the more vocal figures who spoke out against Trump were Colombian. Pop star Shakira called the speech, “hateful and racist,” while newly-crowned Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, also spoke out against the comments after winning Trump’s pageant earlier this year.
“I find Mr. Trump’s comments unjust and hurtful,” she said on her Instagram account after the speech. “As a Colombian and as Miss Universe, I want to show my support and validate the sentiments of the Latino community.”
Despite saying that Mexico and Latin America are “not our friends,” Trump’s new business interest is, apparently, not his only recent investment in Colombia. According to multiple Colombian news sites, Trump purchased a hotel in Medellín for $90 million, which is slated to open next year.