HomeNewsBrief5 Former Mexico Governors Accused of Corruption in 2016
BRIEF

5 Former Mexico Governors Accused of Corruption in 2016

ELITES AND CRIME / 14 NOV 2016 BY LUIS FERNANDO ALONSO EN

Ex-governors from five states in Mexico have been accused of corruption over the course of 2016, a telling reminder of how persistent and widespread this problem is in state governments across the country. 

The former governors of the Mexican states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, and most recently Durango have been accused of corruption so far this year, according to Sinembargo. (See map below) To date, only the former governor of Sonora, Guillermo Padrés Elías, has been arrested.

On November 10, Elías was arrested by the Attorney General's Office on charges of tax fraud, among others. At a press conference, the Attorney General's Office explained that the former governor is accused of pilfering some $8.8 million from state coffers in Sonora, according to Sinembargo.

The former governor of Durango, Jorge Herrera Caldera, was recently charged with embezzlement. Government debt in Durango is reported to have exploded to over $700 million due to financial mismanagement, lack of transparency, and irregularities under the Herrera administration. Herrera has filed injunctions against his possible arrest along with dozens of members of his administration, reported Sinembargo.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

In Chihuahua, authorities announced the possible looting of state institutions under the previous administration of César Duarte Jáquez. In fact, the new administration said the state coffers were essentially empty. Jáquez denies any wrongdoing, but authorities points to his inexplicable increase in wealth as evidence of impropriety, reported Sinembargo.

Meanwhile, former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa has been on the run since early October. According to preliminary audits, some $1.7 billion in state funds are unaccounted for. Additionally, the state has debts of some $4 billion owed to suppliers, contractors and banks. The authorities are offering a reward of $700,000 for information leading to Duarte's capture, who is facing corruption-related charges.

Finally, the former governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo, is accused of defrauding the small state of millions of dollars and increasing the debt dramatically, all while jetting around the globe on government funds, reported Sinembargo.

16-11-11-Mexico-Governors-Corrupt

InSight Crime Analysis

With five former governors now accused of corruption, it appears Mexico's institutional constraints are no match for the cronyism and illicit enrichment schemes that pervade many state governments. Though estimates vary, corruption is believed to cost Mexico roughly two percent of its annual Gross Domestic Product.

It's clear that Mexico has yet to root out a culture of corruption that dates back decades. Carlos Hank González, a 20th century politician who belonged to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional - PRI), once explained the ethos this way: "a politician that is poor is a poor politician."

While corruption is certainly not limited to the PRI, it may threaten to some extent the party's political fortunes going forward. Indeed, the PRI's perceived inability to tackle corruption is believed to have cost the party a number of wins in the June 2016 gubernatorial elections.

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

MEXICO / 4 APR 2012

At a meeting of North American leaders, the presidents of the US and Mexico offered differing views of drug-related violence…

EL SALVADOR / 16 MAY 2017

A new report by an international humanitarian organization provides fresh statistics on the dangers that migrants from Central America's Northern…

COLOMBIA / 15 JUL 2021

A convicted cocaine trafficker is among the suspects that authorities in Haiti are pursuing in connection to the middle-of-the-night murder…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…