The Chihuahua Auditor’s Office (ASE) has filed criminal complaints against former governor César Duarte and 42 officials who served during his administration for the embezzlement of 6 billion pesos (US $317 million).
The irregularities relate to the state’s public accounts for the 2016 fiscal year, and were first detected by the Chihuahua Congress and referred to the ASE for review.
The Auditor’s Office said the complaints, filed with the state Attorney General’s office, are the result of an exhaustive technical investigation which detected the possible crimes of diversion of resources, bribery and embezzlement, among others.
The auditor’s report said that various officials in Duarte’s government “failed to comply with the principles of legality, honesty, loyalty, impartiality and efficiency, which they should observe in carrying out their employment.”
Auditor Jesús Raymundo Mata said the 6 billion pesos disappeared between January and October 2016, when Duarte’s six-year term concluded.
The former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor is a fugitive from justice and believed to be living in the United States.
Current Governor Javier Corral has accused the federal government of protecting his predecessor from corruption charges by dragging its feet on attempts to extradite him to Mexico.
Earlier this year, the Chihuahua government staged a protest march to Mexico City, whose aim, in part, was to pressure the federal government to expedite the process to bring Duarte home to face justice.
But not even an Interpol Red Notice, first issued a year and a half ago, has succeeded in securing his arrest.