Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral believes the federal government is protecting his predecessor from corruption charges and is planning a march to Mexico City in protest.
The week-long march “for the dignity of the people of Chihuahua” is intended in part to pressure authorities to hasten the extradition of former governor César Duarte, who is believed to be in the United States.
It will also highlight a battle over the revenues obtained by the federal government through the operation of bridges and how little is returned to the state.
Announcing the protest march on Sunday before a group of business owners, social and political activists, and municipal and state government officials, Corral asserted “this is the second Mexican Revolution . . . .”
The National Action Party governor said the march will conclude with meetings in Mexico City at the Finance and Interior secretariats and the Attorney General’s office.
Corral called it a march for federalism and a new financial system and one that is “against political corruption, with a single demand from the people of Chihuahua at its center: that [President Enrique] Peña Nieto, Luis Videgaray Caso, the foreign affairs secretary, and the Attorney General’s office streamline César Duarte’s extradition trial so he can face the courts of Chihuahua.”
Duarte was elected as a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Federal officials are protecting the former governor of the state, Corral charged. “That’s the issue at hand, let’s not mistake it.”
To further drive home the message, the state erected billboards in the state capital this week.
Accompanied by the hashtag #JusticeForChihuahua and a photo of Duarte, they read: “From the Peña Nieto administration we demand the immediate extradition of César Duarte.”
Corral said on Saturday that the relationship between the state and the federal government was practically broken. He was referring to the slow progress of Duarte’s extradition and the alleged withholding of 780 million pesos in funding needed by the cash-strapped state.
Corral claims the money is being withheld in retaliation for a state investigation into the embezzlement of public funds to finance the election campaigns of PRI candidates in 2016.