REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Diplomatic tensions have arisen over the Mexican government trying to keep a corrupt politician from extradition to the U.S., where he is facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
On Sunday night, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office issued a news release claiming that with the help of Italian authorities, they arrested former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington, who was wanted on organized crime charges, Breitbart Texas reported.
The information provided by Mexican authorities has been called into question after Breitbart Texas learned that agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Brownsville, Texas, and Rome were the ones responsible for locating Yarrington. The former politician is wanted in the U.S. on a criminal indictment accusing him of laundering cartel bribes and helping drug cartels traffic freely in Veracruz and Tamaulipas.
A diplomatic source close to the investigation revealed to Breitbart Texas that U.S. agents had been pursuing Yarrington for a long time and the arrest was done with the help of Italian authorities with the full intent of sending Yarrington to the U.S.
Mexican authorities did not play a role in the arrest, the source revealed.
After the capture, Mexican authorities took credit and moved in to request that Yarrington be turned over to them since he is also wanted here on a warrant accusing him of engaging in organized criminal activity.
The dual requests for extradition has led to diplomatic tug of war where both the U.S. and Mexico are actively fighting to have Yarrington sent to their respective courts. The move by Mexican diplomats is similar to the efforts used to force Spain to release former Coahuila, Governor Humberto Moreira. During the 2012 presidential election, Moreira left the Coahuila governorship to serve as the leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party where current President Enrique Peña Nieto was elected.
As Breitbart Texas reported, in 2016 Spanish authorities arrested Moreira on money laundering charges claiming he had been a surrogate for Los Zetas. That country eventually released Moreira after Mexican diplomats pressured their Spanish counterparts. The Spanish court hearings pointed to a U.S. investigation into the former governor.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.