Duarte, left, and Corral Duarte, left, and Corral: accusations beget counter-accusations.

Ex-governor retaliates against his successor

Duarte files complaints against Corral for diverting resources, smear campaign

Newly-elected state governors are quick to denounce the corruption of their predecessors when they are not of the same political stripe.

But in Chihuahua the tables have been turned.

Ex-governor César Duarte Jáquez’s legal team has filed formal complaints before authorities accusing his successor of diverting funds for the purpose of “political persecution” of their client.

After Duarte concluded his six-year term in October 2016 his successor, Javier Corral Jurado, promptly accused Duarte of a series of crimes including illicit enrichment.

As the judicial process against Duarte moved slowly forward, Corral decided last month to take to the road in a 12-city protest tour that will end in Mexico City, a march he called “For Dignity and United with Courage Against Corruption.”

At the same time the march was announced, billboards and transit ads bearing Duarte’s photo and demanding the federal government obtain his extradition from the United States appeared in the state.

Now, Duarte’s attorneys say that state resources were used to fund Corral’s protest tour and erect the billboards, and that the message the billboards carry has damaged the former governor’s image. A lawyer for Duarte said the signs indicate that Duarte is a criminal, yet he has not been sentenced for any crime.

The march started on January 20 and is scheduled to arrive Sunday at its final destination, Mexico City.

The complaints against Corral also claim that Duarte’s human rights have been violated by a smear campaign illegally funded with public money.

The documents also questioned Corral’s timing, alluding to political interests in the context of this year’s presidential election, and condemned the state for allowing public officials to join the protest tour during working hours.

The complaints were filed between January 24 and 30 before the special electoral and financial units of the federal Attorney General’s office, and the intelligence unit of the Secretariat of Finance.

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

Reader forum