Wanted by INTERPOL, Karime Macías faces no criminal charges in Mexico

No charges filed against Karime Macías, who fulfilled a crucial role in Duarte's embezzlements
Wanted by INTERPOL, Karime Macías faces no criminal charges in Mexico
Last Wednesday, the former governor admitted to said charges and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and a fine - Photo: Ariel Ojeda/EL UNIVERSAL
28/09/2018
14:08
Diana Lastiri
Mexico City
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Although Karime Macías Tubilla, wife of the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, was accused of fulfilling a crucial role in the money laundering network led by her husband, no criminal proceedings have been filed against her.

Duarte’s wife is only being investigated by the General Prosecutor of Veracruz, which has requested the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to begin her extradition process on several occasions.

Upon assessment of local investigations, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) issued a red notice against Macías Tubilla, who the government of Veracruz, led by Miguel Ángel Yunes, has accused of contract simulation for the purchase of basic necessity products for vulnerable children and elders.

Her name was mentioned at the hearing in which her husband was convicted for criminal association and money laundering.

Last Wednesday, the former governor admitted to said charges and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and a fine. According to the PGR’s investigation against Duarte, the former treasurer of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Antonio Tarek, and Arturo Bermúdez, former head of the Ministry of Public Security, told in detail how the ex-governor ordered the embezzling of government funds for the purchase of goods.

“He knew that ghost companies were being used to embezzle government resources and it was Karime Macías who decided to whom the public contracts were addressed. He also knew that they used the Ministry of Public Security of Veracruz, as well as the Ministries of Agriculture and Social Development to conduct the misappropriation of resources,” stated PGR prosecutors upon reading the statement of Tarek Abdalá before the judge, but Karime Macías was not mentioned in the judge’s ruling.

The former treasurer met the Duarte couple in March 2001 in Arizona, where they were introduced by Fidel Herrera, former governor of Veracruz. Since the year 2010, according to his statement, Macías Tubilla invited him to collaborate with her in the state’s National System for Integral Family Development (DIF).

After remaining as the first lady of Veracruz’s right hand, Tarek was named treasurer of Sefiplan by Duarte himself, a position in which he regulated financial resources.
 

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According to his testimony, Duarte would sent text messages or make calls from the “red phone,” used for the government’s interior affairs, ordering money transfers from government resources accounts, which according to Javier Duarte were “harder to trace.”

He added that on December 2013, the Federal Ministry of Health made a MXN$700 million deposit to Sefiplan, an amount that was officially destined to the People’s Health Insurance. However, when Duarte came into knowledge of the transfer, he instructed Tarek to pay 750 million pesos to the media instead.

Bermúdez Zurita declared that since 2014, Tarek Abdalá had instructed him to transfer all public security resources to ghost companies that the former government had created.

In his testimony, he mentioned that Macías Tubilla occasionally intervened in state affairs. She was not only in control of the state’s DIF, but also worked as representative of her husband in several meetings of the state cabinet.

As part of the process, the former head of the Education Spaces Institute of Veracruz, Xóxhitl Tress, profited from expensive bribes given by the former governor. At the trial, she confirmed parts of the PGR’s accusations, specifying that at least 130 million pesos, which had been officially destined for schools and education spaces, were embezzled by Javier Duarte.

She explained that she knew about the Multiple Contributions Fund of federal resources; she also knew that said resources were non-transferable. Out of said fund, MXN$80 million were transferred to Sefiplan between May and October of 2014, allegedly meant to be used for schools, but the money never reached its destination.

From the moment she met Duarte, he repeatedly manifested his interest in supporting her “political capital,” which is why he invited her to collaborate in his administration. In exchange for her unconditional cooperation, he presented her with a house worth 2.25 million pesos, two properties, and a car in 2014.
 

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Karime Macías spotted in London, how can she afford it?

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