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Mexico denied extradition for Tomás Yarrington, US granted

Mexico City, Mexico — Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, former governor of Tamaulipas who was arrested in a restaurant in Florence, Italy in 2017, will not be extradited back to Mexico.

While the Court of Appeal of Florence approved his extradition, they left the deciding factors in the hands of the Minister of Justice on whether he would be sent to Mexico or to the United States where is he also wanted on charges.

The Italian Court of Cassation denied the extradition of Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba to Mexico saying that there is a situation of chronic, constant and systematic human rights violations in Mexican prisons.

This means that the ex-governor, who has been linked to drug trafficking, will be handed over to the United States to be prosecuted for money laundering. The final decision will be made within 45 days.

On April 10, 2017 Yarringtón Ruvalcaba was arrested on the basis of a provisional arrest warrant for extradition when he was dining at a restaurant in Florence. Since his arrest, he has been facing extradition which the ex-governor has been fighting citing issues of political persecution in Mexico.

Since 2012, Yarrington Ruvalcaba has been wanted by US authorities for the alleged crimes of drug trafficking and money laundering.

According to the indictment, Yarrington received money from Los Zetas leaders including Heriberto Lazcano as well as Eduardo Costilla of the Gulf Cartel.

Last September, the Court of Appeals of Florence endorsed the request for extradition presented by the governments of Mexico and the United States in which both countries complied with the diplomatic formalities for the delivery of Yarrington.

After a year of litigating his extradition to Mexico, the Court of Cassation of Italy ruled Monday that he will not be delivered to the Mexican justice system who had already accepted that priority be given to the request for extradition by the United States.

In 2016, Yarrington Ruvalcaba had an arrest warrant issued by the Second Court of Federal Criminal Proceedings in Tamaulipas for the crimes of organized crime and operation with resources of illegal origin, among others.

In November of that same year, the PGR offered a reward of 15 million peso for anyone able to provide information on his whereabouts. He was captured in April 2017 by Interpol.

Since his arrest, Yarrington has been held in Sollicciano prison in Florence, pending his extradition.