A fugitive former governor of Mexico's Veracruz state suspected of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars has been detained in Guatemala after six months on the run, officials have said.
Javier Duarte "was located and detained for the purpose of extradition in the municipality of Panajachel" in Guatemala's Solola department, Mexico's attorney general said in a statement yesterday.
Mexico requested Guatemala's assistance in capturing the fugitive ex-governor of Veracruz, which borders the Gulf of Mexico. The operation was carried out jointly with national civil police and Interpol.
Mexican authorities issued an arrested warrant against Duarte in October for his alleged responsibility in organised crime and embezzlement.
Duarte resigned last year before the end of his term and then went on the lam.
Interpol issued an international arrest warrant against him.
In January, authorities got two companies to return USD 19.3 million obtained illegally from the Duarte government.
A month later, authorities seized a warehouse full of Duarte's artworks, antiques and personal journals. They also found luxurious saddles, silverware sets, ostentatious furniture, school supplies and even wheelchairs presumably owned by the government.
Investigators were said to have found a set of documents linking the ex-governor's wife Karime Macias de Duarte directly to the preparation and execution of actions to divert public resources for the personal benefit of some accomplices.
During Duarte's tenure, Veracruz became one of the most violent states in Mexico, with bloody murders by drug cartels, several cases of enforced disappearance and the murder of 17 journalists.