Mexican Fugitive Governor Arrested - Second in Days


A former Mexican state governor who has been on the run from police for more than five months was arrested on Saturday night in Guatemala, police said. According to information released by the PGR, Duarte's arrest took place in the town of Panajachel, Guatemala, under a provisional warrant with the intent of extraditing him to Mexico.

Mexico requested Guatemala's assistance in capturing the fugitive ex-governor of Veracruz, which borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Ex-Veracruz state Gov. Javier Duarte looked pale and visibly exhausted as he was brought to the military base in Guatemala's capital guarded by two dozen police officers. The dead include at least 16 journalists slain in Veracruz during his six years in office.

Javier Duarte is being investigated for corruption and is linked to real estate holdings in the USA, including in Scottsdale.

He had been governor of Veracruz for six years from 2010 to his resignation in October 2016.

Mexico said it has found millions of dollars purportedly linked to Duarte, frozen more than 100 bank accounts and seized property and businesses tied to the former governor.

He said he was doing so in order to face the allegations against him.

How quickly Duarte faces charges in Mexico would depend on whether he chooses to fight extradition from Guatemala, said Alberto Elias Beltran, a deputy attorney general responsible for global affairs at the Mexican Attorney General's Office.

An official with Interpol in Guatemala said Mexican officials called Duarte in his room to advise he had been located and that he should give himself up to police.

Duarte is accused of stealing millions of dollars of public funds while in office that would have otherwise been used for public institutions such as schools and hospitals.

But Duarte's capture could provide some political capital to President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose approval ratings have plummeted over the past two years and whose party is preparing for a close, fierce fight to hold onto the presidency in elections next year. Pena Nieto is using the arrest of the man he once signaled as the future of the party as a sign that the PRI will not tolerate corruption.

But Olvera is not counting on any resolution of Javier Duarte's case soon.

The party, which expelled Javier Duarte on October 25, 2016, and has sought to distance itself from him, applauded the arrest.

Orsi reported from Mexico City.

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