Mexico says Panama authorizes extradition of ex-governor

Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Panama has agreed to extradite a former state governor from Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who was arrested earlier this year on corruption charges, the Mexican government said on Monday.

 

Roberto Borge, who from 2010 to 2016 was governor of the state of Quintana Roo, home to the tourist resort Cancun, was detained in Panama City airport in June with the aid of Interpol as he was preparing to board a flight to Paris.

 

Corruption promises to be one of the major issues in Mexico's July 2018 presidential election with public discontent widespread over a spate of conflict-of-interest rows that have dogged the cabinet and President Enrique Pena Nieto himself.

 

The law bars Mexican presidents from seeking re-election.

 

Mexican prosecutors accuse Borge of using funds obtained illegally, embezzlement and abuse of public office.

In a statement, the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the attorney general's office said Panama's Foreign Ministry had notified Borge that the extradition was going ahead.

The statement noted that Borge still had legal means at his disposal under Panamanian law. Officials from the Mexican government could not immediately specify what kind of appeal rights he still has.

Borge had long been accused of corruption by opposition parties, although he has denied the allegations.

Other former PRI governors are also facing prosecution in the run-up to next year's presidential contest.

Javier Duarte, who until last year governed the Mexican state of Veracruz for the PRI, was extradited from Guatemala to Mexico on July 17. He is accused of embezzlement and engaging in organized crime.

(Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Leslie Adler)

 
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