Rancho Pozo Nuevo, expropriation target. Rancho Pozo Nuevo, expropriation target.

Sonora seeks expropriation of ex-governor’s ranches

13 properties valued at 561 million pesos are being sought

The Sonora government will initiate legal action to expropriate 13 properties owned by former state governor Guillermo Padrés and other officials who served in his administration, the attorney general said yesterday.

Rodolfo Montes de Oca explained that the total value of the real estate for which the Claudia Pavlovich-led government will seek forfeiture orders — including three ranches owned by the imprisoned ex-governor — exceeds 561 million pesos (US $29.4 million).

Sources with knowledge of the case told the newspaper El Universal that one of the properties targeted is the Rancho Pozo Nuevo, where Padrés built a dam in 2015 without federal approvals for which he was subsequently fined 4.4 million pesos.

Located in the municipality of Arizpe, the ranch has been valued at more than 165 million pesos (US $8.7 million).

Sonora authorities are also seeking to expropriate the Hacienda Rústica Caballerizas and El Derrumbadero ranches, which Padrés also owns. Their combined value is more than 126 million pesos (US $6.6 million).

The National Action Party (PAN) governor served from 2009 to 2015 but the year he left office he was accused of money laundering and tax fraud, for which authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.

Padrés became a fugitive from justice but was finally arrested and imprisoned in November 2016.

The ex-governor remains behind bars, although in February a federal judged exonerated him from two of the three charges against him.

At the time, Pavlovich said that “these kinds of situations hurt society, hurt the people of Sonora and hurt those of us trying to do a good job.”

Padrés has insisted that he is innocent of the charges.

The other officials from Padrés’ administration targeted by the legal action are former government secretary Roberto Romero López, ex-PAN deputy Mónica Paola Robles Manzanedo, ex-finance secretary Carlos Manuel Villalobos and former party state president Juan Bautista Durazo.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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