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Former Veracruz Governor Goes Underground to Avoid Corruption Charges

LADB Article ID: 80223
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-03-01
By: Carlos Navarro

Javier Duarte de Ochoa left the post of governor of Veracruz in mid-October 2016, a few weeks before his term was about to end (SourceMex, Oct. 12, 2016). This was seen as a calculated move, as the governor’s immunity from prosecution was going to expire upon completion of his term. Duarte immediately went underground to avoid facing a host of charges, ranging from money laundering and corruption to embezzlement and association with criminal organizations. As of late February, Duarte remained a fugitive, and his whereabouts were unknown, but more details of the acts of malfeasance he’s alleged to have committed while in office were beginning to emerge. Federal and state investigations launched during and just after Duarte left office uncovered evidence that the governor embezzled public funds through the creation of phantom companies. A later probe by the Auditoría Superior de la Federación (ASF), an auditing agency that answers to the federal Congress, discovered evidence that Duarte also enhanced his personal wealth and that of his collaborators though phantom projects for which the Duarte administration obtained financing in 2012 via a special program sponsored by the federal public works financing agency Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (BANOBRAS).

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