Mexico fugitive ex-governor left the country-paper

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2016 10:06 AM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A former governor of a Mexican state whose whereabouts have been unknown since he stepped down two months ago over corruption charges had left the country by early November, local media said on Monday.

Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, left the county to "attend to various issues," according to a statement by his lawyer in a court document dated Nov. 4, Mexican daily Reforma said. The newspaper did not say what country he had gone to.

In a case that has embarrassed the country's ruling party, Duarte resigned in mid-October, denying any wrongdoing, in order to face charges of embezzlement, money laundering and organized crime.

Two weeks before that, Duarte was kicked out of President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). There are several state governors facing corruption charges and Pena Nieto's wife and his finance minister were tarred by a pay-to-play scandal.

Veracruz, an oil-rich state on the Gulf of Mexico, saw a spike in gang related crime during Duarte's term and the new governor, Miguel Angel Yunes, has said the state will need a federal bailout to deal with a surge in debt under his predecessor.

(Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Frances Kerry)