Prosecutor: Former Chihuahua governor could be extradited this month

Border Report Tour

In this Oct. 5, 2012 file photo, governor of the northern Mexican border state of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte attends the 30th annual Border Governors’ Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. Mexican prosecutors said the government had sought the former Gov. Duarte’s extradition from the United States last year and was informed Wednesday, July 8, 2020, by the U.S. Justice Department that U.S. Marshals had detained Duarte in Miami. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – The special counsel leading the case against Cesar Duarte says he’s been told a decision is forthcoming this month on the extradition of the former Chihuahua governor to Mexico.

Duarte stands accused in Mexico of misappropriating more than $100 million in public funds to benefit his cattle business, his family and friends, and some political allies. He was arrested last July in Miami and remains in a Florida prison pending extradition.

Special Counsel Jorge Espinoza Cortes on Monday said Mexico City officials who’ve been in contact with U.S. federal authorities told him to expect a decision from a federal judge before the end of August. That’s about a week before Espinoza hands over the case to the incoming administration of Gov. Maria Eugenia Campos. The governor-elect herself is under investigation in connection to allegedly receiving bribes from Duarte when she was a member of the Mexican Congress.

“Contrary to what some (players) close to the former governor are saying, we are leaving this case all but won,” Espinoza said. He added the investigation against alleged criminal associates of Duarte would continue “regardless of who they are” until he hands over the case to the Campos administration.

He said 49 former government officials, politicians and former business associates of Duarte are being prosecuted and three have been convicted. He said 87 properties worth a combined $35 million allegedly bought with illicit profits have been seized from those people.

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