Runaway Javier Duarte Captured

Runaway Javier Duarte Captured

On April 15, 2017,  Javier Duarte, the former Mexican governor of Veracruz, was captured at a Guatemalan hotel lobby. Using an assumed identity, Javier Duarte hoped to pass inspections as a typical Mexican tourist. After 5 months of escaping from prosecution for corruption and embezzlement charges, Duarte now awaits extradition and other legal procedures.

As a former member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, Duarte was involved in multiple large-scale crimes for personal enrichment, in which he plundered up to 1 billion pesos (53 million USD) from governmental funding. He indirectly controlled a shell company under a third party’s identity and directed governmental spending to accounts under his name. He also orchestrated the directing of tens of millions of dollars for child cancer research into the shell companies. Duarte used the money to purchase luxurious estates and properties within Mexico for his family.

Duarte surprisingly resigned a few weeks before the end of his term, claiming to prepare himself against criminal accusations by media and investigators. However, Duarte soon left Mexico and vanished from sight. The Mexican government issued a capture on Duarte alongside an eight hundred thousand dollar reward upon capture. This event attracted the attention of the International Criminal Police Organization, promptly joining the search. A diary belonging to Karime Macías, Duarte’s wife, had, the phrase “Yes, I deserve abundance,” handwritten 45 times on a single page, alongside plenty of information and evidence on the details and execution of Duarte’s crimes.

Stationed in a Guatemalan military prison, the Mexican government issued a request for his extradition. The new governor of Veracruz, a rather bitter critic of Duarte, said, “Justice will be done. Let there be no mercy for those who were merciless to the people of Veracruz. There will be no pardon”. Once the extradition is granted, Duarte will face trial in front of the Mexican court.

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