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Mexiko Cesar Duarte, Ex-Gouverneur Chihuahua
Former governor Cesar DuarteImage: Reuters/J.L. Gonzalez

Mexico seeks former governor Cesar Duarte

January 20, 2018

Mexico's attorney general is seeking to bring back the former governor to stand trial on corruption and electoral charges. The current governor claims that Duarte is in the United States.


The office of Mexico's attorney general said on Friday that it had requested the extradition of a former ruling party governor accused of corruption and electoral crimes. It did not, however, identify to which country the request had been made.

The suspect is Cesar Duarte, who governed the northern state of Chihuahua from 2010 to 2016, according to a source in the attorney general's office who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Duarte, was a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

Before he disappeared, Duarte denied accusations of wrongdoing. His whereabouts have not been known since around the time his term finished in October 2016.

The current governor of Chihuahua Javier Corral, a member of the National Action Party (PAN), has repeatedly said he is in the United States.

A second arrest

Alejandro Gutierrez, another former PRI official, was arrested last month. Chihuahua prosecutors have accused him of participating in a scheme to divert 250 million pesos ($13 million, €10.5 million) in public funds earmarked for education.

A member of the PAN center-right opposition party, Corral was among those who had called for Duarte's extradition.

Meanwhile, Corral has accused Mexico's finance ministry of withholding funds to punish his state government for investigating alleged PRI corruption.

Last December, authorities in Chihuahua detained Alejandro Gutierrez, a former top PRI official, for allegedly taking part in a scheme to divert about 240 million pesos ($12 million, €9.8 million) in public funds for political campaigning.

Ahead of the national presidential election in July, the corruption scandals are expected to be a central theme of the campaign.

Campaign taking shape

Officials of the PRI ruling party said on Friday that Vanessa Rubio, Mexico's deputy finance minister has joined the campaign team of ruling party presidential candidate Jose Antonio Meade. 

Meade had been in charge of the finance ministry before stepping down to run for the presidency. His campaign, however, has been struggling to gain traction with voters and a poll released this week showed him stuck in third place. The current front-runner is leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the MORENA movement.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexican presidential candidate
Mexican MORENA presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez ObradorImage: Reuters/Y. Ceballos

Memanwhile, Juan Pablo Newman is reported to be leaving his role as chief financial officer of the state oil company Pemex to take charge of the finance ministry's public credit unit.

The changes require senate approval which is considered a formality.

av/jm (Reuters, AP)


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