Former governor César Duarte, arrested last Wednesday for his alleged responsibility for the crimes of peculado and delictuous association, amassed in the United States 50 properties susceptible to being seized, indicated the current representative of Chihuahua, Javier Corral.
During a work tour, Corral detailed that he was hired by the state government by a U.S. law firm to identify Duarte’s properties, either through family members or on behalf of his relatives.
«Having originally delivered a list of about 10 real estate that had been identified as the former governor’s property, the firm has identified about 50 assets in the United States in New Mexico, Texas, and Florida, including one of the recent locations that had been made was precisely this business, this workshop called Chávez, (where it was arrested), which had already been identified by the firm,» Corral said, according to a Chihuahua government bulletin.
The group of contracted lawyers, Corral said, will charge a commission but until the assets are recovered, «for which this agreement does not currently imply any overspending by the state administration.»
«Our main purpose, as we have always said, is to be able to recover, to be able to reintegrate the people of Chihuahua, the resources that took from him, the fruit of what was stolen, that is why Operation Justice for Chihuahua is more current than ever,» Corral said.
The first order of apprehension against Duarte was issued by the Chihuahua Prosecutor’s Office on March 27, 2017, after detecting a embezzleer of 6 billion pesos and the diversion of another 250 million pesos.
From that day on, Duarte was officially a fugitive from Mexican justice, which even asked Interpol for help to issue a red search and capture record in 190 countries.
Although the former governor wasn’t far away. He had fled to the neighboring country, to the United States, which he accessed on November 28 through Newark Airport in New Jersey. Since then, Duarte moved through several states of the American Union, taking refuge especially in New Mexico and Texas, where he owns several properties.
Months after the first apprehension order, on June 30, 2017, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the Care of Electoral Crimes (Fepade) reported that it also obtained another order against the former governor.
The Prosecutor’s Office led at the time by Santiago Nieto, now the holder of the Financial Intelligence Unit, accuses Duarte of the alleged unlawful withholding of the salary of 700 employees of the Chihuahua government, for six years, who accumulated a minimum of 79 million pesos, allegedly handed over to the PRI to finance election campaigns illegally.
As part of this election issue, Alejandro Gutiérrez, former deputy secretary general of the PRI CEN, was also arrested. On May 7 last year, Gutierrez was convicted of the crime of peculado.
On the other hand, the Superior Audit of the state of Chihuahua also accused César Duarte of alleged deviations quantified in more than 6 billion pesos.
And in February 2018, Political Animal published a note that, during 2016, the former member had 7,713 million pesos from short-term financing, of which it was not possible to identify the fate and application of those resources.
However, all these arrest warrants and warnings of million-dollar detours triggered no consequences against César Duarte. The reason: the Attorney General’s Office accuses its predecessor, the old PGR, of having frozen the case.
That is why it was not until October 2019, with the new administration of government, that another control judge of the District of Chihuahua issued another arrest warrant against Duarte and for extradition purposes. Same as yesterday was realized with the capture of the former governor in Miami, Florida.
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