The release of Duarte's leadership shows the lack of anti-corruption struggle in Mexico – EL PAÍS


The high positions of the government of Veracruz during the mandate of Javier Duarte will face their judgments in freedom. In the last four days, the political and police leadership of the former incarcerated governor has taken to the streets in spite of the protests of the accusation, which considers them the head of the corruption structure established by Duarte.

The most striking case is that of Arturo Bermúdez, head of the police during his government, accused among other crimes of the enforced disappearance of 15 people. Bermúdez left Wednesday in prison. Days ago they left the prison of Pacho Viejo, Mauricio Audirac, extesorero, and Francisco Valencia, former secretary of public works, both accused of crimes such as embezzlement or smuggling of influence. In addition to them, this Wednesday, the lawyer of Luis Ángel Bravo, attorney general during the same period (2010-2016) has confirmed to EL PAÍS that his client will be released from prison in the next hours. Bravo is accused of forced disappearance.

His case joins that of another group of senior officials who have left the prison in recent days, such as Juan Antonio Nemi Debi, former secretary of Duarte, and Flavino Ríos the interim governor who facilitated the flight of Duarte by putting arranging a helicopter to leave Veracruz. Both have left the prison and are in the quality of "house arrest", with the argument that they suffer from diseases that can not be cured behind bars. Even Georgina Domínguez, her press chief and media operator, has left the prison for medical problems.

Their liberations and their speed, in the midst of political relief both at the national level and at Veracruz, will be a test for the government of López Obrador, just when most have been criticized for not wanting to investigate cases of corruption from the past

Governor of Veracruz between 2010 and 2016, Javier Duarte represents the poor corruption during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. According to the prosecutor's office in the trial against him, Duarte used the state government structure to create a network of non-existent companies and hijack hundreds of millions of pesos. He was therefore sentenced to nine years in prison in October. While this was happening, the Veracruz prosecutor's office was imprisoning its nearest circle: Bravo, Bermúdez, and Audirac.

The prosecutor's office has condemned the possibility that those responsible for enforced disappearances and the looting of Veracruz can face the trial in freedom. According to the office presided over by prosecutor Jorge Winckler, "the new jurisdictional criteria" allow managers to leave prison.

According to the prosecutor's office, in the case of Bermúdez, there are testimonies of surviving victims, eyewitnesses and evidence from experts demonstrating that the former police chief "directed an organized structure that the Ministry of Public Security has systematically committed enforced disappearances "as the only precautionary measure possible is pre-trial detention, requested the public ministry in a declaration.

The officials of the preventive prison have left thanks to numerous shelters that protect them from apparently biased and politically oriented investigations. In the case of Luis Ángel Bravo, the former prosecutor denounces that the two witnesses against him are Bermúdez and Gilberto Aguirre, former head of expert services. Both have demanded "the Winckler policy accusation" because according to his version they were tortured after his arrest, said Bravo's lawyer in EL PAÍS.

The prosecutor's office in Veracruz does not agree with the judicial decision by which probable persons responsible for deviating public resources have been released in the last days, when it modifies the precautionary measure of the prison from that of a minimum economic guarantee – which is not it even compares with the amount of 1,200 million pesos ($ 58 million) that has been credited as a probable loss to the state, attributable to Mauricio Audirac and José Antonio Nemi, former private secretary of Duarte. These investigations were fully accredited by the audit data, the probable participation of these in the huge financial misappropriation. The Office of the Attorney General reiterates its condemnation of a series of judicial resolutions contrary to international treaties, to the social interest and to the request for justice of the people of Veracruz, which will be fought with the appropriate legal means.

At the same time, the alleged judicial errors have provided sufficient artillery to the new governor, a man very close to President López Obrador, to accuse the prosecutor as "the personal lawyer of the former governor (Miguel Ángel) Yunes" . Cuitlahuac García has expressed a desire to replace Winckler, but his mandate is nine years so, in an unprecedented event, he invited the "people of Veracruz to demonstrate" if the owner should continue or not.



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