Detained Mexican ex-governor on hunger strike in Panama

Roberto Borge (C), the former governor of the state of Quintana Roo, the sixth Mexican ex-governor under arrest for corruption, fraud, money laundering or involvement in organized crime, is escorted by Panamanian police in Panama City on June 5, 2017
AFP

Panama City (AFP) – A former Mexican governor detained in Panama pending extradition proceedings on graft charges is on a hunger strike to protest violations of his human rights, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.

Roberto Borge, the 37-year-old ex-boss of Quintana Roo state, is the sixth Mexican former governor under arrest in Panama or elsewhere for alleged corruption, fraud, money-laundering or involvement in organized crime.

His lawyer, Carlos Carrillo, said Borge’s rights were infringed upon from Thursday of last week, when he was transferred from a prison on the banks of the Panama Canal to police headquarters in Panama City because of suspicion he was an escape risk.

Last week Carrillo said his client suffered a lack of medical attention after he arrived in court with eyes affected by a possible allergic reaction. Borge also suffered a cardiac ailment, he said, and needed special care.

Borge was arrested June 4 in Panama when he tried to board a flight to Paris.

He stands accused in Mexico of selling state-owned real estate at one percent of its market value, as well as money laundering.

He governed Quintana Roo — the southern state that features many of Mexico’s most famous Caribbean beaches, including Cancun — from 2011 to 2016 for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The PRI, which has governed Mexico for 76 of the past 88 years, has been mired in a series of corruption scandals involving its governors.

Five of the six governors currently in jail hail from the PRI. The sixth is from the right-wing National Action Party.

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