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

BRAZIL / 5 NOV 2020

The charges of embezzlement and money laundering faced by Flávio Bolsonaro may be the first severe crack in a corrupt edifice…

MEXICO / 10 MAY 2017

A recently-released video recorded in a maximum-security prison in Mexico shows inmates throwing a party, serving as a reminder of…

MEXICO / 14 NOV 2011

The death of Mexico's interior minister in a helicopter crash has opened the way for the latest in a long…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.