Fugitive Mexican Ex-Governor Duarte Arrested In Miami
Cesar Duarte, fugitive ex-governor of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, has been arrested in the United States on corruption charges, Mexico’s state prosecutor’s office announced Wednesday.
The arrest occurred as Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador makes an official visit to the United States.
“Cesar ‘D’ is being held in Miami, Florida, for extradition purposes,” the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter, observing a law prohibiting use of a defendant’s last names.
The 57-year-old Duarte, governor of the northern state of Chihuahua from 2010-16, is wanted in Mexico for allegedly diverting around $52 million in public funds.
Prosecutors said Duarte, who faces at least eight state and federal charges, was arrested in Miami by US Marshals.
He was a prominent member of then-president Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The former governor is expected to appear at a federal court hearing in Miami in the next 72 hours to be informed of the charges against him in Mexico.
Duarte was believed to be hiding out in the United States since an arrest warrant was first issued in 2017.
However last year, under the Lopez Obrador’s government, the Attorney General’s office said it began a fresh effort “to prepare and submit an extradition request that would meet all the requirements of US law.”
Around a dozen former Mexican governors have been charged with corruption or links to organized crime.
Duarte is the first to be arrested under Lopez Obrador, who took office in December 2018.