The Governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral Jurado, accused former President Enrique Peña Nieto of having protected his predecessor, César Duarte, who was captured this Wednesday in Florida, United States. “(The arrest of Duarte) is a triumph against the impunity that he enjoyed until today for the protection that the former president of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, gave him,” the governor said in a message broadcast on social networks.
Javier Corral also accused the Peña Nieto government of having taken “economic retaliation” against the people of Chihuahua for the legal actions that were taken around the former governor. This is not the first time that the state president has pointed out Peña Nieto and the then Attorney General of the Republic (today the Prosecutor’s Office), of having protected Duarte Jáquez and his relatives, such as Alejandro Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, former secretary general of the PRI. At the start of his six-year term in 2012, Peña Nieto presented César Duarte and other former governors who are currently facing corruption charges as ‘the new face of the PRI’. In his message to the media, the PAN governor acknowledged the “political will” of the current federal government to request the arrest and extradition of César Duarte.
‘I must thank and acknowledge the political will of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (…) to the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, and to the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, for having complied with the law and the treaty of extradition in a timely manner. It is a sign that the country can move forward and that we all must have common fronts, and one of those fronts is the fight against corruption, ‘he stressed. He also thanked the state prosecutor, César Augusto Peniche Espejel, and the entire team that contributed to the Justice for Chihuahua operation, created with the aim of clarifying the acts of corruption committed in the government of Duarte Jáquez. Javier Corral said that the news about the capture of the former governor was reported to him after the meeting held by Presidents López Obrador and Donald Trump in Washington. The first one who gave him the news, he said, was Foreign Minister Ebrard, and a few minutes later he received a call from the prosecutor Gertz Manero. “It has been a long battle to ensure that the former governor’s action does not go unpunished. (César Duarte) amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune, acquired expensive farms, ranches, companies, and exotic cattle, all beyond his financial means (as a public servant), ‘Corral accused.
The state president recalled that, at the end of his administration, César Duarte left a public debt of almost 50,000 million pesos, compromising the future income of the Chihuahenses. Javier Corral emphasized that the former governor also created a network of ‘political corruption’ for the benefit of his party, and a network of ‘protection’, this through the delivery of large sums of money to local deputies, businessmen, opinion leaders, columnists and some media. According to the governor, César Duarte fled to the United States in 2016, at the end of his term, to evade any action against him. He would have entered that country through a tourist visa and then he was able to obtain a permit, but it expired in 2017. “For three years he remained in the United States evading justice and various arrest warrants,” said Corral, adding in 2017 Interpol he had already issued a red token for the location of Duarte. Now, the former governor of Chihuahua will be presented before a US federal court, which will be in charge of admitting the extradition request to Mexico, where César Duarte will face several corruption charges.