Mexican ex-governor evaded justice with help of accomplices

Mexican ex-governor evaded justice with help of accomplices

Javier Duarte had been staying at the four-star hotel under a false name for at least two days. The government said it froze more than 100 bank accounts and seized properties around the country tied to Duarte.

He will be extradited to Mexico at a later date.

'This is a plus for Pena Nieto because it goes against this accusation that he and (Interior Minister) Osorio Chong were really fine with Duarte fleeing, hiding and not knowing anything about him, ' said Meyer.

"In our experience in the attorney general's office on extraditions with Guatemala, we're talking about six months to a year", Elias said on Mexican television when asked how quickly Duarte could be extradited to his homeland.

Another PRI governor from the class of 2010 wanted on corruption charges, Cesar Duarte of Chihuahua, no relation, is considered a fugitive and believed to be living in El Paso, Texas.

Duarte's wife, Karime Macías, does not have a warrant out for her arrest, and no member of Duarte's family is under investigation either, one Mexican official said.

Lawyer Rodrigo Sandoval waits outside Guatemala City's Matamoros prison, to visit Mexico's former Veracruz state Gov. Javier Duarte, Sunday, April 16, 2017.

He was suspended from this party, PRI - which is also the party of President Enrique Pena Nieto - before he disappeared.

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Javier Duarte, who until a year ago governed Veracruz state for President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), became a symbol of corruption in Mexico and his case is highly politicized with elections looming.

Interpol issued an worldwide arrest warrant against him.

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.

A reward of 15 million pesos (£583,000) had been offered for his capture.

His detention comes a week after Tomas Yarrington, the ex-governor of Mexico's Tamaulipas state, was arrested in Italy, also on allegations of organized crime and money laundering. 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 also has been widely criticized for rampant violence in the state during his administration, as drug cartels warred for territory and thousands of people were killed or disappeared into clandestine graves in cases that mostly remain unsolved.

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

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

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