This post was updated on .
Staying at a Trump branded property no less
Roberto Borge arrested in Panama
The former president was arrested before boarding a flight to Paris; Stayed in the Trump Tower of Panama, whose cost per room is 30 thousand pesos per night
In Panama, elements of Interpol and the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) of the Attorney General's Office (PGR) detained Roberto Borge , former governor of Quintana Roo, federal sources confirmed to EL UNIVERSAL.
Investigations carried out by agents of the AIC led to the identification of various collaborators, who supported him in the logistics of transfers by buying various airline tickets, as well as renting apartments and hotel rooms in different cities such as Miami, Florida; Havana Cuba; Nassau, Bahamas; Panama, Panama, and recently in Spain, where he planned to travel in the coming days.
According to reports, the former governor moved in Uber, so it was another element that led to his capture. Borge arrived in Panama on May 25 and was staying in the apartment number 24 of the Trump Tower, located in Punta Colon Street, whose cost per room was approximately 30 thousand pesos per night.
The PRI member intended to travel to Paris, France, and then to Madrid, Spain, but before he boarded the flight he was intercepted at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama at 20:00 hours.
The former president has an arrest warrant for the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin, drawn by the District Judge Specialized in the Accusatory Criminal System of the Federal Criminal Justice Center in the State of Mexico.
"The request for arrest is based on an arrest warrant issued on May 31, 2017, for his probable responsibility in the commission of the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin, provided for in article 400, section ll of the Federal Criminal Code" , The PGR reported.
The agency had requested the issuance of a red notice to Interpol, so he was sought in more than 190 countries. The former president was placed at the disposal of the National Migration Service in Panama.
The Deputy Attorney General and International Affairs in Panama will be responsible for making the formal request for detention for extradition purposes. On February 24, the PGR began the investigation against the former governor of Quintana Roo, for the irregular sale of state heritage lands to alleged prestanombres (people whose names were used to transfer the property titles to, usually close friends or relatives).
The investigation file opened by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Investigation of Organized Crime is for the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin; As a precautionary measure, 25 properties were secured. The irregularities that exist in the process of alienation of real estate, which cost 5 billion pesos, recorded (value) that they were sold below 6% of their real value.
The file was initiated after the complaint filed by the legal counsel of the Executive Branch of Quintana Roo, "in which it became known that during the period of April 2011 and April 2014 were alienated, irregularly and at a very high price Below the commercial value, multiple properties owned by the government of Quintana Roo. "
According to the investigation, the lands were disincorporated from the Real Estate Institute of the Public Administration of Quintana Roo and sold to people close to the former governor, among them his mother Rosa Yolanda Angulo Castilla, and César Celso González who is referred to as "prestanombres" of Borge.
In November last year, the government of Quintana Roo, headed by Carlos Joaquín González, reported that he filed a complaint of facts with the PGR and another in the Attorney General's Office for the sale of land owned by the entity.
Rafael Antonio del Pozo, Secretary of Public Management of the entity, mentioned that the property was sold with irregularities and that the prices set had been well below the real value. The estimated total of land sales was 9,500 hectares.
In September, the organization Somos Tus Ojos (We are your Eyes) also filed a complaint with the prosecution and two months later in the PGR against the former president and people close to him for having affected the state's assets. The organization reported that one of the properties insured in the name of Rosa Angulo, mother of the former governor, is 44,421 square meters; Another is 4 thousand 432 square meters.
The land acquired by César Celso González is 12 thousand 445 square meters and another one of 7 thousand 453 square meters, which were acquired for one million 244 thousand pesos and 745 thousand pesos, respectively. By having them in their possession, the estates were passed to the mercantile society Caracol 65 (similar to a private company or trust).
The governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín González, applauded the arrest and through his Twitter account wrote: "On June 5, 2016 - when he won the governorship - and on June 5, 2017 became days of change for Quintana Roo , It is time for results against impunity and corruption. "
Before that he considered that Borge's apprehension is "a first step, of many more", to reduce impunity and to reinforce the effective impartial of justice.
In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, prior to his arrest, he said that he had not yet been officially notified by the prosecutor's office or by any instance of the federal government about the issuance of an arrest warrant against Borge. "I have not been notified of this, because after all it is not an obligation to notify me. We have done our research, auditing, rendering results and transparency work. We have been advancing in the number of complaints to undertake justice that is what is required. We understand that this is the result of a first step."
Almost seems Mexico will eventually run out of government properties and the whole country will be privately owned.Not looking too good for the PRI Party for next year's federal election eh?
We can only hope. They are working hard on the State of Mexico election from yesterday (usually a stepping stone to the Presidency). Morena is in a tight heat with the PRI candidate.
In reply to this post by Chava
Seems to me that going to europe would be a sure bust, with all the hieghtend security nowadays. Would he have asked for amnesty in Spain/France due to the current chaos and disfunction of Mexicos "justice" system, by claiming his life was in danger?
He could have tried. Heck, he can try in Panama......doubt that it's gonna matter. They tossed on money laundering as a charge, so......they'll just be rounding up "his" properties and money, like all the fools before him I found more humor in the fact he was staying at a Trump branded property - since Mexico is so 'anti-Trump wall'
A link from today: (I don't have time to translate it right now, I'll look for it in English this afternoon, or try to translate later)
In reply to this post by Chava
No worries Chava.I appreciate your translations so far or whenever you have the time for those of us that aren't Mexican/American and Spanish takes forever to read and understand an article.
Ok, as close as I can get
Roberto Borge was staying at Donald Trump's hotel
Roberto Borge did not lose glamor. In his escape he spent 11 days in an exquisitely furnished suite at Panama's Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower.
He stayed at Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower and had a network of collaborators who facilitated his transfers and lodging during the time he was on the run.
Eleven days in a suite "exquisitely furnished in an elegant and cosmopolitan style". View of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by luxury shops, expensive restaurants and first class bars. Paying around $ 1,500 a night.
"The one who says that less is more, is why he never had more," says the slogan of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, the lair of Mexican politician Roberto Borge, accused of operating with resources of illicit origin.
The Attorney General's Office announced on Sunday the detention of the former Governor of Quintana Roo.
Borge is the latest link in a chain of former PRI governors accused of corruption. The Veracruz Javier Duarte, who was being sought for five months until he fell (was caught in Guatemala) in April, and also fugitive César Duarte of Chihuahua, are on the same list.
"They belong to the actors of the new political generation that is part of the Party," said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, a few months away from winning the 2012 elections about Borge and Duarte.
Five years later, the faces of the "new PRI" have been banished and unknown by the PRI and have the ruling party with a uphill panorama towards the presidential elections of 2018.
Borge began in politics in 2003 with the help of Felix Gónzalez Cantó, who ruled Quintana Roo between 2005 and 2011. At that time, he was 23 years old, he just graduated as a graduate in Business Administration from Tecnológico de Monterrey and was the Private secretary of González Cantó, who had a position as federal deputy.
The young Borge became two years later private secretary of the newly elected governor González Cantó and in 2009 at age 29 he made the leap to occupy his own seat in the Chamber of Deputies where he was secretary of the Committee on the Environment .
His meteoric rise made him leave the deputation after only six months and asked for a license (a leave of absence in Mexico, from one's current position, while still being paid I might add) to contend for the candidacy of the Government of Quintana Roo, which concentrates the paradisiacal beaches of the Mexican Caribbean and the strong economic interests of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, the main tourist attractions from the country.
The alliance of the PRI, the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (unconditional ally of priism in the last two national elections) and the Panal (controlled at that time by the magisterial leader Elba Esther Gordillo, now detained for three cases before Justice) Elections on July 4, 2010 by a margin of two to one in front of its closest competitor, the leftist Gerardo Mora.
During his term, Borge drew the attention of the rest of the country to the creation in 2014 of the so-called "anti-march law" which prohibited demonstrations and for his strong commitment to tourism developments, even though they had devastating ecological consequences and deals were closed in the opacity, according to their detractors.
The file open against Borge investigates the alleged irregular sale of state property far below the commercial value in favor of his mother Rosa Yolanda Angulo and his alleged frontman César Celso González.
Although the siege against the former governor was tightening, Borge had been uncorrupted of the indications until the administration of Carlos Joaquín González filed a complaint before the PGR last November.
The current Government of Quintana Roo asserts that Borge sold and irregularly sold nine thousand 600 hectares of land of the entity during his term.
The PGR took advantage of Borge's weakness for luxury and glamor to capture him with the help of Interpol.
The inquiries indicate that the former Governor had a network of collaborators who facilitated the transfer and accommodations in fleeing: Miami, Havana, The Bahamas, Panama and then Paris to finally arrive in Spain.
If everything went according to plan, Borge would have spent the next few days in Barcelona, but the authorities stopped him before flying to Europe. A few weeks ago, the former Governor had been allegedly caught being seen at an NBA game in Miami.
Borge arrived in Panama on May 25, the court order against him was issued on May 31.
He moved around in Uber cars, the same firm that fought hard and did not enter the main tourist spots of the Mexican Caribbean.
He was staying in room 24 of the President's luxurious 70-storey candle-shaped tower. That is the trail of the reckless, contradictory and implausible escape of Roberto Borge Angulo, the seventeenth former governor investigated for corruption in the last 17 years.
He had a life of luxury
Before being captured, former governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge, toured five countries, where he had a life of luxury, leading his taste for basketball, Lebanese food, transfers in Uber and rental suites in the most exclusive tourist developments, "with a stylish and cosmopolitan style" such as the Tower and Trump International Hotel in Panama, where he was captured on Sunday.
Borge traveled to Toronto, Canada; To Havana, in Cuba; Walked through Nasau, Bahamas, until arriving in Panama on May 25, without being persecuted by justice, because it was May 31 that the Attorney General's Office obtained the arrest warrant for extradition and issued the red card International through Interpol with which he was stopped at the Panama Airport before traveling from Paris, France. The PGR said his detention "is not a political issue" in the middle of the elections.
Borge is accused of money laundering, for the irregular sale of state estate lands to low-price lenders. He underwent medical examinations and was taken to a transitional cell. He must appear at a hearing to be notified of the reasons for his detention. The Criminal Chamber of the Court will continue the extradition.
(see link in article above)
This post was updated on .
Translation of above article:
Roberto Borge refuses the extradition procedure to Mexico
Former governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo, told the High Court of Appeal that he does not agree to the extradition process; His defense lawyer alleged a number of irregularities in his detention process.
Panamanian lawyer Carlos Carrillo, defense attorney for Roberto Borge, alleged a series of irregularities in the detention process of the former governor of Quintana Roo, which occurred last Sunday at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, before boarding a scheduled flight to Paris, France.
The former governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge, will appear this afternoon before a court in Panama for the formal start of his extradition process.
Borge attended this afternoon before the High cort of Appeal, made up of three magistrates, to the hearing requested by the Prosecutor's Office of International Affairs of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Panama.
During the appearance, the process of legalization of the apprehension of the former governor of Quintana Roo was fulfilled.
The Attorney General of Panama confirmed that attorneys Carlos Carrillo and Arturo Gonzalez Baso were hired by the former governor's family to take up the defense.
Gonzalez Boso told EL UNIVERSAL this afternoon that the family contacted them yesterday afternoon and they had contace with Mexican lawyers who know the case.
(P.S. I hate EL UNIVERSAL translating as you can't get a head start by putting it into google translate and copying and pasting from there, it's a total re-type process!!!)
And a new one in English!
My added note from this part of the story: However, Panama, like Mexico, does not automatically enforce preventative custody in money-laundering cases so there is a possibility that Borge will be released on bail.
Money laundering in Mexico "used" to be considered a "delito grave" - meaning serious crime, and one for which you would not be granted bail, as we saw in the case of the imprisoned teacher union leader, Esther Gordillo. I believe in the new reforms under Peña Nieto, money laundering isn't a serious crime anymore. Strange, isn't it?
Leading up to his capture (by the way, how to you imbed photos here?
It is quite an interesting article from the perspective of agents who had been following his trail.
I'll attempt to translate later (again, EL UNIVERSAL, grrrrrr)
As a side note, the PRI party is meeting today to decide whether to expel Roberto Borge from the party. If they do, that will probably mean that he can't ask for an "amparo" in Mexico, to keep from being jailed once he is extradited from Panama.
This is a funny story, horrible translation (thanks google) I'll try later to clean it up later:
A journalist from the gov. state of Quintana Roo, who was thrown in prison by the governor, is now trying to interview him in a Panama prison
Borge, from Governor to washing bathrooms in Panama
Mayan journalist Pedro Canché recounts his meeting with the former governor
Milenio | Mexico City .- Roberto Borge Angulo went from governing Quintana Roo to washing restrooms in "El Renacer" prison, in Panama, where he has been held since June 9, in the most exclusive area, according to Mayan journalist and activist , Pedro Canché Herrera.
"It costs him to wash the bathrooms, but he is learning," says El Ciervo, held in the same prison, Canché Herrera in Borge shouts in El Renacer: "Guards evict the journalist." No one heeded.
El Ciervo purges a 40-year sentence for murder and is in charge of organizing visits, according to Pedro Canché Herrera, who was jailed for nine months on sabotage charges.
Journalist Pedro Canché was arrested and jailed in August 2014, during the administration of Roberto Borge, who was unjustly accused of sabotage and remained in prison for nine months, until a judge acknowledged his innocence in the crime that was imputed to him.
Pedro Canché was arrested on August 30, days after covering protests against the increase in water rates in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
In his story, Pedro Canché tells how he managed to get to the Panamanian prison to wear clothes and toiletries for the purpose of interviewing the former governor, "the man who ruled Quintana Roo with arrogance and that sacked the state and sank more people Maya in misery ".
Roberto Borge did not wait for the communicator, and when he saw him, Canché says, he turned pale. He pressed his jaws: "The unshaven face turns red. The governor who put me in jail for his dictator's whims was there ... defeated."
The Mayan journalist said he had never seen the former governor even when he was accused of sabotage by the Borge government, a fact that kept him imprisoned for nine months and resulted in a public apology from the state government.
-Let's talk. This is nothing personal. It's journalistic work. Tell me how it is.
But Roberto Borge refused and asked to remove the journalist: "Guards, evacuate the journalist please. Send to evict this person!" Borge asked.
None of the guards complied with the request.
Roberto Borge was arrested on June 5 at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, when he intended to fly to Paris, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Gotta laugh.Shoe's on the other foot now for the Governor!He's a nothing now.Karma's a bitch!
In order to conduct a psychiatric evaluation, on Wednesday morning the former governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge, was transferred to the Department of Legal Medicine of the Judicial Investigation Police of Panama.
The moment of the transfer was captured by the journalist Pedro Canche , who recorded how police officers from Panama and Interpol board an official vehicle with the ex-governor of Quintana Roo to be transferred to the Department of Legal Medicine of that country.
After staying three hours at that site, Borge underwent various psychiatric examinations as part of the prison protocol of Panama, and then returned to prison.
Roberto Borge was arrested in Panama on June 4 when he intended to take a flight to Paris, France, and he was captured at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama .
He is accused for his probable responsibility in the diversion of 167 million pesos derived from contracts of purchase and sale of payments of real estate of the state of Quintana Roo, dispossession to individuals and violations to the human rights .
The Government of Mexico, for its part, seeks the extradition of the former governor of Quintana Roo , which, according to the Attorney General's Office, could take between six and 12 months .
FOOTNOTE: The reporter covering this is the same reporter mentioned above, who was imprisoned by this ex-governor.
How much land is 6x Cancún’s hotel zone?
The same amount that ex-governor Borge allegedly sold to family and friends
Anyone familiar with the zona hotelera in the resort city of Cancún would know that there are scores of luxury hotels with lavish pool areas and views of tranquil turquoise seas covering hectares and hectares of land – 9,500 in total.
Multiply the size of the area by six and that is how much of Quintana Roo’s public land that former governor Roberto Borge and his predecessor, Félix González Canto, allegedly sold to family, friends and associates at bargain prices.
Both governors represented the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The current National Action Party (PAN) administration has filed an accusation with the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) in relation to 23 properties allegedly sold by Borge, who served as governor from 2011 to 2016 but is currently awaiting extradition proceedings in Panama, where he was arrested on June 5 on corruption charges.
The losses to the state add up to 9 billion pesos (US $500 million), says state Deputy and legislative president Eduardo Martínez.
“Since they lost government, between June 5, 2016 and August 2016, they dedicated themselves . . . to finalizing the buying and selling processes so that when the new government came in it was already done.”
One of the properties in question is on the tropical island of Cozumel, reached by ferry off the east coast of the state near the resort town of Playa del Carmen.
An extensive parcel of seafront, forested land on the island, a state nature reserve until May 2014, is now owned by 74-year-old María Rosa Yolanda Angulo, Roberto Borge’s mother.
The property was sold for some 6.5 million pesos or 137 pesos per square meter, a price well below its real market value of about 40 million pesos, according to the local government and real estate brokers.
Angulo’s capacity to raise the funds to buy the land, even at the reduced price, has raised questions about its legality, including one by a civil organization that advocates for government accountability and transparency, “Somos tus Ojos” (We’re Your Eyes).
“She’s a housewife that didn’t have access to those kinds of resources to make that purchase,” association president Fabiola Cortés said.
In 2015, Borge’s mother ceded part of the land to the company Siyenat del Caribe, whose sole administrator is César Celso, the Borge family lawyer and also presumed to be one of the ex-governors’ several prestanombres or front men.
The 68-year-old lawyer owns a further four properties on the island as does Borge’s mother.
Angulo paid a total of 28.5 million pesos for the other parcels of land on Cozumel but their commercial value at the time of purchase has been estimated at almost 150 million pesos, or more than five times the amount she paid.
She also acquired properties at bargain prices during González Canto’s administration when her son served as the ex-governor’s personal secretary.
“A closed circle of former officials, friends and family members of those friends were favored . . . so as to acquire the properties via prestanombres,” said state Attorney General Miguel Angel Pech.
Former local councilor Ramón Escalante sums up a sentiment undoubtedly shared by the ordinary citizens of the Caribbean coast state where tourism is the backbone of the economy.
“What we want is for them to have to pay for all those diversions [of money] that they made and for there to be prompt justice so that everyone that has embezzled money from the public funds of Quintana Roo is put behind bars.”
However, whether his wish becomes true remains to be seen as the extradition request from Panama has not yet been approved, while impunity in the Mexican justice system may be another factor.
One hundred hectares of community-owned land sold illegally in Quintana Roo during the administration of former governor Roberto Borge Angulo has been returned to its rightful owners.
According to investigations carried out by the anti-corruption organization Somos tus Ojos (We’re your Eyes), Fidel Villanueva Rivero acquired 135 hectares of community-owned land in the ejido of Villa Cozumel, located on the island of Cozumel.
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