Fugitive Mexican ex-Gov. Javier Duarte detained in Guatemala

A former Mexican state governor who has been on the run for six months after being accused of corruption and embezzling millions, was arrested in Guatemala, the police said.

"We have detained Javier Duarte with the help of Guatemala", Mexico's state prosecutor said on Twitter.

He resigned his post to face corruption allegations but then disappeared in October 2016.

'This is a plus for Pena Nieto because it goes against this accusation that he and (Interior Minister) Osorio Chong were really fine with Duarte fleeing, hiding and not knowing anything about him, ' said Meyer.

FILE - In this August 5, 2016, file photo, the former Governor of Veracruz state, Javier Duarte speaks to reporters as he leaves the Attorney General's headquarters in Mexico City. "Let there be no mercy for those who were merciless to the people of Veracruz".

All of this makes for a rather persistent problem for the party's leader, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has been battling historically awful approval ratings.

Mexico says it has found millions of dollars purportedly linked to Duarte, frozen more than 100 bank accounts and seized property and businesses tied to the former governor.

Authorities were tipped off to his presence in Guatemala by the November 10, 2016 detention of a person at the airport in the border city of Tapachula. A reward of 15 million pesos ($730,000) had been offered for his capture. But authorities in Mexico vowed to recover the money Duarte allegedly stole and bring to justice his accomplices. "There will be no pardon". And former PRI Gov. Tomas Yarrington of Tamaulipas state was arrested in Italy on April 9. Javier Duarte had been staying at the four-star hotel under a false name for at least two days.

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Separately, Duarte's successor Yunes, a member of the center-right opposition, told Mexican radio it was hard to say exactly how much money the former PRI grandee had stolen.

The party, which expelled Javier Duarte on October 25 previous year, and has sought to distance itself from him, applauded the arrest.

So it's not too much of a surprise that, as the AP reports, the PRI cheered the capture of the former Veracruz governor, who the party said should "be punished in an exemplary fashion, as well as anyone who is confirmed to have taken part in his criminal ring".

Public disgust with corruption also contributed to electoral losses for the president's party in elections for governor past year, including in Veracruz, where the PRI had governed uninterrupted for more than eight decades.

He has also been widely criticised for rampant violence in the state during his administration, as drug cartels fought for territory and thousands of people were killed or disappeared.

During his roughly six years in office, Duarte's Gulf Coast state also earned the inglorious distinction of becoming "one of the world's most lethal regions for the press", according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Verza reported from Mexico City.

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