World News

Fugitive Mexican governor Javier Duarte arrested in Guatemala

Fugitive Mexican governor Javier Duarte arrested in Guatemala

Duarte, who became governor in 2010, resigned previous year before the end of his term and then went on the run.

In their investigation of Duarte, the authorities have seized property and businesses purportedly tied to him, and have frozen scores of bank accounts.

Duarte was wanted on suspicion of money laundering and organised crime, and prosecutors directed the foreign relations department to request his extradition.

A photo released by Guatemalan police showed a bespectacled Duarte, clad in a grey shirt and black jacket-vest, being escorted by Interpol agents.

Javier Duarte is being investigated for corruption and is linked to real estate holdings in the USA, including in Scottsdale. Earlier this year, Interpol issued a notice for his capture.

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.

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

"I have no comment, thank you", the former Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, governor said to a question from The Associated Press as he entered the prison.

The extradition of a former state governor for Mexico's ruling party arrested in Guatemala at the weekend on corruption charges could take up to a year, a senior Mexican official said on Monday. He is accused of running a corruption ring that allegedly pilfered millions of dollars from Veracruz's coffers, and stripped its schools and hospitals of their resources.

"I don't have foreign accounts", he said previous year.

He is expected to be extradited to Mexico at a later date.

"That's why his capture is really important for Mexico's federal government because until now it seemed that they just let him slip through their fingers despite all these allegations swirling around him".

But Yunes said Duarte had acquired 10 residential properties worth millions of dollars worldwide, including in Arizona, New York, Spain, Miami and various parts of Mexico. Interpol joined the search and the Mexican government offered a reward of about $811,000 for his capture. He is not related to Javier Duarte.

The party, which expelled Javier Duarte on October 25 past year, and has sought to distance itself from him, applauded the arrest.

Under Mr Duarte, Veracruz also became the most unsafe region of the country for journalists, with 17 killed during his term.

Elected as governor in 2010, Duarte presided over a sharp deterioration in security in the state, punctuated by the discovery of mass graves and a spate of killings of journalists during his watch.


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