March 16, 2018 / 11:49 PM / a year ago

Mexico agrees to extradite former ruling party governor to U.S.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has agreed to extradite a former state governor for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) wanted on money laundering charges in the United States, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Eugenio Hernandez, who served as governor of the northern border state of Tamaulipas from 2005 to 2010, faces trial in a U.S. federal court in Texas, the ministry said in a statement.

Several former PRI governors, including Hernandez’s predecessor in Tamaulipas, have been arrested over allegations of corruption in the past year, seriously undermining the reputation of the ruling party.

The party’s candidate is running third in most opinion polls in the race to win the July 1 Mexican presidential election.

The former governor has the right to challenge the extradition in court, and his lawyer Juan Jorge Olvera Reyes said he would do so. Hernandez denies the charges, Olvera added.

Hernandez was arrested in the Tamaulipas state capital of Ciudad Victoria in October. Prosecutors in Texas charged him over a money laundering scheme in mid-2015.

Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Will Dunham

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