Panama signs off on extradition of ex-Mexican governor

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Panama City (AFP)

Panama's government on Friday signed approval for the extradition of a former Mexican governor wanted in his home country on corruption charges, according to the foreign ministry.

Roberto Borge, who used to be governor of Mexico's southern Quintana Roo state, will be sent back to Mexico within a month, it said.

"Mexico has 30 days to come and get him," a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Monica De Leon, told AFP.

She said Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo signed the order.

Borge, 37, was arrested June 4 in Panama when he tried to board a flight to Paris.

He is accused in Mexico of selling state-owned real estate at one percent of its market value. The charges against him include corruption, fraud, money laundering and involvement in organized crime.

On Monday, Borge lost a battle in Panama's Supreme Court to block the extradition.

He governed Quintana Roo, which features many of Mexico's most famous Caribbean beaches, from 2011 to 2016 for Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The party, 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 whom are in jail in Mexico or elsewhere.