Detained Mexican ex-governor on hunger strike in Panama

Roberto Borge (C), the former governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, seen here after his arrest in Panama in June, 2017, has been extradited to Mexico to face corruption charges

A former Mexican governor detained in Panama pending extradition proceedings on graft charges is on a hunger strike to protest violations of his human rights, one of his lawyers said Wednesday. Roberto Borge, the 37-year-old ex-boss of Quintana Roo state, is the sixth Mexican former governor under arrest in Panama or elsewhere for alleged corruption, fraud, money-laundering or involvement in organized crime. His lawyer, Carlos Carrillo, said Borge's rights were infringed upon from Thursday of last week, when he was transferred from a prison on the banks of the Panama Canal to police headquarters in Panama City because of suspicion he was an escape risk. Last week Carrillo said his client suffered a lack of medical attention after he arrived in court with eyes affected by a possible allergic reaction. Borge also suffered a cardiac ailment, he said, and needed special care. Borge was arrested June 4 in Panama when he tried to board a flight to Paris. He stands accused in Mexico of selling state-owned real estate at one percent of its market value, as well as money laundering. He governed Quintana Roo -- the southern state that features many of Mexico's most famous Caribbean beaches, including Cancun -- from 2011 to 2016 for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The PRI, which has governed Mexico for 76 of the past 88 years, has been mired in a series of corruption scandals involving its governors. Five of the six governors currently in jail hail from the PRI. The sixth is from the right-wing National Action Party.

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