Moreira: arrested today in Spain. Moreira: arrested this morning.

Coahuila ex-governor arrested in Spain

Humberto Moreira suspected of money-laundering and embezzlement

Spanish police have arrested a former governor of Coahuila and ex-president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) on suspicion of money-laundering and embezzlement, reported the newspaper El País.


Humberto Moreira was detained today on his arrival at the Madrid airport at the request of United States authorities.

Moreira, 48, served as Coahuila governor from 2005 until 2011, earning notoriety for running up the state’s debt from US $200 million to $35 billion. He stepped down as governor before finishing his term in order to run for election as national president of the PRI, which he won in March 2011.

But he was forced to resign nine months later because of the debt scandal. In 2013 Moreira, who had been a teacher, moved with his family to Barcelona where he began studying for a master’s degree in education.

In 2013, Forbes magazine put him on the list of Mexico’s 10 most corrupt politicians and remains there despite Moreira’s accusation that he had been libeled.

Moreira has never been charged with any crime although evidence showed the state had obtained loans by using fake documentation during his tenure as governor. However, two of his associates haven’t been so lucky.

His finance secretary, Héctor Javier Villarreal Hernández, pleaded guilty in the U.S. in 2014 to money-laundering after authorities seized a bank account in his name in Bermuda. The $2.2 million it contained was suspected to be the proceeds of bribery or misappropriation of funds.


He and associates are believed to have funneled at least $35 million of illicit funds into the Bermuda account.

Villarreal Hernández is due to be sentenced in March. He was also charged in Mexico with forging documents to obtain loans for the state but fled and remains a fugitive.

Also a fugitive is the man who replaced Moreira when he left to take up the party presidency.

Jorge Juan Torres López, who was secretary of social development before becoming interim governor, is wanted in the United States on conspiracy charges.

Both men took funds obtained by illicit means and laundered the money in Texas, according to U.S. authorities.

The current governor of Coahuila is Moreira’s older brother, Rubén.

Source: El País (sp)

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  • jose sanchez

    Key here are the words in the lead sentence: “ex-president of the PRI.” The PRI is the current ruling political party in Mexico, and the president of Mexico at the moment — Enrique Peña Nieto — was nominated to stand as the PRI presidential candidate in 2012 by none other than the man now behind bars in Spain — Humberto Moreira. That is how close to political power comes this arrest.
    Not surprisingly, then, that the arrest warrant came from US authorities. Clearly the EPN government had zero interest in Moreira on mere “white collar” criminal charges — sexy headlines stem from victorious Army shootouts and drug busts on the northern border. Safe enough that Moreira was abroad; let the Americans do the heavy lifting in Europe.
    (Coincidence that this bust comes shortly after the recapture of “Chapo” Guzmán?)
    That said, the PRI dropped Moreira like a lead ball following revelations of enormous financial fraud in Coahuila while he was governor. He was so ostracized that few PRI “políticos” showed up at the funeral of his 25-yr.-old son, abducted and shot to death in his late-model pick-up truck in 2012. Not even Moreira´s brother, the current governor of Coahuila, appeared to share in the family grief.
    Should we wonder, then, despite promising new Ford Motor plants and record-breaking tourism, at the persistent level of cynicism of everyday Mexicans that the country´s ruling political class will ever take seriously citizen frustration at the tardy advance toward a truer democracy in Mexico?

  • James Smith

    Name one former Mexican pol who did not leave office a multimillionaire. Hmm…..won’t hold my breath.

    • Realista

      President Benito Juarez García.

      • James Smith

        Within the last 150 years, please.

        • Realista

          Don Benito Pablo Juarez García served 2 terms as President of Mexico beginning on Jan. 15, 1858 to April 10, 1864. His second term began on May 15. 1867 to July 18, 1871. Do your math, his first term is 2 yrs. over 150 yrs. but only his first term. Don is used as a term of respect for a man as Doña is for a woman.

          • James Smith

            Give me a break. No President of Mexico has been honest since Juarez who died in the same era. And you are correcting my math by 2 or 3 years? Must be a real slow day in your life.

          • Realista

            Let me be clear on this James Smith. The CIA has had a lot to do with the rampant corruption in what they call their backyard…Mexico. So do the math and research before you jump into any conclusion. I will not delve any further on this matter, but you need to in order to set your facts straight.

          • James Smith

            And you need to enter the real world and stop believing everything Sean Penn believes and says.

        • Beau

          The fleecing of Mexico started when Jose de Jesus Porfirio Diaz Mori was elected Mexico’s interim-President in November of 1876. He ruled Mexico for 27 years under The Liberal Party. His thievery and abuses during El Porfiriato, are well documented in the History of the Mexican Revolution. In 1929, Plutarco Elias Calles then President of Mexico, changed the party’s name to National Revolutionary Party; in 1938 Lazaro Cardenas, then President of Mexico dissolved the party and changed it’s name to Party of the Mexican Revolution; then in 1946, Manuel Avila Camacho dissolved the party, again, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party was born. They keep changing the party’s name, not their corrupt ways.

          • James Smith

            No disagreement.

  • Realista

    El Chapo is an altar boy compared to President Enrique Peña Nieto who is guilty of crimes against humanity, treason, misappropriation of funds, the list goes on and on. And Humberto Moreira Valdés and his brother the current governor of the State of Coahuila were the powerhorses behind Peña Nieto`s nomination to the presidency. So I believe all three are as guilty as hell.