Two former mayors released in Michoacán

They were in prison for alleged links with organized crime.

Uriel Mendoza Chávez spent a year and two months in prison for extortion, embezzlement, and links with the Templars. (Photo: Archive/ EL UNIVERSAL)
English 20/06/2015 13:59 Dalia Martínez / corresponsal Actualizada 13:59

The former mayors of the municipalities of Apatzingán and Numarán, who had been in prison for their supposed involvement with organized crime, were released this weekend, less than three months from the change of governors in the state.

Uriel Mendoza Chávez, former mayor of Apatzingán, spent a year and two months in prison for extortion, embezzlement, and links with the Knights Templar. This week, a judge acquitted him for the lack of arguments against him, according to sources from the Office of the State Attorney (PGJE).

Mendoza Chávez Left last Wednesday the medium-security prison of "David Franco Rodríguez" in the municipality of Charo, 12 miles from Morelia.

The mayor, from the ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party, faced more than 50 charges for extortion, seven aldermen from  local aldermen and service providers who accused him of having extorted them in order to provide funds to the Knights Templar.

According to the sources, the PGJE appealed the release in order to have more time to organize the evidence against the mayor and have him return to jail.

Also, the former mayor of Numarán, José Luis Madrigal Figueroa, was also released and exonerated for the lack of evidence after spending eight months in the prison of Pochote, in the municipality of Zamora.

Madrigal Figueroa, from the leftist Revolutionary Democratic Party, was accused of committing crimes against the public security system and provide information to organized crime.

The former mayor was captured in October along with the director and assistant director of municipal public security, who allegedly provided security information to the Knights Templar.