“MX” for Borderland Beat
The trial against Tomás Yarrington, the former Governor of Tamaulipas, was going to be held next week. But U.S. authorities pushed the date to 22 September 2020. This was confirmed last week by federal judge Hilda G. Tagle from the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville.
An initial hearing will be held in August and jury selection will begin in mid-September. Weeks earlier, Borderland Beat reported that Tagle denied Yarrington’s request for bond after he requested a temporary released due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yarrington was the Governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005. During his governorship, he was accused of protecting the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas by taking millions in bribes. Among his formal charges include racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering and bank fraud. After fleeing Mexico, Yarrington was arrested in Florence, Italy, in 2017 and extradited to the U.S. the following year. He is currently imprisoned in Houston and is awaiting trial in Brownsville.
Coincidentally, Yarrington’s trial will be held around the same time as Mexico’s congressional elections, which will begin in the first week of September. It is likely that Yarrington will try inculpate several politicians and businessmen if his attorneys decide to not negotiate a plea deal.
Yarrington’s successor was former Governor Eugenio Hernández Flores, who is also wanted by the U.S. federal governmenet for money laundering. We can expect for other individuals, such as the fugitives businessmen Fernando Cano Martínez and Óscar Manuel Gómez Guerra, to return to the spotlight come election time.
Yarrington became an international fugitive in August 2012, when he was added on the Interpol’s most-wanted list. He was accused of taking bribes from the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas in order to allow them to operate in Tamaulipas when he was governor. In April 2017, he was arrested in Florence, Italy, and extradited to the U.S. the following year.
Most of the documents in the investigation remain sealed. But U.S. officials confirmed that there are at least 15,000 digital documents consisting of 100,000 pages detailing his criminal endeavors at least since 1998, when he ran for governor and took bribes from the cartel.
His trial has been pushed multiple times since he was extradited in 2018. In April 2019, a Brownsville judge pushed the trial to January 2020. The case was described as extensive and voluminous. Yarrington is charged in a 53-page sealed indictment that includes 11 criminal counts. Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies have pictures, information about warrants, seizures and protected witness testimonies to inculpate him.