MEXICO CITY – A man who held a post in former Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte’s administration and is now a federal lawmaker has been holed up in the lower house of Congress in Mexico City for more than 12 hours to avoid being arrested on corruption charges.
Arturo Enrique Tarin Garcia, who served as purchasing director in Duarte’s 2010-2016 administration, spent the night at the San Lazaro Palace, which was surrounded by police.
Tarin Garcia, like Duarte a member of the governing Institutional Revolucionary Party (PRI), took the seat of Carlos Hermosillo, who died in a traffic accident earlier this month, and is seeking immunity from prosecution.
The Chamber of Deputies, however, received a notification from the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office before Tarin Garcia took his seat that he was the subject of an arrest warrant.
“He wants to extract himself from the judicial action by sheltering himself under parliamentary immunity,” Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral told Radio Formula.
Prosecutors allege that Tarin Garcia and several other individuals engaged in illegal activities that siphoned money from state coffers.
Tarin Garcia is accused of diverting 300 million pesos ($15.8 million) in state funds to Fritag S.A., a company that he has been linked to.
The former Chihuahua purchasing director arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday to be sworn in as a lawmaker.
His swearing-in ceremony, however, was pulled from the official agenda when the Chamber of Deputies was notified of the outstanding arrest warrant.
Duarte is “a fugitive from justice” and fled to El Paso, Texas, to avoid arrest, Corral said.