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Former State Official Wanted by U.S. Feds Arrested in Mexican Border City

Arrested Mexican Official
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

Mexican law enforcement agents arrested a former top official with the Tamaulipas government in the border city of Matamoros on state embezzlement charges. That official is also a fugitive in Texas where he faces multiple charges including money laundering and bank fraud.

This weekend, agents with the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office arrested Pablo Zarate Juarez, a former top political operator and official during previous state administrations. Zarate, a top political operator and the former head of the state housing administration, faces state charges in Tamaulipas for embezzlement and bribery. The charges are tied to the illicit purchases of large tracts of state-owned properties at rigged prices.

In addition to the state charges in Mexico, Zarate is listed as a fugitive in the U.S. in a case out of the Southern District of Texas where agents with Homeland Security Investigation claim he was part of a conspiracy to launder millions of dollars, Breitbart Texas reported. Zarate is tied to the purchase of an airplane that is alleged to have been bought with illicit funds for former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington. Federal authorities in the U.S. are also looking to seize more than $2 million in U.S. currency from Zarate.

The cases in the U.S. and Tamaulipas against Zarate are linked to the ongoing cases against Yarrington and his successor former Governor Eugenio Hernandez Flores. As Breitbart Texas reported, both former governors are facing multiple charges in the U.S. tied to moving embezzled funds as well as cartel bribes into Texas. Yarrington is currently in U.S. federal custody awaiting trial after officials extradited him from Italy. The former Mexican governor hid in Italy after being on the run for six years. Yarrington is also facing multiple drug conspiracy charges claiming he worked with the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas, and the Beltran Leyva Cartel. Hernandez is currently in prison in Tamaulipas fighting an extradition to Texas.

Zarate helped run Yarrington’s campaign in 1998 and became the head of the state housing in 1999 where he served until 2005. In 2010 Zarate helped run the campaign for Rodolfo Torre Cantu, a Gubernatorial candidate for Tamaulipas who was killed by Los Zetas Cartel. His brother former governor Egidio Torre Cantu took his place on the ballot.

Pablo Zarate Juarez indictment.

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. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

“J.A. Espinoza” from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report. 

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