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Ex-Mexico governor arrested in Miami on extradition request

July 8, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2012 file photo, governor of the northern Mexican border state of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte attends the 30th annual Border Governors' Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. Mexican prosecutors said the government had sought the former Gov. Duarte's extradition from the United States last year and was informed Wednesday, July 8, 2020, by the U.S. Justice Department that U.S. Marshals had detained Duarte in Miami. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2012 file photo, governor of the northern Mexican border state of Chihuahua Cesar Duarte attends the 30th annual Border Governors' Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. Mexican prosecutors said the government had sought the former Gov. Duarte's extradition from the United States last year and was informed Wednesday, July 8, 2020, by the U.S. Justice Department that U.S. Marshals had detained Duarte in Miami. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. authorities in Florida on Wednesday arrested a former Mexican governor for extradition on corruption charges, according to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office.

In a statement, Mexican prosecutors said the government had sought ex-Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte’s extradition from the United States last year and was informed Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department that U.S. Marshals had detained Duarte in Miami. In keeping with office policy, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office gave his name only as “Cesar D,” but said they had worked with Chihuahua state prosecutors on the case.

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Santiago Nieto, head of the Mexican Treasury’s Financial Intelligence Unit, confirmed it was Duarte via Twitter in congratulating the Foreign Affairs ministry on managing the extradition request.

“No one is above the law,” he wrote.

In 2018, Chihuahua state officials opened a new investigation into Duarte and dozens of officials from his administration. The probe centered on the possible diversion of the equivalent of about $320 million in government funds in 2016, when Duarte was governor.

The Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said at the time the investigation stems from a complaint following an audit of that period. It said 43 former public officials led by Duarte were implicated in “irregularities.”

Duarte already had a number of warrants out for his arrest.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made rooting out corruption a central theme of his administration. On Wednesday, he was in Washington meeting with President Donald Trump.