El Paso News

Mexico searches for fugitive, former Chihuahua Governor in El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - You may have heard his name, but he's nowhere to be found since being voted out of office. The search for Cesar Duarte, one of Mexico's well-known politicians, now a fugitive, could impact more than one country.

It's been more than a year since Chihuahua's ex-governor Cesar Duarte reportedly fled Mexico, only to be spotted in El Paso. Despite vanishing into thin air, Mexican politicians believe his disappearance could spill over into the United States.

Hundreds in Juarez recently marched in support of Chihuahua's current Governor, Javier Corral, on his search for his predecessor. Duarte is now marked as one of Mexico's most wanted men.

"In the case of Duarte, we are not only talking about the millions of pesos he stole, we are looking at the other crimes for even larger amounts that will be included in the petition for extradition," Corral said in Spanish. 

That was back in September, when extradition papers were filed for Duarte who had been Governor for six years. He is accused of stealing public funds and leading a network of political corruption during his time in office. Authorities believe he fled shortly after.

Christina Jimenez, Congresswoman from Chihuahua approached KTSM in hopes viewers would help locate Duarte before the manhunt becomes an international affair.

"When you have a neighbor country that is having all of these issues of course it's part of your interest to have the best scenario possible and not have it escalate into any other international area or international exchange," she said. 

The reason for concern is that images of Duarte at recognizable establishments around El Paso began emerging on social media, such as a restaurant in West El Paso or a car dealership in East El Paso. 

"This is of high importance for a border state with the State of Texas and the State of New Mexico mostly because corruption has a very high impact on economic development, of course quality of life, but specifically it has a very high impact on everything that has to do with security," Jimenez said. 

Congresswoman Jimenez is just one of many Mexican politicians saying the impact will be felt not only in the State of Chihuahua but for El Paso as well.

Duarte is believed to be in either Texas or New Mexico. His current status as a fugitive made it impossible for KTSM to contact him for comment on the allegations he is facing in Mexico.

He has denied any allegations of wrongdoing in the past and until he's found, the Mexican federal government is freezing state funds. 


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