Why A Former Mexican Official Is On Trial in the US For Embezzling

The former governor of a border state has a pending trial in San Antonio related to embezzling and laundering money from his state’s government in Mexico.

By Joy DiazFebruary 3, 2016 2:46 pm| ,

It’s no secret that corruption in Mexico is rampant at all levels of government. What’s not well-known is that a lot of the money stolen from Mexican public accounts ends up in Texas.

The latest scandal involves Humberto Moreira, former government of the border state of Coahuila. He has a case pending in a San Antonio court for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Investigative reporter Jorge Meléndez from Grupo Reforma covers business and politics from Monterrey, Mexico.

“People have been demanding justice for a long time,” he says. “There’s a difference between the court of public opinion and the actual judicial system.”

Meléndez says the public accepts that Moreira embezzled money from his state’s government yet the only cases are pending against him are in the U.S.

“(In Mexico) he hasn’t been accused of anything,” he says. “It seems to the Mexican public that justice is sometimes served outside of Mexico, and not in Mexico.”

Meléndez says the only thing we know about the Texas cases is that the U.S. judicial system has been arranging guilty plea agreements with Moreira’s former collaborators, including a businessman named Rolando Gonzalez Truviño. The San Antonio case built from those captured says that Moreira stole “hundreds of millions of dollars” from Coahuila government, which the state government may not be able to recuperate unless they try their case in U.S. courts.

“That money is just confiscated by the U.S. government,” he says. “Potentially they could recuperate the money, but it’s going to be shameful.”