A decade after resigning as vice president of Peru amid a scandal of influence peddling, entrepreneur Raúl Diez Canseco opened on Wednesday in Doral the new facility of San Ignacio College, a part of an educational corporation founded in Lima more than four decades ago.
Diez Canseco said the modern four-story building at 3905 107th Ave. will have the blessing of Spain’s former president José María Aznar and Kristi Breen, vice president of Disney International.
The Peruvian entrepreneur said the investment in Doral seeks to promote careers in gastronomy and international business, among others, and dismissed the notion that the scandal in his country in 2003 may have marred his role as an educator.
“That was a political issue that was overcome in the Judicial Power [in Peru] where we won all the trials,” Diez Canseco said. “What has been proven and demonstrated in my country and in the world is that it was one of those disputes to oust someone who could have been president [of Peru].”
On Monday, during a tour of the new rented facility in Doral, Diez Canseco said the facility has a capacity for 500 students.
He added that in three more years a campus would be opened in Davie where the corporation has acquired about seven acres of land for $1 million. The investment in Davie will include $10 million more to develop the facility and he said it would have dorms for those students who require them. Diez Canseco added that the college seeks to include students of various nationalities.
Diez Canseco did not discard the possibility of returning to politics in his country, but said that his current priority is to promote education.
“I say that you carry politics in your soul,” Diez Canseco said. “If you ask a young man or an older person if they love their country, they will say yes. There is no way of changing things in the country if you don’t have some type of political roots. One can also do it with education. How? Forming future generations. My primary politics today is to form young persons.”
In 2003, Diez Canseco was accused of favoring tax exemptions for the father of Luciana de la Fuente, his mistress then and who later became his wife.
At the time of the scandal, Diez Canseco denied any romantic link with De la Fuente. However, photos taken on a beach in Miami and later published in several newspapers prompted several members of the Peruvian congress to ask for his resignation as vice president.
About his role as an educator, Diez Canseco said he is determined to promote a culture of accomplishment that has led him in recent years to help about 1,500 Peruvian students to practice their professions at Disney facilities. He added that by August, the new facility in Doral expects to receive a group of 20 French students.
The opening Wednesday was expected to be attended by Aznar and Breen.