Mexican ex-governor extradition could take up to year

Javier Duarte had been staying at the four-star hotel under a false name for at least two days. Duarte, who is accused of running a ring that allegedly pilfered from state coffers, has been detained in Guatemala after six months as a fugitive and a high-profile symbol of government corruption. The Mexican government will seek Duarte's extradition, but it was not immediately clear how quickly that could happen or whether Duarte might seek to block it.

Noriega said Duarte would be presented before a judge to consider his possible extradition.

Investigators were said to have found a set of documents linking the ex-governor's wife Karime Macias de Duarte directly to the preparation and execution of actions to divert public resources for the personal benefit of some accomplices.

Alberto Olvera, a researcher at Veracruz University, said Duarte also did not stand out as a cunning politician or particularly brilliant thinker, but he left Veracruz with a staggering debt that Olvera put at over $1 billion and widespread violence, the scale of which is still being discovered in secret graves around the state.

Elías Beltran stated that two people provided Javier Duarte with the logistics for taking refuge in Guatemala. The governors have in part been shielded by laws that make it hard for federal authorities to audit state governments and prosecute wrongdoing by state officials, experts say.

Duarte left office October 12, several weeks before the end of his term, saying he was prepared to fight the criminal allegations.

Political analyst Alejandro Hope said it is hard to judge whether Duarte's capture — the second in a week of a high-profile, fugitive former PRI governor — will boost PRI President Enrique Pena Nieto's image in fighting corruption. He has been accused of embezzlement and, according to the Mexican authorities, is thought to be hiding in the United States. Earlier this year, Interpol issued a notice for his capture.

Duarte was transferred to a military prison in Guatemala's capital Sunday and Mexico's attorney general's office said prosecutors had directed the Foreign Ministry to request his extradition by the Guatemalan government.

The detention comes a week after Tomas Yarrington, the former governor of Mexico's Tamaulipas state, was arrested in Italy, also on allegations of organised crime and money laundering.

Another ex-governor, Cesar Duarte of Chihuahua state, is also wanted on suspicion of corruption and is said to have fled to El Paso, Texas.

The state of Veracruz also became Mexico's most unsafe region for journalists, with 17 killed during his time in office.

Duarte was a PRI stalwart for years until he was expelled from the PRI in October.

Altre Notizie