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article imagePanama extradites Mexico ex-governor wanted for graft

By AFP     Jan 4, 2018 in World

A Mexican ex-governor accused of rampant corruption, Roberto Borge, was extradited from Panama Thursday to face charges at home, joining a long list of governors being prosecuted for graft in Mexico.

Borge is accused of selling government-owned real estate at one percent of its market value in his home state, Quintana Roo, which features Mexico's most famous Caribbean beaches.

He faces state and federal charges including corruption, abuse of office and money laundering.

Borge, a governor for Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) from 2011 to 2016, was arrested June 4 in Panama as he tried to board a flight to Paris.

The party, which has governed Mexico for 77 of the past 89 years, has been mired in a series of corruption scandals involving its governors, seven of whom are in jail in Mexico or elsewhere.

"With these actions, the Mexican government is fulfilling its commitment to work objectively and impartially to strengthen the pursuit of justice," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Prosecutors confirmed the Mexican government plane transporting Borge from Panama had arrived at the Mexico City international airport, where a heavy security contingent was waiting to take him to a local prison.

Borge, 38, had exhausted legal efforts in Panama to slow the extradition process as he was kept in custody.

The Panamanian government on December 14 gave final approval to his extradition, three days after the Supreme Court dismissed his final appeal.

Panama said Borge had undergone medical examinations to guarantee his health was "stable" for the transfer.

During his fight against extradition, his lawyers had called his detention conditions abusive and alleged he had lost 20 kilograms (45 pounds) in jail.

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