EXCLUSIVE — Mexico Backs Down in Fight With U.S. over Extradition of Cartel Governor

HSI at Tomas Yarrington arrest
Screenshot Polizia di Stato Video

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — After erroneously taking credit for the arrest of a fugitive governor, Mexican officials are backing away from their extradition claims against the United States.

A diplomatic official with direct involvement in the case confirmed to Breitbart Texas that on Monday afternoon, the Mexican Deputy Attorney General for Organized Crime called the U.S. Department of Justice attache at the embassy in Mexico City. The purpose of the call was to inform the U.S. government that Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) agreed that former Tamaulipas Governor Tomas Yarrington would be extradited to the U.S.

As Breitbart Texas reported, Italian authorities apprehended Yarrington on Sunday at a restaurant. While the arrest was based on an investigation by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Brownsville, Texas, and  Rome; on Sunday night, Mexican authorities took credit and claimed the politician would be extradited home. The move by Mexican authorities set off tensions between the international agencies as they fought over Yarrington.

Yarrington is wanted in Texas for multiple drug trafficking and money laundering charges. The indictment alleges that while governor of Tamaulipas, Yarrington took bribes from Mexican drug cartels in exchange for giving them protection. Yarrington is also accused of having played a role in the trafficking of drugs through the Mexican state of Veracruz.

On Monday, Italy’s Polizia di Stato issued a news release revealing that they had worked with U.S. authorities in capturing Yarrington — who was previously spotted in the town of Paola. At the time of his arrest, Yarrington claimed to be a Mexican businessman by the name of Morales Perez and presented false documents. The news release makes no mention of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office or other party taking part in the operation.

Mexico’s PGR held a news conference on Monday to backtrack statements claiming they contributed information leading to the capture. The agency stated the final decision of for Yarrington’s extradition remains with Italian authorities.

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.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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