Mexico seeks extradition of ex-governor

Mexico has requested the extradition of Javier Duarte, former governor of Veracruz, from Guatemala, April 17, 2017

Mexico has asked Guatemala to extradite a fugitive former governor suspected of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars, officials said.

Javier Duarte, of Veracruz state, was arrested arond 8:00 pm at a luxury hotel in the tourist resort town of Panajachel on Saturday, Guatemalan police said.

Mexico filed its extradition request later that night.

"Now there is a 60-day period in which bilateral extradition issues are looked at. Then the judge will determine if the necessary conditions are met and that he should be extradited," Mexico's top prosecutor Omar Garcia said at a briefing at Mexico's embassy in Guatemala City.

Duarte had been staying at the four-star hotel for at least two days, where he paid with cash, used a false name and was accompanied by his wife, deputy director of Guatemala's police Stu Velasco told Milenio television.

The agents handcuffed the ex-governor, who at the time of his capture was wearing a blue shirt, a dark vest and glasses. He had gained weight since fleeing six months ago.

Duarte, 43, was handed over to a counternarcotics court.

Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant against Duarte in October for his alleged responsibility in organized crime and embezzlement. Interpol also issued an international arrest warrant against him.

Duarte, of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), resigned last year before the end of his term and then went into hiding.

Duarte is not the only Mexican ex-governor to face justice: Tomas Yarrington, governor of the northern state of Tamaulipas between 1999 and 2005, was arrested a week ago in Italy for ties to drug trafficking.