Supporters of Moreira hold a candlelight vigil following his arrest last month in Spain Supporters of Moreira hold a candlelight vigil in Saltillo following his arrest last month in Spain. The candles form an H for his first name, Humberto.el siglo de torreón

Ex-governor returns after release from jail

Humberto Moreira doesn't rule out another run for governor

Coahuila ex-governor Humberto Moreira is back in Mexico after spending seven days in a Spanish prison, and is ready to consider running for a second term as governor.

Arrested in Madrid on suspicion of money laundering and corruption, Moreira was released when Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz said there was insufficient evidence for the case to proceed. Moreira’s release was not contested by the Special Prosecutor for Corruption and Organized Crime in Spain, which Moreira said was a sign that his accusers have no real evidence against him.

Moreira was accused of laundering money between Mexico, the U.S. and Spain, as well as using false documents to obtain funds believed to have been used in the governors’ campaigns of five other members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The same funds have been linked to the successful political campaign of President Enrique Peña Nieto, elected in 2012.

As governor of Coahuila from 2005 to 2011, Humberto Moreira aroused suspicion by increasing his state’s debt from US $27 million to $2.8 billion in just five years.

The ex-governor says that his brother, Rubén Moreira, who has been governor of Coahuila since 2011, will help him find the documents to prove there was no misuse of funds.

Of the accusations against him, Moreira said what hurt him most was the belief that he was involved with the Los Zetas cartel. He said that not only is he not affiliated with the gang, but blames Los Zetas for the murder of his son José Eduardo on October 3, 2012.

Spanish investigators believe that the ex-governor’s son was executed by the gang in retaliation for Moreira having transferred joint funds without their knowledge.

The Spanish court will decide in March whether to continue with the trial or to permanently close it.

It was revealed today by the newspaper Reforma that the Mexican government has taken an unusual interest in the case, asking the Spanish government to share the results of its investigation

Yesterday in the Coahuila capital of Saltillo, Moreira said if there was a possibility of being elected again, he would run. If he did so and won, it would represent 18 years of government headed by the Moreira family.

Humberto Moreira’s administration was tainted not only by the massive run-up in debt but by charges of embezzlement against two of his cabinet secretaries. One is in a U.S. prison awaiting sentence, and the second, who served as interim governor when Moreira resigned to become national president of PRI, is a fugitive.

Sources: Excelsior (sp), CNN Expansion (sp), El Español (sp), Sin Embargo (sp)

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.