César Duarte has one foot closer to Mexico. The former governor of Chihuahua was declared “extraditable” by a Florida judge, so he could arrive in Mexico at any time. Duarte is charged with aggravated embezzlement and conspiracy, charges that the judge finds credible. “There is probable cause to believe that he committed the crimes charged in the extradition complaint,” wrote Lauren Louis, a Miami court magistrate. From now on, Duarte has 60 days to appeal the decision, confirmed the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
Every time López Obrador visits the United States, bad news reaches Duarte. The former governor was arrested in Florida in July last year coinciding with a meeting that López Obrador held in Washington with Trump and this Monday the judge’s decision came hours after his arrival in New York to prepare for the presidency of Mexico at the head of the United Nations Security Council
According to the 13-page extradition document, Duarte is accused, among other things, of embezzlement and diversion of public funds, for having indebted the State of Chihuahua in more than 48,000 million pesos and for having diverted at least six million and half a dollar to two companies related to it: Unión Ganadera Regional General, Northern Division of Chihuahua and Financiera de la División del Norte. Likewise, he is accused of having diverted another 250 million pesos for political campaigns of the PRI.
Prosecutor Jason Wu affirmed that there are witnesses, whom he identified as “Jorge”, “Susana” and “Brenda”, who point to Duarte as responsible for embezzlement and point out that it was he who ordered the millionaire deviations when he was governor of Chihuahua. Duarte’s defense insisted that his client is a victim of political persecution by the until recently Governor Javier Corral, whom he pointed out as pressuring the witnesses to testify against him.
The former president of the border state was a fugitive from Mexican justice since 2017 and has at least twenty complaints of corruption against him. The Mexican government issued an arrest warrant in 2018 and asked Interpol to issue a red token, which allowed his arrest last summer.
Duarte ruled Chihuahua from 2010 to 2016 and his fall is closely identified with the course that the once powerful PRI has taken, today involved in scandalous accusations against its former governors. For some time Duarte was a symbol of a new style of doing politics and went from being publicly recognized by former President Peña Nieto as one of the faces of the “new PRI” to being expelled from the party last year after serious accusations and his escape from the country.
A string of accusations awaits him at home. His successor, Javier Corral, accuses him of diverting around 1,200 million pesos (more than 60 million dollars) during his administration. The former governor was also accused of diverting around 250 million pesos (12 million dollars) from the public treasury to finance the PRI campaigns in 2016. In addition, he is responsible for increasing the state debt to 48,000 million pesos (2,500 million pesos). dollars) and to embezzle more than 6,000 million (320 million dollars). The bulk of the complaints accuse him of embezzlement. The Mexican press reports 11 arrest warrants against the politician. In 2018, the Attorney General’s Office, predecessor of the FGR, dismissed a complaint against Duarte for the diversion of 65 million pesos.
Subscribe here to newsletter of EL PAÍS México and receive all the informative keys of the current situation of this country