When Humberto Moreira, former governor of the northern
Mexican state of Coahuila, was arrested at Madrid’s Barajas Airport on January
15 for alleged financial crimes, it was big news.
(Update: Moreira was released by a Spanish judge on January 22 for lack of evidence, though ordered to surrender his passport.)
In Mexico, there was much handwringing. Here was the former
leader of Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), a former
close adviser of the current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, being detained in
Spain on a request from the U.S. on suspicion of money laundering,
embezzlement, bribery and criminal association.
|Moreira: if Mexico won't, Spain and the US will|
The anxiety, however, wasn’t that Moreira might be guilty of
such crimes. It was that it was the Spanish in concert with the gringos who nailed
. In effect, these two
external powers did what Mexico could not.
It was hardly news that Moreira’s behavior was suspect.
After an investigation by two journalists, Moreira was accused in a U.S. court
of money laundering and embezzlement. A state court in Texas heard how Moreira
and other state officials took over $1.8 million from the Coahuila treasury and
transferred them to a leader of the Los Zetas cartel to invest in radio