By Chris Covert
The Mexican Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR), or attorney general’s office has submitted to US Department of Justice a request for provisional extradition of fugitive Javier Villarreal Hernandez upon his arrest, according to Mexican news accounts.
Villarreal Hernandez is being sought by Mexican authorities for his role in a debt scheme that drove the state of Coahuila into the deepest debt per capita of any state in Mexico. His alleged activities took place during his role as the Coahuila state Servicio de Administración Tributaria del Estado de Coahuila (SATEC), or tax collection service between 2009 and 2011.
Villarreal Hernandez has been on the run since December when PGR officials decided to begin investigating 12 former and concurrent Coahuila state officials for their role in gaining loans from local Coahuila state banks based on falsified documentation. Two officials, Jaime Rene Jimenez Flores and Jorge Lopez Alarcon, have been held by Mexican federal authorities since December, and are expected to go on trial for their alleged role in the scandal.
Five more former officials not including Villareal are subject to federal bench warrants. They cannot be served because all five have apparently fled Mexico. Officials include:
- Miguel Ramon Rodriguez Flores formerly Tesoreria General del Estado de Coahuila, or Coahuila state treasurer.
- Sergio Ricardo Fuentes Flores, formerly Administrador General de Politicas Publicas del SATEC, or Director of Public Policy under the Tax Administration Service.
- Juan Manuel Froto Garcia, formerly General del Fondo de Garantias para el Impulso de la Micro Empresa del Estado de Coahuila, or Director General of the Guarantee Fund for the Promotion of Micro Enterprises of the State of Coahuila.
- Enrique Ledezma Sanchez, formerly Subadministrador de Politicas PÃublicas del SATEC, under Undersecretary for Public Policy of the Tax Administration Service.
- Jaime Rene Jimenez Flores formerly Director de Deuda Publica de Entidades y Municipios de la Unidad de Coordinacion con Entidades Federativas de la Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico, or Director of Public Debt and Municipal Entities Unit Coordination with Federal Entities of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
Seven other officials have been subjected to investigation for their role last December. The legal fate of those officials is unknown. They are:
- Jesus Ochoa Galindo, Coahuila’s concurrent finance secretary.
- Carlos Mauricio Aguillon, ex Director General de Politica Financiera de la Secretaria de Finanzas, or Director General of Financial Policy of Coahuila finance ministry.
- Victor Manuel Zamora
- Miguel Ramon Rodriguez
- Alfredo Vald”s Menchaca
- Juan Manuel Delgado, a manager who worked for Coahuila.
- Fausto Destenave, director general of the Comision Estatal de Aguas y Saneamiento de Coahuila, or Water and Sanitation Commission.
Last month Villareal Hernandez won an amparo suit delaying a Coahuila state re-arrest warrant for violating the terms of bail he posted last November. The bail condition that he check in with the state court periodically was set at the time, and then he apparently fled to the US. Villareal Hernandez has never checked in with the state court.
Villareal Hernandez and the five other officials listed fled the jurisdiction when it was learned they would be facing felony charges under the relatively new Credit Institutions Act of 2005. The state charges are minor charges netting less jail time.
Villareal Hernandez and his wife, Maria Teresa Botello, two unidentified children and Oswaldo Coronado, were arrested on charges of money laundering in Smith County, Texas last February incident to a traffic stop when USD $67,000 was found in the vehicle he was driving. Villareal Hernandez was released on USD $20,000 bond a week later.
It has not been disclosed who provided the bail and in what form the bail took.
The Spanish language report now says Villareal Hernandez may have fled to France.
The central figure in the Coahuila debt scandal, former governor of Coahuila Humberto Moreira Valdes, who oversaw the state government during the unprecedented run up of public debt has never been charged with a crime even though Mexican news reports say his treasurer was on the cc of one of the falsified documents.
The debt scandal, which began to unravel just after he became Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) president last year, dogged his tenure as PRI president until last December when he resigned his post. The pressure to resign came from both inside and outside his political party even though at first he attempted to deflect blame, and later protested he knew nothing about what was going on. The final act for Moreira was the Michoacan state gubernatorial election November 13th, a state the PRI barely managed to capture, even though Mexican press hopefully called it a bellwether for PRI fortunes in 2012.
In an informal exchange on a forum on BorderlandBeat.com, the writer known as Chivis said that Moreira was abroad, apparently in San Antonio where Moreira allegedly owns a multimillion dollar home and many properties all over the USA.
This writer also writes Mexican Drug War news for BorderlandBeat.com
Current PRI president Pedro Coldwater has said Moreira was studying abroad for his masters degree. presumably in Texas.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com