By DD for Borderland Beat
Breaking Guinness records is a popular sport among many Mexicans but the latest bid is a little different: former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte has been nominated as the most corrupt person in the world along with the former President of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko.
Ernesto Villanueva, a researcher at the National Anti-corruption Organization, proposed the nomination, comparing Duarte’s corruption to that of the former leaders of Zaire and Senegal.
“I say this seriously, it’s no joke. Fugitive Javier Duarte has been proposed . . . as the most corrupt person in the world,” he told a press conference.
Duarte is currently being sought by the Mexican authorities for illegal enrichment and organized crime. The state’s debt increased by almost 1.5 billion pesos during his term as governor between 2010 and 2016. Efforts to find Duarte have been concentrated on Mexico but authorities are not discounting the possibility he could be elsewhere in the Americas or in Europe or Africa.
The search in Mexico has been focusing not only on Duarte’s alleged network of phantom companies and prestanombres, or front men, but also on well known business people with whom he could have had dealings,
Besides the dubious companies that existed only on paper, the Veracruz politician’s “money trails” have led the authorities to plantations, transportation companies and real estate in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco.
The Mexican people will laugh about his nomination as the most corrupt person in the world, but the most damning evidence which maybe made him the most hated man in Mexico was the finding that distilled water had been substituted for the chemicals needed for chemotherapy treatment of children with cancer at a children's cancer treatment center.
Some Doctors at the clinic said that there were at least 8 documented cases where the children might have survived if that had been treated. They also said that there was no way to know how many children died at home after receiving "treatment" with distilled water.
Duarte disappeared in October one day after he asked the Legislature for a leave of absence so he could address all the accusations that were being leveled at him. He has not been seen since that day.
Many citizens are asking how can the Government find and arrest Chapo Guzman after he escaped 3 times from prison yet they cannot find Duarte. Some are saying it is because the government doesn't want to find him due to his close relationship with President Pena Nieto. Either because of friendship or Duarte knows too much that could be embarrassing or incriminating to the President.
President Enrique Peña Nieto had previously praised Duarte an example of the new generation of leaders emerging in the PRI.
PRI has officially expelled him from the party (to try to save face) and the Attorney Generals Office asked Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest (which they did). So now there is a world wide hunt for him.
There are rumors he may have gone on a extended safari in Africa but I have a hard time believing he is hiding in the jungles of Africa. He and his wife enjoyed the afluent life too much.
But due to a discovery about 10 days ago by the State of Veracruz Attorney Generals Office (under the the new Governor) in the city of Cordova may have clues that could lead to his capture.
The warehouse is believed to belong to Duarte and among portrait paintings and photographs of the couple, were wheelchairs, walking aids, stores of food, school supplies and other goods believed to be the property of the state. There were also at least 10 boxes full of documents and other materials, along with dinnerware sets, paintings and several personal belongings.
Prominent among those documents were about 20 notebooks, diaries and appointment books that presumably belonged to Duarte’s wife, Karime Macías, who has also disappeared. Seemingly she wanted to chronicle her husbands rise to the top of the most corrupt in Guinness World Records.
Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares, who succeeded Duarte in December, told a press conference that the discovery was “very relevant” to the investigation into wrongdoing by his predecessor.
“We’ve found in this place an accumulation of documents that presumably link Mrs. Karime Macías de Duarte directly with planning, preparing and executing actions for the diversion of funds for her personal benefit and that of accomplices.”
In diaries being analyzed by PGE specialists Macías hand wrote detailed information about bank accounts, real estate properties in Mexico and abroad and an extensive list of relatives, government officials, associates and other collaborators with whom she and her husband had illicit dealings.
The handwritten notes even include “addresses and phone numbers of individuals linked with the Duarte-Macías family, along with those people’s homes and apartments located in several places in the world, including a map hand-drawn by Mrs. Karime Macías de Duarte herself,” said Yunes.
The revealing notes —Macías set for herself the goal to “squeeze” the state family services agency, or DIF, that was under her charge — include a page covered with a single phrase repeated 45 times: “Yes, I deserve abundance.”
Villanueva (who nominated Duarte as the most corrupt person in the world) said Duarte’s behavior is far from being an anomaly: 10 other governors have been investigated for corruption and plundering US $15 billion since 2010.
No major Mexican politician has ever been convicted of corruption.
So far the Guinness World Records organization has made no official announcement about the corruption category, which does not appear on its website. The closest related category is the world’s most corrupt country. Somalia and North Korea shared that honor, winning the title in 2014.
Nonetheless, Villanueva said the official announcement will be made by the end of the month.