HomeNewsBriefAn Extradition From Italy May Increase US-Mexico Tensions
BRIEF

An Extradition From Italy May Increase US-Mexico Tensions

ELITES AND CRIME / 13 APR 2017 BY LEONARDO GOI AND STEVEN DUDLEY EN

A former Mexican governor captured in Italy faces extradition to the United States and Mexico, which may spark new tensions between the neighboring countries. 

Italian authorities have to decide where to extradite Tomás Yarrington, as Mexico and the United States have both asked to prosecute the former Tamaulipas governor captured in Florence on April 9, reported Excelsior.

In Mexico, Yarrington is accused of crimes related to drug trafficking. In the United States, the former governor is accused of importing and distributing drugs, money laundering, bank fraud and illicit money operations, crimes allegedly perpetrated between 1998 and 2013. 

SEE ALSO: Gulf Cartel News and Profiles

Yarrington could be sentenced to up to twenty years in prison in Mexico, but faces two life sentences and another 90 years in jail in the United States, Excelsior said.

In a statement released April 12, Mexico's Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la Republica – PGR) said it was "working with" the US Department of Justice on their "judicial strategies," with regards to the Yarrington case.

The PGR and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have been after Yarrington since 2012. And both Mexico and the United States had issued an Interpol red alert against him.

But the extradition treaties signed with Italy leave it up to Italian authorities to evaluate and ultimately decide where to extradite Yarrington, a senior official at Mexico's Attorney General's Office said during a news conference.

InSight Crime Analysis 

The case may potentially open up more wounds in US and Mexican relations. Breitbart News, the rightwing outlet formerly run by President Donald Trump's strategic advisor, Stephen K. Bannon, reported that Mexican officials told US officials that they were willing to allow Yarrington's extradition to the US. Now, Breitbart claims that Mexico is "saving face" by requesting information on Yarrington's whereabouts and claiming to have engineered his arrest in Italy. 

US officials are already worried about what might happen to Yarrington in Mexico. The co-conspirator on the indictment, Fernando Alejandro Cano Martínez, was arrested in Mexico in February but later released on bail

Mexico has already extradited several members of organized crime groups to the United States. Arguably the most notable example was that of legendary drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, extradited to the United States in January 2017, after the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel escaped prison twice in Mexico.

In a sense, El Chapo's extradition was a tacit admission of the difficulties Mexican authorities face when prosecuting criminals. The decision that will be taken by Italian authorities is thus a de facto evaluation of the justice systems in the two countries.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

The awaited decision from Italy also comes at a time when US-Mexican relations are at a low point, following US President Donald Trump's campaign to build "a wall" along the border of the two countries and have "Mexico pay for it." 

The Trump administration has remained quiet about the wall in recent weeks, and as Trump reverts to the mean on other foreign policy issues such as US-China and US-Russia relations, there is a faint hope that his rhetoric towards Mexico may soften.   

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 28 FEB 2014

The US State Department's annual Human Rights report highlights how in Latin America deeply ingrained corruption fuelled by organized crime…

MEXICO / 2 DEC 2011

Though alluring, the idea of analyzing Mexico's drug cartels based on economic principles may be a false hope for…

COLOMBIA / 4 DEC 2019

For the second consecutive year, some of Latin America’s leading academics and experts in the field of organized crime convened…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…