Fugitive Mexican governor Javier Duarte arrested in Guatemala

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

According to worldwide news agency Al Jazeera, the infamous fugitive former governor of Mexico's Veracruz state suspected of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars has been detained in Guatemala after six months on the run, officials said on Saturday April 15.

Mexico's Attorney General's Office said Duarte was detained on Saturday with the co-operation of Guatemalan police and the country's Interpol office.

Duarte resigned from office to face corruption allegations in October a year ago but disappeared soon afterwards.

Elias said if Duarte did not fight the process, he could be back in Mexico in two to three months, and that the government would be trying to extradite him as fast as possible.

Javier Duarte, a former governor of Veracruz state, is accused of corruption, involvement in organized crime and embezzling millions.

Duarte promptly disappeared and had been sought by Mexican authorities ever since.

Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares, who replaced Duarte, believed the property had been furnished using public funds.

Authorities were tipped off to the presence of ex-Veracruz state Gov. Javier Duarte in Guatemala by the November 10, 2016 detention of a person carrying two passports with photographs of Duarte and his wife — but with different names — at the airport in the Mexican border city of Tapachula. Agriculture and oil-rich Veracruz, on Mexico's Gulf coast, is one of Mexico's largest states, and it has historically been a stronghold of Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Businesses and properties have been seized by investigators, who've also frozen more than one hundred bank accounts.

"During the investigation, it came to light that various private airlines offering services to the region were charged with transporting (Duarte) to different points in Guatemala", he said.

Garcia Harfuch did not provide the names of the people helping Duarte from Mexico City.

A reward of 15 million pesos (£583,000) had been offered for his capture. "There will be no pardon". And at least 16 journalists were killed during Duarte's term alone, Olvera said. Once a rising star in the PRI like Javier Duarte (who was suspended from the party around the time of his disappearance) and Yarrington, Cesar Duarte is being pursued over embezzlement charges.

Separately, Duarte's successor Yunes, a member of the center-right opposition, told Mexican radio it was hard to say exactly how much money the former PRI grandee had stolen.

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

Duarte became a powerful symbol of alleged corruption during midterm elections previous year in which the PRI lost several governorships, including Veracruz, that it had held uninterrupted since its founding in 1929.

Verza reported from Mexico City.

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