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Interpol launches manhunt for fugitive Mexican governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa

January 31, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Interpol launches manhunt for fugitive Mexican governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa

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Former Mexican governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa who went into hiding after he reportedly embezzled a substantial portion of his state’s budget, has now been added to a list of wanted fugitives by the international police agency, also known as Interpol.

The 43-year-old former lawmaker is believed to have been responsible for providing child cancer patients with distilled water instead of chemotherapy.

According to El Universal, Javier Duarte de Ochoa has been listed as an international wanted fugitive sought by the Mexican government for prosecution in connection with organized crime and money laundering charges, according to an Interpol notice.

Duarte is the former governor of the state of Veracruz, which is an area hit hard by the operations of the Los Zetas cartel.

Duarte has been associated with an ongoing probe into the embezzlement of a large amount of the state’s budget. The lack of funds seems to have led state health officials to knowingly pass off distilled water as chemo to child cancer patients. Duarte left from his position in October and went into hiding as the embezzling accusations became public.

Interpol has launched a manhunt of the former Governor of Veracruz

In November, Mexico’s federal government revealed that a reward was being offered for any information leading to the apprehension of Javier Duarte de Ochoa. By December, law enforcement officials working for a new governor raided one of Duarte’s properties and seized over $12 million in goods.

While Interpol is now hunting for Duarte, other Mexican officials who are fugitives have not been issued a red notice by the international police unit. Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, a former Tamaulipas governor, is wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with a criminal indictment accusing him of money laundering and drug trafficking.

Yarrington has been accused of not only taking bribes from Mexican cartels in exchange for protection but also of actively helping the cartels negotiate trade deals with Veracruz government officials.

U.S. Federal prosecutors are also still looking for Eugenio Hernandez Flores, another former governor of Tamaulipas, who has been charged with money laundering. Hernandez is also accused of accepting cartel bribes, which he then laundered in Texas.

While Yarrington is also facing charges in Mexico, Hernandez has not been accused of any crime in that country and continues to appear publicly. Mexican government officials have often used public resources to use state police officers as bodyguards for the fugitive governors.

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