March 13, 2017 / 3:54 AM / in 7 months

Former interim Mexican governor arrested, jailed

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The former interim governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz was arrested on Sunday, accused of helping his predecessor Javier Duarte escape justice, and reportedly placed in pre-trial detention for one year.

Flavino Rios is accused of abuse of authority, influence trafficking and covering up for Duarte, who governed the troubled state almost until the end of his term but disappeared in October.

Current Veracruz governor Miguel Angel Yunes told journalists that Rios had been detained on the order of a judge. Rios is accused of helping Duarte escape the state in a helicopter last year.

Local media reported that Rios was placed in pre-trial detention for a year, without the possibility of paying a bail bond, an option often used for powerful figures in Mexico awaiting trial.

Duarte, from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is wanted for what public auditors have called the worst cases of misappropriation of public funds in years.

Violence has risen sharply in recent months in Veracruz and the opposition accused Duarte’s administration of allowing impunity to flourish.

Reporting by Anahi Rama; Writing by Christine Murray; Editing by Michael Perry

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