Don Ricky’s shrinking Coronado outpost

Las Olas
The Las Olas food court upstairs in the building that houses Coronado’s Super 99 is out of business for the moment. So is the little playground there.

Explanations may be made, but…

photos and story by Eric Jackson

Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal is a convicted criminal, hiding out in the Nicaraguan consulate to avoid serving a 10 years and 8 months prison sentence for the laundering of money skimmed off of overpriced public works contracts and then invested in the purchase of a chain of newspapers. He has more criminal cases pending here and fines and forfeitures that prosecutors are trying to collect.

In Spain there is a pending investigation about him stalking a former mistress. The US government calls the guy a crook and already extradited him once, plus tried, jailed and then deported his two sons. He doesn’t want to run THERE again.

At the bottom line? Yes, he may have a proxy presidential candidate standing in at the moment and promising a full pardon, but the fanatical admirers generally don’t have money to invest and the investors by and large don’t care to take the risk of doing business with him anymore. It shows in the decline of his shopping center in Coronado. Closed food concessions, reductions at some of the business that are still there, the remodeled El Rey across the street drawing much more traffic.

The Supreme Court will rule on whether his appointed proxy will be on the ballot in his stead, but meanwhile economic forces are closing in.

The gym next to the food court is still open but there were few people there on the Thursday morning when this reporter went by.

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