Former Mexican ruling party governor wanted over embezzlement

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican judge has issued an arrest warrant for a former state governor from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s ruling party on suspicion of embezzlement, the government of the northern border state of Chihuahua said on Tuesday.

Cesar Duarte, who governed Chihuahua for Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) between 2010 and 2016, is wanted for misappropriating public funds, said his successor as governor Javier Corral, a member of the opposition.

Corral, of the center-right National Action Party, said in a message broadcast online he believed Duarte had fled to neighboring Texas and would seek his extradition to Mexico.

“He’s a fugitive of justice,” Corral said, noting that three former Duarte administration officials had already been arrested.

Duarte was not immediately reachable for comment.

The PRI said late last year it was reviewing whether to take disciplinary action against Duarte following accusations by the opposition of fraud and corruption against him.

Duarte denied any wrongdoing.

Javier Duarte, an unrelated PRI politician who was governor of the Gulf state of Veracruz from 2010 and 2016, is also wanted for alleged corruption and is presently fugitive.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore