Another former governor from Mexico’s ruling PRI party – the fourth this year — has been arrested on corruption charges.
Eugenio Hernández was arrested in the state capital Ciudad Victoria, the state government said. He governed the northern state of Tamaulipas from 2005 to 2010 and has been charged by US prosecutors in connection with an alleged money laundering conspiracy.
His arrest follows that of another Tamaulipas governor, Tomás Yarrington, in Italy in April, as well as the arrests of Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, in Guatemala in April and Roberto Borge, former governor of Quintana Roo, in Panama in June. The former governor of Chihuahua, César Borge, is on the run.
A spokesman for the state government said Mr Hernández was arrested on Mexican charges of embezzlement and confirmed the US was also seeking his arrest. The US has not yet requested the former governor’s extradition, he said.
President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose own government has been marred by corruption scandals, has established a national anti-corruption system designed to crack down on the country’s endemic problems. But despite the string of high-profile arrests, no big name has yet been convicted.
The US Justice Department indicted Mr Hernández two years ago on charges of conspiring to launder monetary instruments and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicenced money transmitting business. If convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.
"The ex governor is accused of the crimes of embezzlement and money laundering and word on the street has always identified him as part of organized crime on a national level, specifically leader of Los Zetas along with the other ex governor Egidio Torre Cantu. Word on the street also says that in a conspiracy with Tomas Yarrington and with the knowledge of Egidio Torre Cantu he ordered the execution of Rodolfo Torre in Ciudad Victoria, an operation that was carried out by "El Paisa" also known as "El Galivan" and occurred with the physical presence of El Lazca who personally fired the final shot to kill him and fled in a helicopter (El Lazca is not dead, it was a crude move, but Mexico believed it).