Chihuahua marchers arrive in Mexico City yesterday. Chihuahua marchers arrive in Mexico City yesterday.

Chihuahua protest ends with agreement

Federal funds to be released, Duarte extradition request to proceed

The government of Chihuahua reached an agreement with its federal counterpart in Mexico City Saturday, bringing a week-long protest march from the northern border state to an end.

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The Mexican government pledged to reinstate 900 million pesos (almost US $48 million) of funding to the state and will proceed with its requests for the provisional arrest and extradition of former Chihuahua governor César Duarte.

Last month, current Governor Javier Corral accused the federal government of withholding funds in retaliation for its investigation into corruption committed during Duarte’s administration.

The National Action Party governor has also claimed that the government is deliberately dragging its feet on efforts to bring Duarte home to face the allegations.

At a rally in Mexico City yesterday, the governor described the agreement as a victory and recognized the work and leadership of Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete in reaching the accord.

Corral also called on everyone in the country to form one great national movement aimed at achieving a Mexico without corruption.

“The convoy arrived at its end, but not our movement,” he said. The governor has made fighting corruption a central tenet of his administration.

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Corral rejected any suggestion that the accord was reached in exchange for agreeing to transfer former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) secretary general Alejandro Gutiérrez to a federal prison.

Nevertheless, Gutiérrez — who is accused of operating an embezzlement scheme in the state and was detained in December —and another 100 federal prisoners currently held in state jails will be transferred so that “they are where they should be,” Corral said.

“We haven’t negotiated . . . where he is imprisoned doesn’t matter, as long as he remains in that condition,” the governor claimed.

However, the interior secretary said in a television interview that the transfer of Gutiérrez to a federal prison was a fundamental condition in order to be able to start dialogue with Corral.

Navarrete said the agreement was “honorable,” adding that it eliminated “a problem that never should have existed.”

He denied that the federal government had carried out a political campaign with its budget and stressed that progressing with the extradition request “does not remove the constitutional rights” that any person accused of a crime has to defend himself.

Navarrete explained that the agreement includes articles that stipulate that international extradition treaties Mexico has signed must be respected and therefore the federal government must lead the process to bring Duarte home to face justice.

However, he added that the government of Chihuahua will also be involved in the process “to avoid mistrust,” adding that if a state has issued an arrest warrant for a suspected criminal who is outside the country, it has a right to contribute to the formulation of the extradition request.

He said the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) are now preparing to ask Interpol to issue a red notice for Duarte, who is believed to be in hiding in the United States.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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  • Güerito

    This is a really extraordinary victory for PAN Governor Corral, the citizens of Chihuahua and Mexico at large. One of the few really positive news stories out of Mexico in the last few years.

    For those asking what can be done about corruption in Mexico, here’s your example.

    One honest, articulate and tenacious politician standing up to threats, extortion, slander and even physical attacks from corrupt PRI party thugs. When they realized Corral would not back down, could not be bribed, and had the visible support of the citizens of Chihuahua, they collapsed and changed course.

    The corruption investigation into PRI officials at the national and state level diverting government funds to PRI campaigns in 2016 will go forward. And the case against former PRI Governor César Duarte, based on entirely different corruption charges, will also go forward.

    • cooncats

      I wonder if our road funds in Jalisco got diverted to PRI pockets given this state has truly bad roads which are rapidly getting worse and when one travels about one sees essentially no maintenance being done now. For certain the PRI is Mexico’s biggest problem. They sure have looted the municipio I live in.

      Unfortunately I see the reformers killing their chances of putting a stop to the PRI train wreck because they won’t unite behind a single candidate. As it stands now, for example, Meade will probably win just because their are too many opponents dividing the vote.

      Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many candidates spoil the chances for an end to PRI corruption.

      Nice post Guerito

      • Güerito

        Thanks.

        As it stands now, Meade is in a distant third, with only 16% of voters’ preferences. He’s been a disaster as a candidate. His negatives are thru the floor, which is really astounding when you consider he was virtually unknown a few months ago. Mexicans have now seen him and they don’t like him. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with his simple identification as a PRI candidate. Good!

        The real battle the last few months and the next month or so, was supposed to be who would be in second place, with the assumption that supporters of the third place candidate will rally to # 2 to stop AMLO. Right now, Anaya is that # 2. Meade isn’t even close. So, PRI will now concentrate all it’s fire on Anaya in the next few weeks in a final attempt to drag him down to Meade’s level.

        If Anaya is # 2 in polls in, say, March and April, there is a chance he can pull independents and even PRI members who are terrified of AMLO – and win. Anaya is a very good debater and could really surprise in the three debates, the first being scheduled for late April.

      • Güerito

        Newest poll just out today. And more of the same.

        Meade now has an 83% name recognition, about the same as Anaya. Still has the lowest favorable/unfavorable: -16.

        AMLO: 38%; Anaya: 27%; Meade: 22%.

        Taken 1/27- 1/31:

        http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/elecciones-2018/amlo-con-mas-de-10-puntos-de-ventaja-sobre-anaya-y-meade

      • Dave Warren

        Education portfolio’s robbed as well.

    • WestCoastHwy

      Just wait, he will get the Machete!

  • Fester N Boyle

    The US should seize Chihuahua and some other northern Mexican states to fix the corruption and as a buffer zone to resettle US crimmigrants into. It’s justified because Mexico has aided and abetted the illegal entry of so many millions.

    • Dave Warren

      With Trump as Prez of those States it is just as bad …if not worse.

    • Vernon King

      I hope this is a bad form of humor. Invading Mexico would be a horrible mistake. I could make similar arguments about Mexico invading the US due to gun exports to Mexico. Right??

  • WestCoastHwy

    Now what? The Banda Parties are over, and all the monies are gone. I suppose there must be a good donkey show in town somewhere!

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