Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Interpol issues Red Notice for fugitive mayor of Toluca

Interpol has issued a Red Notice for the mayor of Toluca, who is accused of ordering the unlawful arrest of his ex-father-in-law.

México state Attorney General’s Office (FGJ) sources confirmed that Interpol issued a Red Notice – a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition – for Raymundo Martínez Carbajal on Thursday.

A woman in a striped jacket speaks at a podium
As is common for spouses of mayors, Viridiana Rodríguez served as the director of the municipal family services agency (DIF) until she was let go in April. (Ayuntamiento de Toluca)

The FGJ, whose officers have been searching for the fugitive Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) mayor for a week, asked the France-based organization to issue the notice. The whereabouts of Martínez, who took office in the México state capital last year, are unknown, but México state authorities apparently believe he may have left the country.

Viridiana Rodríguez, the ex-wife of Martínez, reported what has been described as an “express kidnapping” of her father to authorities, and also accused her ex-husband of crimes including physical and sexual violence and making threats toward her and other members of her family.

Her father, Emilio Rodríguez, was detained by Toluca municipal police in May, allegedly on the orders of the mayor. According to the FGJ, no warrant had been issued for his arrest and there was no justifiable cause for detaining him on charges of embezzlement of resources from the DIF family services agency in Toluca, of which Viridiana Rodríguez was previously president.

Rodríguez, who has a son with the mayor, has publicly stated that she feared for her life and those of her parents and other family members after being repeatedly harassed, threatened and attacked by Martínez over a period of 12 years. She also said she has been harassed, threatened and followed by municipal police.

A woman speaks to a camara
Last week, Viridiana Martínez published a video accusing her ex-husband of physical, sexual and psychological violence (Youtube).

Rodríguez claimed in a video message that the arrest of her father was an act of revenge after she left Martínez in February. “They raided his office, beat him and took him out by force,” she said.

The México state chiefs of the three parties of the Broad Front for Mexico (FAM) opposition bloc, the PAN, the PRI and the PRD, urged the FGJ to respect “the constitutional principles of legality and presumption of innocence” in the case involving Martínez.

“The commencement of a political persecution against opposition mayors in México state would be unacceptable,” they said in a statement.

México state Governor Delfina Gómez, who represents the Morena party, subsequently said that “citizens can be sure” that Martínez will be treated in accordance with the law, and rejected the suggestion that the case against him was political persecution.

With reports from El Universal, El País, ReformaInfobae, Proceso and Sin Embargo


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