Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico fugitive ex-governor Roberto Borge arrested

Mexico's prosecutor's office Image copyright Mexico prosecutor's office

Police in Panama have arrested the former governor of the south-eastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge.

Mr Borge, of the governing PRI party, is under investigation for alleged corruption, which he denies.

He was arrested as he was about to board a plane bound for Paris at Tocumen airport in Panama City.

Mr Borge is one of several Mexican former governors who went on the run after being accused of corruption.

Ex-governors on the run

In April, the former governor of Tamaulipas state, Tomás Yarrington, was arrested in Italy after evading capture for almost five years.

Also in April, the ex-governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, was arrested in Guatemala after six months in hiding.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The arrest of Mr Borge comes just weeks after Javier Duarte (pictured above) was detained

César Duarte, who governed Chihuahua state from 2010 to 2016, is believed to have fled to the United States in March following allegations of corruption.

Mr Borge governed Quintana Roo from 2011 to 2016.

He is under investigation for alleged corruption linked to the sale of state-owned land worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The PRI suspended Mr Borge from the party in December 2016 and a Mexican judge ordered his arrest on 31 May.

Analysts say the number of high-ranking PRI politicians accused of corruption has hurt the party of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Despite having had three of its former governors arrested, the PRI still looked set to win the election for governor in Mexico state, the country's most populous.

The PRI's candidate, Alfredo del Mazo, had a narrow lead over Delfina Gómez of the leftist Morena party in Sunday's election with 97% of the votes counted.

The PRI has governed Mexico state for almost nine decades.

The election in Mexico state is regarded as a bellwether for next year's presidential elections with the Morena party leader Andres Manuel López Obrador planning to challenge the PRI for the top job.

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