Ex-Mexico Governor Cesár Duarte arrested in Miami
Duarte had at least 20 arrest warrants and after being caught on Wednesday, he is set for extradition based on corruption charges.
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Cesár Duarte was the governor of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico from 2010 to 2016 and a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The previous Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, touted governor Duarte as being part of the face of “The New PRI,” but those comments did not age well.
The former head of the border state had been on the run since 2016. Many of the arrest warrants against him are for embezzlement, elicit enrichment and diversion of public funds.
In 2017 the state of Chihuahua found he and his administration had diverted up to $320 million in public funds for the campaigns of members of the PRI party in 2015.
Once his term as governor ended, he went to the United States under the pretense of going to treat a back injury he received during a helicopter accident the previous year.
It is from this moment that officials say he went into hiding.
The last major interview he gave was for Milenio Noticias and when asked if he ever saw himself in prison, “Never... It would be bad if I had ever done something to be there.”
On Jan. 25, 2019, the PRI expelled Duarte from their party because of all of the charges being brought against him. A spokesperson for the party said in October 2018, his rights within the party were suspended.
Duarte was told he was allowed to make his case to stay affiliated with the party, but he never attended a hearing or sent a representative.
The mounting charges prompted the Mexican Attorney General’s office to ask Interpol to help them find Duarte and they set out to search for him in 190 countries.
The current governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral Jurado, also revealed that his office had continuously been receiving photos and potential locations of Duarte.
Images also circulated of him being at a bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, only a few miles north of Chihuahua’s border with the United States.
The Mexican Attorney General’s office was the first to publicly release the story that Duarte was caught by the U.S. Marshals Service on Wednesday in Florida.
When the office initially released the news on Twitter, they used the name “Cesár D” but it was later confirmed that it was in fact the former Chihuahua governor.
His arrest and extradition marks the second major victory for Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador this week in terms of his campaign promise of combating systemic corruption in the country.
Emilio Lozoya, former PEMEX executive, agreed to be extradited last week from Spain after he fled Mexico because of his involvement in the Odebrecht scandal.