Cesar Duarte, fugitive ex-gov of Chihuahua, has been arrested in Miami, hearing in 2 wks

Latin America World

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat   EP Times and Reforma

Extradition hearing postponed for two weeks

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. authorities in Florida on Wednesday arrested a former Mexican governor for extradition on corruption charges, according to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office.
In a statement, Mexican prosecutors said the government had sought ex-Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte’s extradition from the United States last year and was informed Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department that U.S. Marshals had detained Duarte in Miami. In keeping with office policy, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office gave his name only as “Cesar D,” but said they had worked with Chihuahua state prosecutors on the case.
Santiago Nieto, head of the Mexican Treasury’s Financial Intelligence Unit, confirmed it was Duarte via Twitter in congratulating the Foreign Affairs ministry on managing the extradition request.
“No one is above the law,” he wrote.

In 2018, Chihuahua state officials opened a new investigation into Duarte and dozens of officials from his administration. The probe centered on the possible diversion of the equivalent of about $120 million in government funds in 2016, when Duarte was governor.

The Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said at the time the investigation stems from a complaint following an audit of that period. It said 43 former public officials led by Duarte were implicated in “irregularities.”
Duarte already had a number of warrants out for his arrest.
He was thought to be hiding in the United States since 2017.

A federal judge in Florida postponed César Duarte’s first extradition hearing, which is why he will continue to be held in a Miami detention center without the benefit of parole.
Lauren F. Louis, a judge in the Federal Court of the Southern District of Florida, based in Miami, postponed the continuation of the hearing for two weeks, without specifying a date.
According to legal sources, the deferment issued this afternoon was granted by the judge so that the defense attorneys for the former governor of Chihuahua have a greater margin of time to prepare their defense.

Also, at the request of the lawyers, she postponed determining whether or not to grant the Chihuahuan freedom on bail next Tuesday.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made rooting out corruption a central theme of his administration. On Wednesday, he was in Washington meeting with President Donald Trump.

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