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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

US Seizes Texas Property Owned by Ex-Governor of Coahuila; Sentencing Scheduled for Late June

"Anonymous" for Borderland Beat

Jorge Juan Torres López
Juan Jorge Torres Lopez, a former governor of Coahuila whose short time in office was marred by money laundering allegations, had one property in Texas seized by the US federal government. The ex-governor owned a home in the Houston area, in Montgomery County.

Torres, 66, served for most of 2011 as the interim governor of Coahuila, a state that borders Texas from west of Laredo to the Big Bend.

He is closely associated with Coahuila's nearly $2 billion debt, dubbed the megadeuda (mega debt) in the Mexican press.

He's one of several officials and businessmen from the state accused by U.S. authorities of laundering through Texas banks and San Antonio real estate transactions tens of millions of dollars embezzled from the state or collected as bribes.

Torres pleaded guilty to money laundering last June. His sentencing is scheduled for 23 June 2021.

Former Coahuila governor Humberto Moreira appointed Torres as the state’s secretary of treasury when he took office in 2005. Torres served for two years, leaving in 2007 when he was elected mayor of Saltillo, the state capital.

When Moreira left the governorship with nearly a year remaining in his term to lead Mexico’s longtime ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Torres was appointed to replace him.
Humberto Moreira, former Governor of Coahuila prior to Torres
Torres was governor when in March 2011 members of the Zetas drug cartel launched a bloody cleansing in and around Piedras Negras, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass. Known as the Allende Massacre after one of the towns where much of the killing took place, the days-long pogrom is believed to have left hundreds dead.

In a series of trials in Texas federal courtrooms, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informants testified that details of their cooperation was leaked to the Zetas leaders. In response, gang members rounded up and executed anyone they could find with a connection to the traitors. One Zetas operative testified in 2016 that payments to top Coahuila officials, including Moreira, gave the traffickers free reign in the state.

Torres was not named as a recipient of those bribes. Moreira, who wouldn’t comment for this story and wasn’t charged in the U.S., has in the past denied taking money from the Zetas, whom he blames for the murder of his son in 2012.

Solis, Torres’ lawyer, said he “has never been connected or associated with drug trafficking organizations in any capacity, any suggestion or insinuation to such is utterly inaccurate.”

News of Coahuila’s massive debt broke before Torres left office in December 2011. Héctor Javier Villarreal-Hernandez, his successor as state treasurer, stepped down and later faced criminal charges amid an investigation into allegations he had taken out loans using the state’s credit without legislative approval.
Héctor Javier Villarreal-Hernandez, former state treasurer of Coahiila; he is also in U.S. custody
Meanwhile, U.S. investigators were looking into allegations Moreira and other government officials had embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from state coffers and transferred much of it to the U.S.

In 2012, Bexar County and federal prosecutors seized homes and commercial properties Villarreal’s family members owned in San Antonio and in the Rio Grande Valley worth nearly $40 million.

In April 2013, Torres agreed to turn $200,000 over to Hidalgo County prosecutors to settle a civil lawsuit against a bank account he and his wife had at Inter National Bank in McAllen. Five months later, federal prosecutors in Corpus Christi seized a $2.76 million account Torres held in a Bermuda bank.

In a lawsuit to forfeit the property, they alleged Torres and Villarreal in 2008 met with J.P. Morgan Chase bankers in McAllen to establish bank accounts, but lied about where their money came from. Those accounts were used to transfer money from Mexico to the U.S., then offshore banks, according to the lawsuit. In November 2013, the Corpus Christi prosecutors indicted Villarreal and Torres on money laundering conspiracy and bank fraud charges.

Villearreal later turned himself in to U.S. authorities at an international bridge in El Paso and pleaded guilty to the Corpus Christi charges as well as additional charges in San Antonio. He’s free on bond and is awaiting sentencing before a judge in San Antonio.

Mexican officials arrested Torres last year in the Pacific Coast city of Puerto Vallarta, and in October he agreed to be extradited to the U.S. to face charges here.

Little information was released during Wednesday’s hearing, a change from past guilty pleas in prosecutors’ investigation of Coahuila bribery and money laundering. In a 2015 plea agreement for a media mogul with properties on both sides of the border, prosecutors identified Moreira as Co-Conspirator 1.

In that document filed in a San Antonio federal court, they alleged he stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the state of Coahuila, some of which he used to purchase radio and television stations in Mexico. In 2009, Moreira, Villarreal and the businessman met at the Club at Sonterra to discuss the sale of media holdings in Mexico for nearly $2 million, according to the plea agreement.
Luis Carlos Castillo Cervantes, who admitted to pay bribes to Moreira
In 2017, Luis Carlos Castillo Cervantes, a Mexican construction magnate and a former shareholder in Inter National Bank, admitted in a Corpus Christi federal court to paying bribes to Moreira in exchange for paving contracts.

During that hearing, and the 2013 guilty plea of one of Castillo’s business associates, prosecutors read lengthy statements outlying the men’s crimes and naming former Mexican officials whom they allegedly bribed and helped launder money.

During the 2017 plea, prosecutors alleged that, at the behest of a business associate, he wired money to a title company to pay for a house Moreira’s mother-in-law owned in San Antonio’s Greystone Country Estates subdivision. U.S. authorities seized the home.

Prosecutors also alleged during Castillo’s plea hearing that Coahuila officials, including Torres, inflated road paving contracts in exchange for $6.8 million in kickbacks. Castillo helped Torres set up an account at Inter National bank, then gave him more than $700,000 to purchase real estate in Montgomery County, near Houston, prosecutors alleged. Torres laundered more than $2 million through the account, according to prosecutors.

Background sources: MySA


  1. its sad that Mexican governors do this to their home states. traveling across places like Tamaulipas shows you how much these people steal. Roads are not well kept, highways are poorly made, city planning looks like a disaster. Border states are probably the ugliest in all of Mexico but thats because of corruption and cartel presence.

  2. Fkn rats… I’m sure that property that got seized was the woodlands tx….

  3. It's curuption in Mexico, all the politions are in it to milking the system including Obrador.

  4. There is a series on Netflix coming out next month about the Allende Massacre

    1. Series or documentary series ? Sad they are monetizing the Allende massacre. Not surprised. All this shit is for the money.

  5. Great article/update on Torres, Vilarreil etc. Thx

  6. More than the narcos, it's the POS politicos that have kept México from advancing. These greedy SOB receive bribes from narcos, steal property, embezzle public funds, receive kickbacks from public projects and still put their muertos de hambre relatives in government jobs.
    Does the US keep these funds and properties that were purchased with state funds and monies that were gained by criminal acts or give it back to México and thus help the Republic slowly progress? These individuals are the ones who need to be killed in the worst way imaginable.


  7. 3:55 "The Business of the US is Business" that is the Black Hand behind US behaviour.
    Harvard graduate carlos salinas de gortari after his daddy graduated from there to great success as an ambassador to Russia where he learned communist BS a proto-socialista to pose as the saviour of Mexico to teach the son, Raul who wanted only to party and smoke grifa, buy Carlos wanted the job, he gave mexican governors freedom to steal with impunity in exchange for his own steals with impunity, carlos shared with everybody, carlos slim helu made a killing with telefonos de mexico, mining, power generation, foreign farmers, Pemex, everybody up there paid and got paid, but the mexicans got the shitty end of the stick aoong with cartel jobs as hawks or sicarios or capos, that is the famous american trickle down economics, "loans" given to mexican satraps to stesl get back to the lenders as deposits or as properties, to confiscate but the mexicans still owe the loans, the Coahuila State legislature made it the law of the land that the Coahuileños owe and must pay the loans while Ruben Moreira was the governor he is brother of el bertie boy, the real rat head of the robbing puppets.
    Harvard and 'stanfor' and yale should be fined for the graduate alumni they unleash on México, worse even than the murdering milicos graduated from the Schools of the Americas franchises and the drug traffickers they put and keep in charge.


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