EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A Mexican state judge has ordered the former governor of Chihuahua to stay in jail to face embezzlement charges stemming from his alleged routing of millions of dollars in farm subsidies to companies he owned.
Judge Humberto Chavez sided with state authorities in considering former Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte Jaquez a flight risk, given he traveled to the United States after Mexican authorities began delving into his financial dealings. U.S. Marshals arrested Duarte near Miami International Airport in July 2020 and he was extradited to Mexico last week.
The judge set a Wednesday hearing in Chihuahua City, Mexico, to determine if Duarte will be tried for criminal conspiracy and embezzlement totaling $5 million. The original criminal complaint accused Duarte of appropriating for personal use more than $100 million in public funds while he was governor of Chihuahua from 2010-2016. Duarte denies the charges.
The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office on Monday said in a statement that the Duarte administration made 17 payments between 2011 to 2014 to two companies in which the governor was the chairman of the board or the administrator. State authorities say they have the paper trail as well as numerous witnesses ready to testify once the judge green-lights a trial.
Duarte is being held at the Aquiles Serdan Cereso 1 prison near Chihuahua City. The former governor has required medical attention for high blood pressure and a hernia complication, but is physically able to stand trail, the Attorney General’s Office said.