Latin America

Brother of disgraced ex-governor of Guerrero arrested for corruption

Mexican authorities allege that sibling was ringleader in $20 million public fraud scheme

Posters demanding justice in the case of the 43 missing Mexican students.
Posters demanding justice in the case of the 43 missing Mexican students.REUTERS

The brother of the disgraced former governor of troubled Mexican state of Guerrero was among a group of people arrested in an anti-corruption sweep announced by the authorities on Tuesday.

Six people have been charged for illegally expropriating $20 million in public funds from Mexico’s poorest state.

Carlos Mateo Aguirre Rivero – a top state official and brother to former governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero, who resigned in October following the massacre of 43 students – was one of the ringleaders in the alleged kickbacks and embezzlement scheme, prosecutors said.

Former governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero resigned in October following the massacre of 43 students

“Family members of former public servants connected to these illegal transactions acted as legal representatives, agents and authorized signatories on bank accounts at different firms from which they operated,” said Tomás Zerón, chief investigator in the case.

Carlos Mateo served as the secretary to the governor’s board of advisors.

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Ángel Aguirre Rivero stepped down under pressure following the September 26 massacre of 43 students who were kidnapped by drug traffickers in an incident that has triggered international outrage. Their bodies were burned in a bonfire and the ashes dumped in a river. At least 60 people, including the mayor of Iguala and his wife, have been arrested in the case.

Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told a press conference on Tuesday that there is no evidence that the former governor is connected to the corruption ring.

But the ex-official’s nephew, Luis Ángel Aguirre, has also been detained, along with the former state urban development director Paulo Ignacio, who has been identified as one of the architects of the conspiracy, in which companies were set up to win public contracts.

The ex-official’s nephew, Luis Ángel Aguirre, has also been detained, along with ex-state urban development director

Prosecutors didn’t say whether the $20 million confiscated in the different personal bank accounts came from the total amount of contracts awarded to the firms or was part of the percentage of illegal commissions the defendants allegedly received.

For more than 30 years, the elder Ángel Aguirre Rivero served as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He switched over to the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) before winning the gubernatorial election in Guerrero.

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