MEXICO CITY (AP) — The wife of jailed former Veracruz state Gov. Javier Duarte has been detained in London, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.
A Mexican official who was not authorized to speak about the case said that Karime Macias was detained Tuesday.
Duarte was arrested in Guatemala in 2017 after six months on the run and is awaiting trial on charges of money laundering and embezzlement. Macias had been with him at the time.
Macias ran Veracruz’s children’s and families agency during his term. Mexico had sought her extradition on state fraud charges.
Local media have depicted her life in London in surreptitiously shot photos and videos. Macias’ lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.
The official said Macias would appear before a judge in London. During the extradition process she could be jailed or released under supervision, the official said.
“She fled from the country several years ago, flaunting a privileged life in London while authorities from the previous administration did nothing,” the official said.
Duarte was a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, as was former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made eradicating corruption a priority, but has also hesitated to overtly pursue past corruption cases, lest he appear to be settling political scores.
In 2017, state authorities in Veracruz discovered a warehouse holding a variety of luxury furnishings, artwork and other items belonging to Duarte and Macias. Among them was a diary written by Macias, which on one page read, “I deserve abundance.”
Duarte was governor of the Gulf coast state from 2010 to 2016 and left the state in financial ruin. Authorities allege he used an array of front companies to siphon public funds to his own accounts.