MEXICO CITY, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Mexico extradited former governor of the western coastal state of Veracruz from Guatemala on Monday to try him on charges including corruption.
Javier Duarte is accused of embezzling at least 21 billion pesos (1.2 billion U.S. dollars) in state funds, as well as collusion with organized crime and money laundering.
Duarte was transferred to prison amid tight security involving 11 police trucks and 10 motorcycle cops.
A member of Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, Duarte was stripped of his membership after he fled the country. The extent of his plundering became apparent as hospitals and other state-run institutions collapsed throughout Veracruz due to a lack of operating funds.
Marco Antonio del Toro, Duarte's lawyer, said Monday he was confident of clearing his client of corruption charges. He also told the reporters it would be proven that the charges of graft as well as colluding with organized crime and money laundering were completely unfounded.
"I base (my statements) on the case file, and the file shows he is completely innocent," said del Toro.
Violence against journalists and crime in general also increased during Duarte's term. He was arrested by Guatemalan police on April 15 on an international warrant, after more than five months on the run.