Roberto Sandoval and his daughter Lidy, who were arrested Sunday. Roberto Sandoval and his daughter Lidy, who were arrested Sunday.

Former Nayarit governor arrested for corruption after 8 months on the run

Roberto Sandoval and his daughter were arrested in Nuevo León

An ex-governor of Nayarit and his daughter have been arrested on corruption charges in connection with payoffs from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and money laundering.

Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, formerly of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and Lidy Alejandra Sandoval were detained Sunday morning in Linares, Nuevo León, and returned to Nayarit to face a state judge after several months on the run.

Arrest warrants were granted on March 1 for illicit activities during Roberto’s time as governor, as mayor of Tepic and before taking office.

Sandoval governed Nayarit from 2011 to 2017: a period that left a trail of forced disappearances, torture and families dislodged from their homes.

Sandoval was already facing charges after a state judge ordered his arrest in November last year for embezzlement and in May 2019 he was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury for “serious human rights violations.”

He was the subject of an eight-month search in Nayarit, Jalisco, Nuevo León, the state of México and Mexico City by the National Anti-Kidnapping Commission, the federal Attorney General’s Office, the army, the National Intelligence Center (CNI) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF).

He is linked to former state Attorney General Édgar Veytia, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence in the U.S. for drug trafficking.

The UIF’s allegations against Lidy Sandoval are for irregularities in the purchase of real estate in 2009 and 2017. Her son and his wife have also been implicated.

In an interview with the newspaper El Universal in September 2019, Roberto said that he was not afraid of being arrested as he had already testified in 2018. He added that “his people” supported the governing Morena party and President López Obrador because he had been betrayed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

With reports from El Universal (sp), El País (sp) 

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.