Mexico city (ap) – a federal judge ordered the arrest of the governor of the northern state of tamaulipas for organized crime and money laundering, in the continuation of a process that the state leader has said is part of a federal government plan to attack him just for being an opponent.
The judge issued the arrest warrant on Wednesday against Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, a federal government official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press, who asked not to be identified as it was an open criminal process.
The arrest petition occurs at a time when the federal Congress and the Tamaulipas Congress remain locked in a legal controversy over the governor’s political immunity and, consequently, whether he can be detained.
The Chamber of Deputies approved a few days ago to withdraw the jurisdiction of García Cabeza de Vaca, one of the main opposition figures in the country and a member of the National Action Party. Hours later, however, the Tamaulipas Congress rejected the decision, which has caused confusion about the governor’s immunity. Apparently, Cabeza de Vaca would be protected by his jurisdiction as long as he does not leave the state.
It is not clear what the judge’s legal reasoning was for ordering the arrest of the governor of Tamaulipas, a state on the border with Texas, which for several years has been marked by the presence of drug cartels that have unleashed various episodes of violence.
Some former governors of Tamaulipas, all from the now-opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, have faced charges of corruption and organized crime.
Former Governor Tomás Yarrington was extradited to the United States from Italy in 2018 on drug trafficking charges.
The accusation against García Cabeza de Vaca, who should end his six-year government in 2022, is related to an alleged illicit enrichment equivalent to more than 46 million dollars, something that the governor denies.