Javier Duarte de Ochoa

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Javier Duarte de Ochoa
Javier Duarte de Ochoa.jpg
Governor of Veracruz
In office
1 December 2010 – 12 October 2016
Preceded byFidel Herrera Beltrán
Succeeded byFlavino Ríos Alvarado
Deputy of the Congress of the Union
for the 16th district of Veracruz
In office
1 September 2009 – 16 February 2010
Preceded byMauricio Duck Núñez
Succeeded byDaniela Nadal Riquelme
Personal details
Born (1973-09-19) 19 September 1973 (age 45)
Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Political partyPRI logo (Mexico).svg PRI
Spouse(s)Karime Macías

Javier Duarte de Ochoa (born 19 September 1973) is a Mexican politician formerly affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as Governor of Veracruz from 2010 to 2016. He also served as congressman during the LXI Legislature of the Mexican Congress representing Veracruz,[1] leaving his seat on 16 February 2010.[2] On 4 July 2010 Duarte de Ochoa won the election for governor, becoming the candidate to receive the most votes in the state's history with 1,392,386 votes[3] according to the final electoral tally.[4] In October 2016, Duarte was officially declared a fugitive criminal by Mexican authorities due to corruption during his time as governor of Veracruz and was apprehended on April 15, 2017. He was extradited to Mexico on July 17, 2017.[5]

Governor of Veracruz[edit]


Shortly after beginning his term as a congressman in 2009, Duarte de Ochoa began to be mentioned as one of the major PRI candidates for Governor of Veracruz in the 2010 elections. His candidacy received support from the Confederación Nacional Campesina and the Confederación de Trabajadores de México,[6][7] and he was designated PRI candidate for the governorship on 27 March 2010.[8]

The governor's race for the 2010 State Elections of Veracruz was between Javier Duarte de Ochoa of the PRI, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares of the PAN and the incumbent Dante Delgado Rannauro, who had been elected by a coalition between the PRD, PT and Convergence. When voting closed on 2 July 2010 Duarte de Ochoa was originally declared winner with 50% of the votes, with only 36% for the closest contender Dante Delgado Rannauro.[9] However, accusations of suspicious votes and rampant fraud led the opposition parties to file a formal request for an investigation and vote-by-vote recount, which was accepted by the PRI on 8 July 2010.[10] Duarte de Ochoa had received a record number of votes, with over 79,000 more than the incumbent Dante Delgado Rannauro had received in the previous election, and telephone recordings were revealed in which former PRI governor and Duarte de Ochoa supporter Fidel Herrera Beltrán was heard pledging to use state resources to support the Duarte de Ochoa campaign.[11] However, although the Election Tribunal annulled 260 voting boxes, bringing the margin of the win to just 2%, they claimed that the opposition had not presented sufficient proof to annul the election, and Duarte de Ochoa was declared the victor on 26 July 2010.[11][12]

Controversies as Governor[edit]

Mass Graves found in Veracruz[edit]

In September 2011, 35 bodies were found tortured and murdered in two abandoned trucks in the town of Boca del Rio, Veracruz, outside a building where governor Duarte de Ochoa was conducting a meeting.[13] As evidence emerged that the killings had been made possible through police collusion, the governor took the unprecedented step of disbanding the entire Boca del Rio police force in an attempt to root out corruption.[14]

In March 2017 an estimated 250 human remains were found in mass graves in Veracruz[15]

25 million pesos in state money transported in suitcases for unknown purposes[edit]

On Friday 28 January 2012 members of the Federal Police arrested Said Zepeda and Miguel Morales, who were carrying a briefcase and a backpack with cash totalling 25 million pesos (nearly US$2 million at that time) on an official Veracruz state government plane with unverified origin or destination, and which was suspected of being sent for unlawful purposes by the Duarte de Ochoa government.[16] The cash was seized and a federal investigation was launched to determine whether the source of the money was legitimate, and if it indeed belonged to the state government of Veracruz. Finance Secretary Tomás Ruiz González claimed that in spite of the odd mode of transportation, the money was legal and intended to pay for the advertisement of local festivals.[17] The federal investigation eventually found no evidence for illegal activity, and the cash was returned to the Veracruz government on 5 June 2015 with interest.[18]

Journalist killings[edit]

Since Duarte de Ochoa took office in December 2010, his tenure has seen a number of cases of local journalists under threat.[19]

Duarte has issued numerous threats to journalists in several interviews.[20] As of 1 August 2015, twelve journalists and crime reporters have been killed during the tenure of Duarte de Ochoa, and three more have gone missing[21] Most of the cases have gone unsolved.[22] The most notorious case was that of journalist Regina Martínez Pérez, widely known for her reporting on Veracruz state corruption and its links to drug cartels, who was found strangled to death in her apartment on 28 April 2012.[23] State officials claimed her murder was unrelated to the regular threats of violence she was receiving for her reporting, but was rather a crime of passion following a robbery, and on 9 April they sentenced Jorge Antonio Hernández Silva to 38 years in prison for the murder.[24][24]

Due to the unprecedented number of journalist killings during Duarte de Ochoa's term as governor, the international association Reporters Without Borders named the state of Veracruz one of the ten most dangerous places in the world in which to practice journalism.[25]

Resignation as Governor[edit]

After being hit by a wave of corruption scandals and the loss of his PRI membership, Duarte presented his resignation to the Veracruz state legislature on 12 October 2016 and made his last public appearance the next day, leaving his whereabouts unknown from that date until his arrest on 15 April 2017.[26] He was replaced by an interim appointment, Flavino Ríos Alvarado, who will serve the 48 days between Duarte's resignation and the installation of Miguel Ángel Yunes as the next governor.[27] On March 12, 2017, Veracruz authorities arrested Ríos, accusing him of aiding Duarte's escape and abusing his authority; a judge delivered a cautionary one-year jail sentence.[28]

Disappearance and Arrest[edit]

The federal Attorney General filed organized crime charges on Duarte on 17 October 2016.[29] The PRI expelled Duarte from the political party and issued an apology.[30][31][32] His whereabouts were unknown and the government through the "Procuraduria General de la Republica" offered a reward of $15 million pesos for information that could help towards his capture.[33] Duarte Ochoa was subsequently arrested in Guatemala on 15 April 2017.[34] He was extradited from Guatemala to Mexico on July 17, 2017.[5]


  1. ^ "Perfil del legislador". Legislative Information System. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Javier Duarte va por candidatura en Veracruz". 21 February 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  3. ^ Ávila, Édgar (9 July 2010). "IEV da triunfo a Duarte en Veracruz". El Universal. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ Lilia Saúl Rodríguez (26 October 2010). "El Tribunal Electoral confirma el triunfo de Javier Duarte en Veracruz". CNN México. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Guatemala hands Mexico ex-governor wanted in corruption case". ABC News. July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Cañeros CNC apoyan a Javier Duarte de Ochoa para Gobernador de Veracrúz". Enlace Córdoba. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  7. ^ Barranco, Rodrigo (29 November 2009). "Al más puro estilo priista CTM destapa a Duarte como su candidato a gobernador". E-Consulta. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  8. ^ Edgar Ávila Pérez (28 March 2010). "Duarte candidato del PRI por Veracruz". El Universal. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Encuestas de salida revelan tendencias en los estados". CNN Mexico. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  10. ^ "El PRI veracruzano acepta que se cuenten actas una por una". Informador. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Recibe Duarte constancia como gobernador electo de Veracruz". La Jornada. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Javier Duarte es declarado ganador por el Tribunal electoral en Veracruz". CNN Mexico. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  13. ^ "JMexico gunmen abandon two trucks with 35 bodies inside, including 23 men and 12 women". BBC. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Mexico disbands Veracruz-Boca del Rio police force". BBC. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Mexico violence: 250 skulls found". 14 March 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
  16. ^ "Mexican Governor Implicated in Cash-Stuffed Suitcase Incident". Latino Daily News. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Mexican official flies 1.7 million dollar cash briefcase and backpack". NBC News. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  18. ^ "PGR devuelve a Veracruz 25 mdp con intereses". El Economista. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Murders, threats and duopoly: the state of press freedom in Mexico". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Issuing threats". El Informador. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  21. ^ "For reporters in Mexico, journalist's death underscores job's growing danger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Mexico crime reporter found killed in Veracruz state". BBC. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Yet another journalist murdered in Veracruz". ifex. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Journalist threatened after reporting on Veracruz murder". WebCite. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Noted Crime Reporter Victor Baez Kidnapped and Murdered in Veracruz State". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 November 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Zamudio, Isabel (12 October 2016). "Designan a Flavino Ríos como sustituto de Duarte". Milenio. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  28. ^ Hugo Arteaga, Víctor (12 March 2017). "Juez da un año de prisión preventiva a Flavino Ríos; lo acusan de encubrir a Javier Duarte". Animal Político (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
  30. ^ "Expulsa PRI a Javier Duarte". www.reforma.com.
  31. ^ "PRI expulsa a Javier Duarte". www.elfinanciero.com.mx.
  32. ^ "PRI expulsa a Javier Duarte". eluniversal.com.mx. 25 October 2016.
  33. ^ "PGR México on Twitter". twitter.com.
  34. ^ Molina, Héctor. "Javier Duarte es detenido en Guatemala". eleconomista.com.mx.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Fidel Herrera Beltrán
Governor of State of Veracruz
Succeeded by
Flavino Ríos Alvarado (interim)