Mexican ex-governor extradition could take up to year


But Olvera is not counting on any resolution of Javier Duarte's case soon.

Javier Duarte is being investigated for corruption and is linked to real estate holdings in the USA, including in Scottsdale.

Duarte promptly disappeared and had been sought by Mexican authorities ever since.

Garcia Harfuch said investigators "identified many homes, telephone numbers and vehicles related to people who supported Javier Duarte from Mexico City in the logistics of his stay and movement in Guatemala".

Last week, Italy arrested Tomas Yarrington, the former governor of Mexico's Tamaulipas state, who is suspected of organized crime and money laundering.

Lorenzo Meyer, a political scientist and historian at Mexico's National Autonomous University said Duarte's capture would likely serve as a boost for the Mexican president, whose popularity has fallen dramatically over the past couple years.

He was transferred early on Sunday to the Matamoros prison in downtown Guatemala City, said government spokesman Rudy Esquivel.

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Following his arrest on Saturday, Duarte's former party and Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) sought to distance itself from Duarte and applauded the arrest. After his capture, the party issued a statement calling for punishment that makes an example of him "as well as anyone who is confirmed to have taken part in his criminal ring", The Associated Press reported.

Governor from 2006 until October of past year, Duarte disappeared then, without completing his term.

"I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Duarte and he says he is awaiting his extradition and his lawyers from Mexico". State officials say schools, hospitals and other public institutions were stripped of resources under Duarte's government and that of his predecessor.

Mexico says it has found millions of dollars purportedly linked to Duarte, frozen more than 100 bank accounts and seized property and businesses tied to the former governor. Tomás Yarrington, former governor of Tamaulipas state who has been accused by Mexican and USA prosecutors of money laundering and racketeering, among other charges, was captured in Italy last week. A reward of 15 million pesos ($730,000) had been offered for his capture.

During his roughly six years in office, Duarte's Gulf Coast state also earned the inglorious distinction of becoming "one of the world's most lethal regions for the press", according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Another former governor, César Duarte of Chihuahua state, no relation to Javier Duarte, remains at large.

Duarte was a PRI party stalwart for years in Veracruz until he was expelled from the PRI in October.