The former governor of Veracruz has declared a hunger strike claiming he is the target of “political persecution and a witch hunt.”
Javier Duarte Ochoa, in a Mexico City prison awaiting trial for embezzlement and ties to organized crime, released a handwritten note yesterday.
“From this day on I start my fasting and confinement. Of my own volition I have requested to be permanently locked in my cell,” wrote Duarte.
“I take this decision with the purpose of putting a stop to the political persecution and witch hunt that exists against me and against my former collaborators,” he continued.
Duarte claimed that his ex-collaborators had made statements against him under duress “to create a smokescreen that distracts society from the governmental disaster that currently exists in the state of Veracruz.”
Duarte was also critical of Judge Alma Aleida Sosa Jiménez.
“Curiously, she is the judge who has issued all the arrest warrants, acting under orders of the dictator who currently holds office as governor.”
Duarte expressed sympathy for his former collaborators: “I am aware of the hell they are going through.”
Duarte ended his letter with a slightly amended quote from the Bible: “The truth will set us free.”
The former Institutional Revolutionary Party governor was free until April, having fled after stepping down as governor last October despite offering assurances he would remain in Mexico to contest corruption charges that were mounting up against him.
He was apprehended in Guatemala after an international search warrant was issued for his arrest. He was extradited to Mexico on July 17.
Source: El País (sp)