The arrest in Italy of former Tamaulipas governor Tómas Yarrington (1999-2004), based on information provided by the U.S., and fresh revelations on how he avoided arrest since an arrest warrant was issued in 2012 have spurred new debate on official complacency (at best) in prosecuting senior PRI officials in Mexico.
Amazingly, it appears that while Yarrington was a fugitive, the state attorney general’s office in Tamaulipas under PRI governor Egidio Torre (2012-16) was paying eight bodyguards to protect him. This came to light only after a PAN governor was elected and took office in October 2016.
Surreal. Kafkaesque. Incomprehensible. The PRIista government commissioned and paid for his bodyguards, but didn’t know where to find the fugitive ex-governor?
questioned columnist Héctor de Mauleón.
It was only after these revelations that the current federal PGR issued a Ps. 15 million reward for Yarrington’s arrest, and he is believed to have fled the country.
Both the U.S. and Mexico are seeking to extradite Yarrington. He is alleged to have worked with both the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, protecting state and municipal police and mayors who were in the pay of the cartels, and laundered millions in drug proceeds. He was indicted in Mexico in 2012.
The Peña Nieto government has also drawn scorn from the press for trying to take credit for providing Italy with information that led to his arrest. According to official Italian statements, it was U.S. Homeland Security and ICE that provided the intelligence that led to his capture.
It’s the corruption, stupid! In a country that is becoming more and more disappointed and skeptical, corruption has become one of the most painful and important political issues
writes Sergio Sarmiento today.