Mexico’s former ruling party suspends ex-governor over allegations of bribery

By Olga R. Rodriguez, AP

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s former ruling party on Saturday suspended the membership of a former governor accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from a drug cartel. The Institutional Revolutionary Party said in a statement that the ex-governor of the border state of Tamaulipas, Tomas Yarrington, has been suspended from the party until the accusations are cleared up.

Party leader Joaquin Coldwell asked that Yarrington’s party rights be suspended and a commission agreed to the request during a special weekend session.

Yarrington was governor of Tamaulipas, the home base of the Gulf drug cartel, from 1999 to 2004. Yarrington has not been charged with any crime, but U.S. federal prosecutors filed two civil forfeiture cases Tuesday seeking to seize more than US$7 million in properties Yarrington or his associates allegedly bought in Texas. U.S. authorities are trying to confiscate a condominium in South Padre Island and a 46-acre property in San Antonio.

Yarrington’s lawyer said Yarrington does not own the properties and is innocent of the allegations.