MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican federal judge has ordered the arrest of former state Governor Tomas Yarrington on suspicion of aiding drug traffickers, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Yarrington, a former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor of Tamaulipas, has been a thorn in the side of the PRI since allegations surfaced this year he had worked with drug cartels.
The centrist PRI, which ruled Mexico between 1929 and 2000, is due to return to power in December after the party's candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto, won a July 1 presidential election.
The PRI's long rule was tainted by allegations of corruption and making deals with drug gangs, which have ravaged Mexico over the past six years despite the efforts of conservative President Felipe Calderon to bring them to heel.
Yarrington, who governed the northern border state of Tamaulipas between 1999 and 2005, is suspected of accepting cash from drug cartels and using it to buy real estate in Texas.
Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales said the order had been issued for his capture but noted the whereabouts of the 55-year-old Yarrington were currently unknown.
Yarrington, who was suspended from the PRI in May, is already facing related suits in the United States.
In May, two civil lawsuits were brought against Yarrington in a U.S. federal court, accusing him of "using his illicit income from his political years to become a major real estate investor" in the United States.
Tamaulipas, across the Rio Grande from Texas, is one of the country's most violent drug trafficking corridors, and home the Gulf Cartel and its former enforcers, the brutal Zetas gang.
Yarrington in June denied the accusations, saying they were being used to discredit the PRI in the run-up to the election. However, PRI officials chided Yarrington, saying he should face the accusations in the United States.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
White House: We Aren't Going to Comment on Murder of Kate Steinle By 7-Time Felon Illegal Alien | Katie Pavlich
UK Labour Party Leadership Candidate Demands Police Action To Protect Abortion Clinics | Andre Walker
Illegal Immigrant Kills Woman in San Francisco; Chose City for 'Sanctuary' Policies | Christine Rousselle
Watch Reporters Embarrass Themselves By Allowing Hillary Clinton Staffers to Literally Rope Them Off | Katie Pavlich