Nayarit: The slow enforcement of law

Never before had so many former Governors in Mexico faced criminal proceedings for corruption yet the allegations weren't enough to have them investigated during their administrations

File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 18/01/2018 09:02 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 10:59
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Never before had so many former Governors in Mexico faced criminal proceedings for corruption and embezzlement. Some are waiting to be sentenced, one is pending his extradition, and at least two more are being investigated.

The biggest criticism is, however, that the proceedings were launched after the denounce of news outlets or by the pressure exerted by social groups or political parties. The revelation of the alleged fraud wasn't enough to have them investigated during their administration.

In the symbolic case of Javier Duarte, former Veracruz Governor, suspicions began almost at the beginning of his administration in January 2012, when a member of his team was arrested with MXN$25 million (USD$1.3 million approx) in cash. Then there was the matter of the payment delay to teachers and other state workers and, finally, the news that he created shell corporations to which he assigned contracts.

The long arm of the law found him when he was no longer in the country.

Something similar happened with another Duarte, this time named César, former Governor of Chihuahua. During his administration, he was accused of mismanaging public funds but 15 months had to pass since he stepped down so Mexico's Office of the Attorney General announced they had opened 11 criminal cases against the former Governor to request the extradition order. This was more than time enough for the former Governor to leave the country and attempt to evade the law.

In Nayarit, the situation is similar. Seven months ago, Mexico's Office of the Attorney General (PGR) opened the criminal investigation against the former Governor, Roberto Sandoval, for alleged illicit enrichment, but so far there has been no progress despite the amount of evidence presented before the so-called Commission of Truth, comprised by citizens of that state. During his administration, Sandoval used the local Congress to modify local laws and avoid being investigated.

EL UNIVERSAL has also published articles on the alleged crimes of the former Governor but times goes by without a reply from the corresponding authorities.

In the crimes committed by the former Governors, local institutions, both, Legislative and Judicial Branches, have also been key players in the cases, whether colluded, controlled, or forced. It's in times like these when the Federal Government should intervene to establish the Rule of Law and not wait until it is too late.

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