The wife of the jailed ex-governor of Veracruz has demanded the return of her diaries and other personal belongings seized by authorities in a letter to the state Attorney General’s office.
Karime Macías is now living in London, England, while Javier Duarte is in custody awaiting trial on charges of embezzlement and organized crime following his extradition to Mexico from Guatemala in July.
Veracruz authorities seized numerous diaries including one in which she had repeatedly written “Yes, I deserve abundance” along with dinnerware sets, art, luxury pens, glassware and other personal belongings from a warehouse in Córdoba, Veracruz, in February.
In the 13-page letter prepared by lawyers for the former first lady of Veracruz, Macías recognized 193 seized objects as her personal property but seemed most concerned about items that could potentially implicate her in the alleged wrongdoings of her husband.
“I demand the return of my personal diaries and any personal documentation insofar as it violates my right to privacy,” the letter said.
Macías denied that any of the confiscated items are the proceeds of crime.
“None of the belongings referred to as my own are instruments, objects or products of crime of any kind . . .” the letter asserted.
Macías has not been charged with any crime and the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) has not issued a warrant for her arrest although Veracruz authorities continue to investigate her for possible links to corruption.
Macías also accused current Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes of making false accusations and violating her right to privacy, presumption of innocence and due process by displaying the seized items to the media at a press conference.
One of the diaries allegedly contained a hand-drawn map detailing the locations of real estate properties she and her husband owned around the world, while Macías claimed that the “I deserve abundance” comment is related to spiritual fulfillment rather than material desire.
“He exhibited a private diary of the undersigned and distorted statements of a spiritual nature, intending to produce criminal bias without the slightest qualm and in complete violation of the rules that should govern his conduct,” the letter charged.
The letter — posted online by news site Animal Político — also questioned whether authorities had a search warrant to enter the warehouse and requested a copy of the document.
Some of the items seized — including more than 2,000 packages of school materials, almost 200 wheelchairs, 16 pairs of crutches and 229 walking sticks — do not belong to Macías, the letter stated, but were instead “planted” with the intention of incriminating her in illegal activities.
“. . . they don’t have the slightest relation to the undersigned or my husband,” she argued.
Macías went on to say she was forced to leave the country because of “persecution,” pointing the finger squarely at Yunes who she says has violated the rule of law and is acting out of personal political interest.
“The fact that I find myself taking refuge in the United Kingdom for that reason . . . limits the full enjoyment of my individual guarantees,” the letter said.
Macías officially requested political asylum from the U.K. government in October on the grounds of political persecution.
The demand for her belongings to be returned was made within a designated 90-day period after which they would otherwise be automatically turned over to the state.