Police outside the home of Duarte's in-laws on Saturday. Police outside the home of Duarte's in-laws on Saturday.

The search for Duarte returns to Chiapas

Officials seize computer, communications gear and US $54,000 in cash at in-laws' house

The hunt in Mexico and abroad for ex-Veracruz governor Javier Duarte continued this weekend in Chiapas, where a judge ordered a search of his in-laws’ house.

Several federal law enforcement agencies and crime specialists conducted the search Saturday in a high-end residential development in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The investigation into the parents of Duarte’s wife were being carried out by the state Attorney General’s office, but its federal counterpart took over a few days ago.

The authorities encountered Duarte’s sister-in-law on the property, located in the San Patricio residential development, along with her husband and two children. Antonio Macías Yazegey, the governor’s father-in-law, arrived while the search was under way.

No arrests were made but computer and radio communications equipment were seized, along with US $54,000 in cash.

It wasn’t the first search in Chiapas in connection with the former governor, who is wanted on corruption charges.

Last November, a ranch, also belonging to Macías, was also searched. At the time, he alleged that the police were harassing him and his wife.

Macías has been singled out in the past for irregular dealings in the state of Veracruz.

The search for Duarte continues throughout Mexico and around the world after Interpol issued a Red Notice for him.

Duarte’s whereabouts have been unknown since October 12, when he took a leave of absence from the governor’s office “to confront the charges against him,” he said at the time.

Six days later, a federal judge issued an arrest order after a series of accusations of corruption, organized crime, money laundering and tax fraud were made against him.

The Attorney General has offered a 15-million-peso reward for information leading to his arrest.

Meanwhile, Duarte’s state security chief was arrested on the weekend after a judge ordered his preventive imprisonment for eight months.

Arturo Bermúdez Zurita has been accused of abuse of authority, influence peddling and illicit enrichment.

His internment in the Pacho Viejo penitentiary triggered a protest by relatives of missing persons in the state, who charged that police officers under Bermúdez’ command participated in many forced disappearances and demanded that he be prosecuted.

Someone else may be prosecuted, too, after his rights were allegedly violated.

The mugshot taken of Bermúdez during admission procedures at the penitentiary was circulated on several social media networks in violation of his rights as a prisoner.

Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes said circulation of the photograph was a “reprehensible action,” and warned that the person found responsible would be punished.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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