Guatemala captures Mexican Ex-Governor wanted for corruption

FILE- In this Aug. 5 2016 file

Mexico has a long history of corrupt fugitive governors, including one who was arrested in Italy just last week, but former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte stands out.

Mexican authorities have found millions of dollars purportedly linked to Duarte, seized his property and businesses, and froze more than 100 bank accounts.

Critics of Pena Nieto say Duarte's arrest was meant to shore up support for the PRI ahead of a crucial state election in June and the presidential elections next year.

But things spiraled out of control for Duarte and his collapsed state of Veracruz.

The handcuffed Javier Duarte (C), former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz, is escorted by police following his arrest in Panajache municipality, Solola departament, Guatemala, 150 km west of Guatemala City on April 15, 2017.

How much Duarte allegedly stole from his state's coffers is still a matter of debate and the theft alone would not distinguish him from other looting governors.

Still, a lawyer acting for Duarte said at the weekend he believed the former governor would accept his extradition. "So it isn't just a problem of theft, but of misuse of public funds that has generated a financial catastrophe, a fiscal crisis unparalleled in the history of the state". Some 17 journalists were murdered during his six years in office, according to figures compiled by a special state committee.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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Duarte, 43, was governor of Veracruz from 2010 until he left office October 12, 2016, two months before the scheduled end of his term, saying he was doing so in order to face the allegations against him. The PRI lost Veracruz's governorship for the first time in its history last summer.

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

A former governor who had become a symbol of government corruption in Mexico was transferred to a Guatemalan military prison on Sunday hours after being captured in a hotel following six months on the lam.

New Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes, a bitter critic of Duarte, praised the arrest. They also found luxurious saddles, silverware sets, ostentatious furniture, school supplies and even wheelchairs presumably owned by the government.

Yunes campaigned on a promise to lock him up.

Duarte has been on the wanted list over organized crime charges filed by the Attorney General in 2016.

All three ex-governors were members of Pena Nieto's PRI.

Former Governor Javier Duarte was arrested on Saturday night in Guatemala. "Duarte's trial happens after the 2018 election", he said.