A federal court has ruled that a so-called “Impunity Expo” in Mexico City showcasing evidence of corruption allegedly committed by a former Chihuahua governor must be shut down because it compromises his right to the presumption of innocence.
The Mexico City-based administrative court granted a provisional suspension order to ex-governor César Duarte, who ruled the northern border state between 2010 and 2016 before fleeing Mexico early last year to avoid possible criminal charges.
The court said that photographs, video and other evidence on display at the Chihuahua government’s offices in Mexico City could discredit Duarte’s personal and professional reputation.
Current Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral, who has made bringing Duarte to justice a central aim of his administration, inaugurated the exhibition officially called “Impunity Expo: the plundering of César Duarte, protected by the regime,” on November 22.
The court order said that “upon being consulted or observed by any given person, the information exhibited in the Impunity Expo, to a greater or lesser extent, generates a certain unfavorable image of the now-plaintiff.”
The court also said that media reports about the contents of the exhibition could irreversibly affect the ex-governor’s right to the presumption of innocence.
Duarte, who held office for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is believed to be living in the United States.
Two Interpol Red Notices have been issued for him but he has so far avoided arrest and extradition to Mexico.
Governor Corral accused the previous federal government and specifically ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto of protecting Duarte.
The Supreme Court last month granted provisional protection to Peña Nieto and members of his cabinet that prevents them from being targeted by the Chihuahua government’s corruption probe.
During its investigation, state authorities have seized several ranches that Duarte allegedly bought with funds he embezzled during his governorship.
Photos of the ranches and information giving details of his alleged embezzlement of more than 1.2 billion pesos (US $58.4 million at today’s exchange rate) had been among the evidence on display.
Source: Milenio (sp)