This June 29, a mobilization by security elements of the State Police of Puebla took place at the facilities of the UDLAP (University of the Americas Puebla), due to a legal dispute.

Lawyers have reported that it is due to a court order stating that the new board of trustees of the Fundación de las Américas Puebla (Las Américas Puebla Foundation), which administers the university, will take possession.

That is to say, the members of the Jenkins family, who made up the board of trustees, will be replaced. Horacio Magaña Martínez, standing as president, will be leading such a replacement.

Furthermore, the document establishes that the university’s rector, Luis Ernesto Derbez, as well as any person holding an administrative or managerial position, must refrain from impeding compliance with the order.

It also allows the use of public force, and prevents Derbez or the Jenkins family from seeking to dispose of the institution’s bank resources.

In addition to UDLAP, the Jenkins Foundation also manages the Colegio Americano de Puebla (American School of Puebla) and the ALPHA Clubs.

In further statements to the media, lawyers informed that the new board of trustees would seek to ensure that the students have continuity in their studies, as well as for teachers to remain in their current positions. Arguing that the takeover was only to secure the building.

Photo: Omar Contreras

Beginning of the legal dispute

The Mary Street Jenkins Foundation was created in 1954 by William Oscar Jenkins, named after his wife, Mary Street Jenkins.

This foundation received the inheritance of William Oscar Jenkins, in order to use that money for beneficial endeavors for Puebla and Mexico.

However, members of the family have pointed out accusations of money laundering with the resources belonging to his foundation.

In 2014, Guillermo Jenkins de Landa, grandson of Guillermo Oscar Jenkins, denounced his family for money laundering. Following the foundation’s donation of 720 million dollars to the Fundación Bienestar de la Filantropía (Philanthropy Welfare Foundation). Upon receiving the money, it took it out of the country and to Panama.

Now, in 2021, there is a legal dispute, initiated by Guillermo Jenkins de Landa when he denounced his family members for money laundering.

For this reason, in March of this year, an arrest warrant was issued against the members of the family: Roberto, Margarita, María Elodia and Juan Carlos Jenkins de Landa, as well as their mother Elodia Sofía de Landa de Jenkins.

Along with Juan Guillermo Jenkins and the family lawyers, Alejandro González Muñoz, Virgilio Rincón Salas and Carlos Román Hernández, who were the legal representatives in the donation procedure.

The new leaders of the Fundación de las Américas took over the assets of UDLAP on June 29. In order to obtain legal and material possession of the facilities. Carrying out a legal, fiscal and accounting audit of the university’s administration.

Meanwhile, in a statement released that same day, the family accuses Guillermo Jenkins de Landa of orchestrating a campaign against them. Assuring that the takeover of a university is an illegal act.

This action is in addition to others undertaken by Guillermo Jenkins de Landa, who seeks to annul the donation of 720 million dollars, return the assets to the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation and remove his family members from the board of trustees through legal action.

Thus, the new board of trustees of the Fundación de las Américas took over UDLAP.

What is UDLAP’s stance?

A press release that appeared to be issued by the UDLAP, circulated in social networks. It regarded the handover of its facilities to the Fúndacion de las Américas. However, it turned out to be fake, and labelled as such by the social media accounts of the university.

This, together with the statement issued by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, indicates that both remain under the control of the former board of trustees. Thus, denying the legal intervention.

Update 20:00 Hours

In a press release, UDLAP informed that it had an injunction of protection (amparo) against the deprivation of assets and rights, granted in May 2021.

Assuring that this injunction is valid to this day, to the extent that the trustees are not removed and that there is no intervention in their administration, accounting or any act of deprivation of assets and rights.

UDLAP assures that this is an illegal act, since the suspension issued by a federal judge against this type of actions, which they consider to be a dispossession, was not respected.