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Former Mexican governor accused of graft turns himself in

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Former Mexican governor Guillermo Padres, who has been accused of corruption, turned himself in to authorities on Thursday, a rare move for one of Mexico's many ex-state leaders facing graft charges.

The former governor of Sonora, a northwestern state bordering the United States, says he is innocent of charges of money laundering, tax fraud and embezzlement from his tenure from 2009 to 2015.

Marines escorted Padres to prison in western Mexico City on Thursday after Padres appeared on a local radio show to defend himself.

"This step (of handing myself in) sets a precedent," he said. "It shows my good faith and willingness to prove I'm innocent."


Several former governors, chiefly from the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, face allegations of corruption, although few have been arrested.

Padres had an arrest warrant just like former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte, who is on the run.

Padres belonged to the opposition National Action Party, which suspended him this month.

(Reporting by Anahi Rama; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)