A former interim governor of Coahuila was extradited to the United States on Tuesday to face charges of fraud and money laundering.
Federal officials handed over Jorge Torres López to the U.S. Marshals Service in Toluca, México state, where he was flown to Corpus Christi, Texas.
Torres is accused of three financial crimes by U.S. authorities: money laundering, criminal association to commit bank fraud and criminal association to commit electronic remittance fraud, in the amount of around US $8.8 million.
The Federal District Court of the Southern District of Texas claims Torres used Texas banks to launder money stolen from the Coahuila state treasury in 2011. He was arrested in February 2019 in Puerto Vallarta.
Torres declined to apply for federal protection against the extradition in early October, thus clearing the way for his flight north.
One of his lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, Carlos A. Solís, told the Associated Press that Torres had decided to face the charges in the United States in order to clear his name.
In an interview with the newspaper Vanguardia, Torres said he hopes he will be remembered “as a governor that worked in an administration to create a highly-developed Coahuila, one that all of us citizens of Coahuila are enjoying.”
The state government declared its support for the case against Torres, stating that although it has not received any requests for collaboration from either Mexican or U.S. authorities, it is ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation.
Torres was scheduled to appear before a federal tribunal in Corpus Christi on Wednesday.
He was interim governor of Coahuila between January and November 2011 after Humberto Moreira — who has also been accused of corruption but never charged — resigned to become national president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party