Thursday, December 7, 2023

Former Coahuila governor arrested in Puerto Vallarta

A former governor of Coahuila was arrested today on corruption charges, some 13 months after the United States sought his extradition from Mexico.

Jorge Juan Torres López, wanted in the U.S. since November 2013 for money laundering and fraud, was arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

Torres, who served as interim governor of Coahuila between January and November 2011, transferred more than US $5 million to banks in Texas in 2008. The money was later moved to banks in Bermuda.

Former Coahuila treasurer Héctor Javier Villarreal Hernández was also charged. The latter has already pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in San Antonio, Texas, on July 10.

Torres was placed on the U.S. most-wanted list by the Drug Enforcement Administration and was described as armed and dangerous.

Mexican authorities opened an investigation into his activities in October 2013, shortly before the U.S. issued an arrest warrant, to determine the source of $2.8 million in a Bermudas bank account in his name.

The investigation determined that the money had been a gift from Torres’ father.

Torres became interim governor of Coahuila after then-governor Humberto Moreira resigned to become national president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Widely accused of corruption himself but never charged, Moreira lasted only nine months in his new job, resigning over a scandal in which it was revealed that he ran up the state’s debt from $200 million to $35 billion while in office.

He was arrested in Spain in 2016 on suspicion of money laundering and embezzlement but later released.

Source: Milenio (sp), Vanguardia (sp)

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