Panama to extradite former Mexican governor next week

Panama City (AFP) –


Panama is to extradite a former Mexican governor wanted in his home country on charges of corruption next week, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Roberto Borge will be flown back to Mexico next Thursday, the ministry said, adding that "Mexican authorities are coming to get Mr Borges in an official plane."

The statement said Mexico's embassy had confirmed the extradition date. It was released the same day Borges celebrated his 38th birthday, according to court records.

Panama's government on December 15 approved Borges' extradition, opening a 30-day window for Mexico to pick him up.

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

He had tried to slow the extradition process through legal challenges, but lost his last appeal in Panama's Supreme Court on December 11.

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.

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.