Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

When elected officials are criminals

How can it be that so many governors in Mexico are criminals or suspected to be criminals? Is this a sign of criminality at higher levels? at lower levels? Is corruption a "normal" part of the political culture?

The sordid record of former Mexican governors: 3 in prison, 3 under investigation and 4 wanted by authorities
Earlier this week, when Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant for the former governor of the border state of Chihuahua, he joined a long list of former governors from across the country who have run afoul of the law, usually on charges of corruption.

Some former governors are serving time in prison; some are facing criminal charges. Four are being sought by authorities. It’s quite a record for a country with just 31 states.

Here’s a guide to Mexico’s ex-governors with legal issues.

Javier Duarte, Governor of Veracruz (2010-2016), Duarte stepped down from the governor’s post Oct. 12, six weeks before the end of his six-year term. He then disappeared…

Cesar Duarte, Governor of Chihuahua (2010-2016), Duarte is wanted on corruption charges. The current governor of the border state has called him a fugitive and said it’s likely that Duarte fled across the border to El Paso, Texas. (He is no relation to fellow fugitive Javier Duarte from Veracruz.)

Eugenio Hernandez Flores, Governor of Tamaulipas (2005-2010), Hernandez is a fugitive in the eyes of U.S. law enforcement. Along with his brother-in-law, Hernandez was named in a 2015 federal indictment in Texas that accuses him of money laundering…

Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, Governor of Tamaulipas (1999-2004), Hernandez’s predecessor as governor of the state bordering Texas is wanted in the U.S. on a federal racketeering indictment, which charges that he engaged in money laundering and received bribes from traffickers.

Andres Granier, Governor of Tabasco (2007-2012), He has been jailed since 2014 on corruption charges…

Luis Armando Reynoso Femat, Governor of Aguascalientes (2004-2010), He was arrested in 2015, convicted of fraud and sentenced to six years in prison.

Mario Villanueva, Governor of Quintana Roo (1993-1999), He is serving a 22-year sentence in a Mexican prison after serving 3 1/2 years in a federal lockup in the United States…

Guillermo Padres, Governor of Sonora (2009-2015), Padres turned himself in to authorities in Mexico City in November and has denied graft charges leveled against him. As governor of the state bordering Arizona, Padres served under the banner of the opposition National Action Party. He and Reynoso Femat of Aguascalientes, who also belongs to the National Action Party, are the only former governors known to be in legal trouble who were not members of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Rodrigo Medina, Governor of Nuevo León (2009-2015), He is under investigation for corruption.

Roberto Borge, Governor of Quintana Roo (2011-2017), He is under investigation for corruption.

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